Marmite Chicken Recipe

Marmite chicken

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Check out Luiz Hara's crunchy Marmite chicken with a quick cucumber pickle. This simple but moreish dish is packed with flavour and an easy weekend recipe to serve friends


Luiz Hara says… “Just like soy sauce and balsamic vinegar, soy sauce and marmite is an umami-bursting combination. This recipe was inspired by a recent trip to Malaysia, where a similar nyonya dish is ubiquitous. I tweaked it though, increasing the Marmite kick and making it less sweet. This is one of my favourite recipes.”



  • boneless chicken thighs 500g, skin on
  • garlic 1 clove, crushed
  • soy sauce 1 tbsp
  • sunflower oil for deep-frying
  • Japanese katakuriko (potato starch) or cornflour 4 tbsp, see notes below
  • spring onions thinly sliced on the diagonal to make 2 tbsp


  • rice vinegar 160ml
  • granulated sugar 120g
  • cucumbers 2 large, thinly sliced
  • sea salt 2 tbsp
  • red chilli 1 large, thinly sliced
  • dried wakame seaweed 2 tbsp, see notes below


  • Marmite 2 tbsp
  • dark soy sauce 2 tbsp
  • mirin 8 tbsp (or use 4 tbsp runny honey mixed with 4 tbsp water)
  • sake or shaoxing rice wine 4 tbsp


  • Step 1

    To make the sweet cucumber pickle, combine the vinegar, sugar and 160ml water in a pan and bring to a boil over a high heat. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 1 hour. Put the cucumber slices in a colander over a bowl and rub the salt all over them until they are completely covered. Put a plate with a weight on top over the cucumber slices and leave for 1 hour, then squeeze as much water as possible out of the cucumber slices, but do not rinse them. Add the cucumber and chilli slices to the cooled rice vinegar mix and let them pickle for at least 2 hours.

  • Step 2

    Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, put in a bowl, add the garlic and soy sauce, mix well and leave for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

  • Step 3

    20 minutes before serving the pickles, soak the dried wakame seaweed in a bowl of cold water for 2-3 minutes, drain, squeeze out the water and roughly chop any large pieces of seaweed. Add the wakame to the pickle mixture and mix well. The pickle is ready to be served and any leftovers can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one month.

  • Step 4

    Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the Marmite and soy sauce until the Marmite is dissolved.

  • Step 5

    Fill a pan no more than 1/3 full with sunflower oil and heat to 170C or until a cube of bread browns in 40 seconds. Coat the chicken in potato starch or cornflour, shake off any excess flour and carefully add the chicken to the pan in batches. Cook the chicken for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through, then drain on a plate lined with kitchen paper.

  • Step 6

    Add the Marmite and soy sauce to a pan, heat it through to burn off the alcohol and until it is slightly thickened, then add the chicken pieces and mix well to coat them in the sauce. Serve immediately topped with the spring onions and the cucumber pickle on the side.

Dried wakame is a dark green seaweed with a mild flavour of the sea and a slightly chewy texture.

Katakuriko (potato starch) is used in a similar way to cornflour, as a coating for fried foods to make them crisper or dissolved in a little water to thicken sauces.

Recipes extracted from The Japanese Larder by Luiz Hara, available from (£26, Jacqui Small).

Japense larder

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 402
  • Fat 16g
  • Saturates 4g
  • Carbs 27.4g
  • Sugars 18g
  • Fibre 1.6g
  • Protein 32.1g
  • Salt 3.9g