Check out this recipe for Marmite chicken, then try our chicken Schnitzel, chicken Kievs, Hunter's chicken and more chicken recipes.

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."


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


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


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


  • 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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