Chicken with Seaweed

Despite its name, my version of this dish doesn't contain any seaweed. Instead, I use kale, which becomes crisp and seaweed-like when fried. Winter kale is at its best right now. Use Tuscan or black kale if you can find it; it has the most flavour and gets crispy easily.


  • 8 ounces (250 grams) boneless, skinless chicken breasts


  • 1 egg white

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Seasoning sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

  • 1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons white wine

  • 1/4 cup orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 cups very thinly sliced kale leaves

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger

  • 1/3 cup pine nuts

  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water


Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes. Whisk together egg white, cornstarch, water and soy sauce. Add chicken and marinate for 15 minutes.

Combine hoisin, Asian chili sauce, soy sauce, white wine, orange juice and sugar in a bowl and reserve.

Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wok or small, deep skillet over high heat. When wok is very hot, begin adding kale in batches (warning: the oil will pop and spit). Add remaining oil as necessary and fry until crisp (about 1 minute). Remove immediately using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Salt lightly.

Pour out all but 2 tablespoons oil from wok. Add drained chicken in batches and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until cooked through. Add garlic, ginger and pine nuts and stir-fry another 30 seconds. Pour in reserved seasoning sauce and bring to boil. Add cornstarch mixture and stir until sauce thickens slightly. Scatter in kale and serve immediately. Serves 2 (or 4 as part of a Chinese meal).