August 20, 2017

Nori Chicken with Ponzu Sauce

Nori Chicken with Ponzu Sauce

Savory chicken bites wrapped in nori and served with a tart and citrusy ponzu sauce.

You know how there are some days when you just can’t think of what to make for dinner? Well, when the girls were still living at home, their answer was Nori Chicken with Ponzu Sauce! Actually they still say that whenever we plan to get together. You’d think by now that they’d make it themselves, but I guess it’s one of those dishes that just speaks of mom, home, and comfort. I’m good with that.

I have to admit I do like it, too. My mom made it for dinner when I was a kid, and it was a regular on her party buffet menu because their bite-size. The perfect finger food. I cut the chicken into pieces that are about one and a half inches long by about three quarters of an inch wide. But when I made this batch for the blog, Lindsay happened to be home for the weekend. She reminisced about how Grandma used to make them really small when they were little…just one bite to pop into your mouth. What a sweet memory. It’s a dish close to my heart.

This is also a great appetizer if you’re gluten free because the chicken is dredged in cornstarch and rice flour. That adds to the lighter texture and makes it less greasy. Just substitute the soy sauce with wheat free tamari sauce.

Because the meat is only marinated for a few hours, I use chicken thighs. Breast meat is denser, so it doesn’t absorb the marinade as well as thighs do. The end result is a tastier bite full of flavor.  

Ponzu Sauce is a dipping sauce that can be bought in a bottle, but it is so easy to make. It’s a citrus-based sauce, usually with some soy sauce. The flavor can vary, depending on the ingredients. The ponzu sauce that I’m pairing with the Nori Chicken is a basic one.

Nori Chicken with Ponzu Sauce

Makes 24 to 30 pieces

  • 4 chicken thighs with skin
  • Oil for frying
  • 1 to 2 nori sheets


  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ cup sweet rice flour, also called mochiko ( in the Asian food aisle) or you can use rice flour 
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. hot bean paste (optional)

Ponzu Sauce:

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 T. Water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 T. Minced green onions
  • 1/8 tsp. ginger root or powdered ginger

Debone the thighs if not boneless. Cut into pieces one and half inches long by three fourths inch wide. Place in bowl or zip lock bag.

Combine the ingredients for the marinade and add it to the chicken. Marinate for 4 hours, or up to overnight.

Cut the nori sheets into half-inch strips from the short end. Then cut the strips in half. Set aside.

Combine ingredients for the ponzu sauce, place in a small serving bowl, and set aside.

Wrap a piece of nori around each chicken piece and fry until browned. They will cook fast, so only fry small bunches at a time.

Serve hot with the ponzu sauce for dipping or drizzling.

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