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Super Easy “Asian” Chicken Sandwiches

June 18, 2009

Sometimes, the two of us simultaneously have a hard week. This happens to be one of those weeks, and so I’m glad to have some fast and delicious recipes in my repertoire. We started making these sandwiches sometime after we got engaged, which I know because the first sauce we used to make these came as a shower gift from a dear friend! This could definitely be considered a “semi-homemade” recipe, which I generally balk at, but… see the first sentence.

This dish gets the majority of its flavor from an Asian BBQ or “simmer” sauce, such as this one. We currently use a sauce called Chinois Asian Grilling & Roasting Sauce, which we purchased at Williams-Sonoma (which it seems that they no longer carry).  The main components of this sandwich are the chicken (of course), various toppings (today was mushrooms, onions and cheese for me, but none for Elysabeth) and the lynch pin, what we refer to as the “scallion paste”.

Chicken Sandwiches (Serves 4)

  • 4 thin-sliced chicken breast cutlets
  • 3 tbsp. seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dark sesame oil
  • 4 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 3 pinches kosher salt
  • 2-3 twists freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 sandwich rolls (kaiser, hard, knot, whichever you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup Scallion Paste (see below)
  • Cooking spray (such as Pam)
  • 4 tbsp. Asian BBQ sauce
  • 4 slices Provolone or Swiss cheese (optional)


  1. Place chicken pieces in plastic bag, and add next 5 ingredients. Seal bag, forcing out extra air, and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. Before cooking, take chicken out of bag and pat gently dry with paper towel. Heat large frying pan, griddle pan, or grill to medium-high heat. While surface heats up, coat chicken with cooking spray.
  3. Slice and toast rolls, and spread scallion paste on both sides of the roll.
  4. Place chicken on pan, without moving the pieces for at least two minutes to ensure a good crust. Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes a side or until just cooked through — try your hardest not to overcook. Pour BBQ sauce onto chicken and brush to cover.  Add cheese to melt and transfer to rolls.

Mushroom and Onion Topping

  • 1 pound mushrooms (any type), cleaned and sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved, thinly sliced, and separated
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. vinegar (white wine, balsamic, rice)
  • 1 tbsp. cooking wine (sherry, mirin)
  • 1 tbsp. sugar or 1/4 cup cola


  1. Heat oil in small frying pan on medium heat, and add onions. Stir until onions begin to soften, and add sugar or cola to help with caramelization.
  2. When onions brown, add mushrooms and turn heat up to high. Stir pan contents such that mushrooms make direct contact with sides and bottom of pan. Leave mushrooms in place for 1-2 minutes at a time, stirring so that all mushrooms get browned edges.
  3. Once the mushrooms’ liquid has mostly dried up, deglaze pan with wine, vinegar, and optionally add other flavors, such as soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce.
  4. Stir contents of pan to coat with sauces evenly, and turn heat down to low. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until mushrooms and onions are reduced in size and sauce takes on a glaze consistency.

Scallion “Paste”

  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced very thin (green and white parts)
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Asian BBQ sauce
  • Kosher Salt


  1. Heat small frying pan over low-medium heat and add sesame seeds. Toss occasionally until seeds are toasted, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add oil, scallions, and salt to pan and turn heat up to medium-high. Cook until scallions soften and stir to fully integrate seeds and scallions.
  3. Add BBQ sauce and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to a simmer. Cook for another 5 minutes, and transfer into small bowl until sandwiches are ready.

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