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Thai Flavor-Pounded Chicken Breasts

TODAY Show: Marco-Canora cooks up 90-second chicken on TODAY -- February 9, 2015.
Samantha Okazaki / TODAY

Chef notes

Make Thai-style chicken breasts with five ingredients: lime zest, ginger, cilantro, cardamom and fish sauce. 


  • 4 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 limes, zested
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 4 lime wedges



Starting at the thicker side, make a lengthwise cut into the top two-thirds of a chicken breast, stopping before cutting all the way through. Fold it open like a book. (The chicken breast should still be in one piece). Put the breast between two pieces of plastic wrap and pound it out on both sides with the flat side of a meat tenderizer, working from the inside out, until it's spread to double its original size and about 1/4-inch thick. Repeat with the remaining breasts.


In a bowl combine the lime zest, ginger, cilantro, cardamom, salt, fish sauce, and tamarind paste (if using). Divide half the mixture evenly across one side of the 4 chicken breasts and rub it in. cover with plastic wrap and lightly pound in the seasoning with the toothy side of the meat tenderizer. Flip and rub the rest of the mixture into the other side of the chicken breasts. Cover with plastic wrap and lightly pound in the seasoning.


Substitute coconut oil for olive oil and squeeze a wedge of lime over each flavor-pounded chicken just before serving.