Torihamu or Homemade Chicken "ham"

Recipe by Julie3551
READY IN: 49hrs
YIELD: 8 oz




  • Trim off any fat or sinews on the chicken breasts. You may want to cut them in half if they are much bigger than half a pound each.
  • In a sturdy ziplock bag or vacuum sealing bag, combine honey and salt.
  • Put the chicken breasts in, one by one, and squish them around in the bag to completely coat them completely with the honey-salt mixture.
  • At this point you can add the black pepper and/or any herbs or spices that you like to the bag with the chicken.
  • Squeeze out as much air as you can, or suck the air out with your vacuum packing appliance. Seal the bags, and leave the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 48 hours or 2 full days.
  • Once they are done marinating, soak in plenty of cold water for 1 hour. This soaking process gets rid of excess salt, or de-salinates them, while still leaving enough salt in them so that they are nicely flavored.
  • After washing and soaking the chicken breasts, wipe off any excess moisture with paper towels. You can roll up the chicken breasts and tie them up with kitchen twine to get a nice round shape, or just leave the breasts as-is.
  • Poach or bake the chicken.
  • Poaching method: Put the chicken into the hot and barely simmering water. Cook for 5 minutes, then put a tight fitting lid on the pot and turn the heat off. Leave the chicken to poach for at least an hour. Some people recommend leaving the chicken in until the water has cooled down.
  • Oven method: Preheat the oven to 120 °C / 250 °F. Yes, it’s quite a low temperature - you’ll be cooking the chicken slowly, so that it doesn’t get dried out. Line a baking sheet with kitchen cooking parchment or a non-stick baking liner, or lightly oil the sheet. Put the breasts on the lined baking sheet. Bake the chicken breasts for 35 to 40 minutes, until the surface is a very light brown.Take the chicken out and leave to cool on a plate.