Foodist Approved: Miso-marinated Ko Lan Grilled Chicken (or Tempeh)

by | Oct 2, 2013
Ko Lan Grilled Chicken

Ko Lan Grilled Chicken

My life recently went from moderately busy to extremely crazy. I got a puppy. He’s 9 weeks old and pure energy.

Meet Huck

Meet Huck

Meet Huck. Huck-a-boo. Huckleberry.

When I get home this wild little pooch wants 110% of my attention. Because of him I’m beginning to better understand why some parents say, “I just don’t have time to cook a healthy meal.” Huck is my “first” and he’s like a little warning of what it’s like to try to balance work with raising a child, while still finding time to cook a healthy and delicious dinner.

I’ll admit that during my husband’s and my first week with Huck there were a couple of nights that we relied on takeout after he finally went to bed at 10 p.m. I’m now determined to create recipes for you (and me) that are great for hectic nights. They’ll be quick and easy without compromising taste or nutrition.

The marinade in this Thai-inspired dish takes just five minutes to make and gives the chicken incredible flavor. The miso in it pairs deliciously with the ginger, garlic and lime, and a touch of agave helps the marinade to bind, which keeps the chicken extra moist. My marinade is also far healthier than store-bought ones, which are full of sugar, low-quality oils, artificial flavors and preservatives. Even the organic ones are high in sugar and salt and lack fresh flavor.

I love grilling on weeknights because it requires no cleanup and it’s fun to cook outdoors after a day spent behind the computer. I always make enough of this dish for two dinners. The first night I serve the chicken with grilled veggies and an easy tomato avocado salad. It also goes perfectly with my Kale Superhero Salad. The second night it’s delicious sliced and served cold on top of a salad full of seasonal greens.

For a vegetarian option this marinade pairs fantastically with tempeh. Simply slice the block of tempeh into four pieces and follow the same directions below.

Miso-marinated Ko Lan Grilled Chicken (or Tempeh) 

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, sliced (or 1 tsp ginger powder)
  • 1 tsp miso paste, white or yellow
  • ¼ c. olive oil
  • ¼ c. tamari (or shoyu, which is real soy sauce)
  • 1 Tbsp agave
  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 4 pastured or organic chicken breasts or thighs (1.5 lbs), or 1 package tempeh

Mix together the garlic, ginger, miso, olive oil, tamari, agave and lime in a bowl with a lid.

Place the chicken or tempeh in the bowl and spoon marinade over top until well coated.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. For maximum flavor prep the chicken in the morning and leave to marinate all day in the fridge.

Pre-heat the grill (or grill pan) to medium-high. Place the chicken on the grill. After 5 minutes use a spatula to gently flip the chicken. After another 5 minutes, flip the chicken again. Continue checking every couple of minutes. Remove the largest chicken breast from the grill and check for doneness. Poke the thickest portion with a meat thermometer. It should register at least 165 degrees.

Serve the chicken warm with your favorite seasonal veggies.

Elyse Kopecky is a social media consultant and whole foods chef based in Portland, OR. After 10 years working for NIKE and EA SPORTS she left her desk job for the chance to study culinary nutrition at the Natural Gourmet Institute in NYC. Follow her adventures in the kitchen and on the trail at and @freshabits.

Tags: , ,
You deserve to feel great, look great and LOVE your body
Let me show you how with my FREE starter kit for getting healthy
and losing weight without dieting.

Where should I send your free information?
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

14 Responses to “Foodist Approved: Miso-marinated Ko Lan Grilled Chicken (or Tempeh)”

  1. Jessa Lyders says:

    Yum! We will try this this weekend with our company. Excited b/c I think the toddlers/kids might like it too!

    • Tip: Use skinless chicken thighs. Dark meat won’t dry out on the grill and tastes amazing, plus dark meat surprisingly has way more nutrients than white. I use skinless for grilling to prevent charring.

  2. Linda says:

    This sounds so good — and simple! Enjoy Huck. I’ve got a black lab that I cannot imagine life without!

  3. Bob Judd says:

    Please tell me why it seems impossible to print the recipe itself. Your story about the puppy is OK, but I want the recipe. Can you help?

  4. Jerry says:

    Good luck with your new beautiful pup. You think he’s a handful now? Wait until he’s about 6 months old and turns into a “teenager”. A bored 6 month old pup with too much energy is a destruction machine. Start training now and work on it every day. You’ll be happy you did. But you’ll still face the canine equivalent of adolescent rebellion.

    The recipe looks great by-the-way. It looks like just the thing.

    • Hi Jerry,
      Thanks for the advice. Yes I’ve been pre-warned about the 6-month stage of destruction. At least by then I’ll be able to take him on runs and to doggie play school.

      Hope you try the recipe!

  5. Dawn says:

    I made this last night with tempeh. It was very tasty. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Lionel says:

    What is miso paste? Never seen it in South Africa.

    • Hi Lionel,
      Miso paste is made by fermenting soybeans. Its used a lot in Asian cuisine but has become mainstream in recent years for its health benefits. In the US you can find it at all health food stores and Asian grocery stores. I hope you can find it at your local health food store in South Africa.

What do you think?

Want a picture next to your comment? Click here to register your email address for a Gravatar you can use on most websites.

Please be respectful. Thoughtful critiques are welcome, but rudeness is not. Please help keep this community awesome.