Torihamu (Chicken Ham): My First Take

It's quite a big deal in Japan. It's one of those things that is perfect for bento meals, and as I was almost desperately trying to make healthier alternatives for our packed lunches, I started on a three-day project on making my first ever Torihamu or Chicken Ham.

Torihamu wasn't really a traditional Japanese dish, but it was made popular from the internet and now is a permanent addition to the Japanese cuisine. And it was really good, I tell you. The taste was mildly sweet and salty, and the outside is herby and savory. No taste is overwhelming and everything is perfectly matched. Alex loved it so much.?

I used JustBento's method of making Torihamu, but for your benefit I summarized the long page into an easier to follow version below. Enjoy!?

Torihamu Recipe

(I use measuring spoons when cooking, which are really different when you use your normal utensils)

2 whole chicken breasts (around 500 grams)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sea salt (coarse salt)
1 1/2 tbsp dried herbs (I used basil, oregano, and thyme)
2 tsp ground black pepper


Ziplock bags or resealable bags
kitchen twine

Mix together the honey, salt, herbs, and pepper. Place in a resealable bag.Place the whole chicken breasts in the bag. Take out as much air as you can and seal the bag completely.Squish the bag to coat the breasts completely.Place in the refrigerator for 48 hours.After 48 hours, rinse the chicken breasts under running water and submerge in water for an hour to desalinate them.After an hour, drain the breasts and roll them up into logs. Tie them together with kitchen twine.Preheat the oven to 120 °C / 250 °F.Place the chicken logs on a lined baking sheet and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the surface is a very light brown.Cool and slice.

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