Photo: Jennifer Causey; Styling: Ginny Branch 
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
20 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 2 thighs and 1 tablespoon sauce)

As a variation, you could grill the chicken thighs--a little charring would complement the sauce. No mortar and pestle? Process the paste base in a mini chopper.

How to Make It

Step 1

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add chicken to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until browned. Turn; sauté 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Place chicken on a platter.

Step 2

Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, shallots, and garlic in a mortar and pestle; smash mixture to a paste. Combine garlic mixture, cilantro, and remaining ingredients. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro mixture over each chicken thigh.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

mmidorijoy's Review

July 01, 2014
My husband and I really enjoyed this. The sauce had a great combination of flavors. Next time I think I'd use just a bit less sesame oil, as it felt a bit oily for my personal preferences, but I'll definitely make this again.

srvvrmomma's Review

February 28, 2014
The cilantro sauce has an amazing umami-type flavor. I used chicken breasts, but would serve it with grilled meats. Next time, I will enhance the presentation with cellophane noodles or rice.

daneanp's Review

December 27, 2014
Fantastic - really flavorful. I grilled the chicken - the sauce really makes them special. We had this with homemade spanish rice and a simple salad of sliced avocado and tomatoes. The family said, "Make this again tomorrow!" So we'll definitely have this often.

BogeysMom's Review

September 04, 2014
This is an easy recipe. I made enough to have leftovers. I cut the thighs into bite-sized pieces and served with rice and stir fried vegetables. Delicious!!!!! Indeed, I liked it better the second night but I'm partial to Chinese/Thai dishes. Love the strong taste of cilantro, my favorite herb.

misjean's Review

June 05, 2014

LisaMegatron's Review

June 03, 2014
Really enjoyed this chicken. Served it with some rice and asparagus for a healthy, flavorful meal. I love recipes like this because they don't taste, "diet-y". Just a simple ingredient, like a chicken thigh, made really delicious with some creative seasoning. I will definitely be making again!

JHarringbone's Review

May 16, 2014
I made this recipe last night for a fairly quick dinner, as I had all the ingredients except the sesame oil. However, I had some toasted sesame seeds; so I used a combination of olive oil and about a tablespoon of the toasted sesame seeds as a substitute. I found the flavor of the sauce absolutely DELICIOUS. I'm a huge fan of cilantro, anyway. Maybe for those who commented that the sauce was a little too strong could try the milder flavored olive oil as a substitute for the sesame oil. I couldn't wait to eat some of the leftovers for my lunch the next day. I served it over a serving of brown rice. I will definitely be making it again. I even passed the recipe along to a friend.

EmilyBellWatson's Review

April 23, 2014
Fantatic flavors! Would totally make again. I think the sauce would also be delicious on beef, such as flank steak.

megdawg517's Review

March 16, 2014
My husband and I both liked this but, the cilantro sauce was overpowering if you got more than just a tiny bit on each bite of chicken. The combination of cilantro with uncooked garlic and shallots was just so pungent. I like to be able to take leftovers to work with me the next day but I was totally self-conscious about my breath after eating this!

CAgirlinIA's Review

February 28, 2014
I wasn't crazy about this dish but maybe it had to do with thinking the boneless/skinless thighs I used were on the tough side. Although I normally really love sesame oil I thought it was overpowering....or maybe it was the combo of the oil with the soy sauce. Husband seemed to like it OK but I doubt I will make it again. I have other recipes for thighs that I like much better.