Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken Bowls

Chicken Mains Mains
Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken Bowls, Sacha Served What

A recipe you make weekly, because it’s just that good. These Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken Bowls taste like an elevated version of take out.

I developed this recipe for the Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken Bowls and my husband devoured it. He asked for it again the following week. He’s kind of a picky eater too, so this was a big win. Big.

This recipe hits every craving for me. The chicken itself is slightly crispy, and it’s coated in a sweet, spicy, velvety, umami-ish sauce. The salad is crispy, crunchy, and bright, and the rice is a solid base for all of the flavorful elements. The toasted sesame seeds add a wonderful wholesome nutty element. Don’t skip these!

How spicy are these Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken Bowls really? I happen to LOVE spicy food, but I understand not a lot of people do. Personally, I think the miso and apricot jam balance out the spice in a way that compliments it well, suppressing the heat nicely. But, if you’re nervous about the spice, you can add less of the sambal oelek. You can also remove the seeds from the jalapeno.

Recipe Tips:

  • Don’t forget the corn starch. It helps create that silky texture for the chicken and the sauce. Plus it will crisp up the outside if the chicken.
  • Rinse the Jasmine rice. It washes off any excess starch and helps the grains remain separate. If not, you might end up with a stickier rice, which is not horrible, just not my preference here.
  • Don’t open the lid when cooking or resting the rice. This is the best way to ensure your rice comes out perfectly. Add your rice when your liquid comes to a very gentle simmer, then lower the heat, stir, and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes and then turn the heat off and let rest for 10 minutes. DO NOT lift up the lid at any point. Trust me. Perfect every time.
  • Don’t be lazy, toast your sesame seeds. When you toast the seeds, they release natural oils, and give your dish MUCH more flavor. Worth it.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Sambal Oelek – Every grocery store I’ve been to in the last year has this condiment. It’s really easy to find and it’s my preference for this recipe. But you can also substitute sriracha.
  • Chicken Thighs – I prefer these to chicken breasts. Team dark meat all the way. But if you really hate dark meat, you could use chicken breasts here.
  • Lime – Some limes are juicier than others. Use your sense of taste when adding lime at the end. If you need another squeeze, go right ahead.
  • Jasmine Rice – I love the taste of it, but you can definitely sub any other rice you have in your kitchen. Eating healthier? Brown rice is fine too! Just follow the cooking times on the package if using a different type of rice.
  • Cilantro – Some people hate it, I love it. I think the whole leaves (please wash them) make the salad great! But if you can’t stand the taste of it, use fresh basil or double up on the scallion greens.
Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken Bowls, Sacha Served What

Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken Bowls

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian Fusion
Servings 3


  • 3 Medium Bowls
  • Whisk
  • 1 Large Pan
  • Fine Mesh Sieve
  • 1 Medium Pot


For the Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken Bowls:

  • 2 ½ tablespoons white miso paste
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 ½ tablespoons apricot jam
  • 2 ½ tablespoons sambal oelek
  • 2 ½ tablespoons ponzu
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 ¾ lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs cut into 1-2” cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • Avocado oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 lime cut into quarters lengthwise
  • Scallion Garlic Rice recipe below
  • Herby Jalapeno Cucumber Salad recipe below
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

For the Scallion Garlic Rice:

  • 1 ¼ cups Jasmine rice
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 scallions whites and greens separated, greens set aside for the herby Jalapeno Cucumber Salad, whites thinly sliced
  • 1 ¾ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt

For the Herby Jalapeno Cucumber Salad:

  • 3 radishes very thinly sliced into rounds (I used a mandoline to help cut these)
  • ¾ cup shredded carrots
  • 1 large jalapeno thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 ½ Persian cucumbers trimmed, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 4 scallions whites and greens separated, whites set aside for the Scallion Garlic Rice, greens thinly sliced diagonally
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves packed
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons ponzu
  • Kosher salt


For the Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken Bowls:

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the miso, sesame oil, apricot jam, sambal oelek, ponzu, and water.
  • In another medium bowl, combine the chicken, 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and corn starch.
  • Heat a drizzle of avocado oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Working in two batches, (more batches if multiplying the recipe) making sure not to overcrowd the pan, sear chicken until nicely golden brown, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the next batch.
  • When second batch is finished, lower the heat to medium-low and add chicken from the first batch back into the pan with the second batch. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until golden brown and fragrant.
  • Add miso sauce mixture into the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1-3 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and sauce is thickened.
  • Remove from heat and add a squeeze of lime juice from one wedge of lime. TIP: If sauce has thickened too much, add a small splash of hot water and stir to combine. If sauce isn’t thick enough, continue cooking for a bit longer until reduced to your liking.
  • Divide Scallion Garlic Rice, Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken, and Herby Jalapeno Cucumber Salad between bowls. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top and serve with extra lime wedges on the side.

For the Scallion Garlic Rice:

  • Rinse Jasmine rice in a fine mesh sieve until water runs clear.
  • Heat avocado oil and sesame oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic and scallion whites and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add water and Kosher salt and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Immediately when starting to simmer, add rice and stir. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes. Then turn off the heat and let sit, covered, for another 10 minutes, without opening the lid this entire time.
  • Taste and season with more Kosher salt, if desired.

For the Herby Jalapeno Cucumber Salad:

  • In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and toss to coat. Taste and season with more Kosher salt, if needed.


Spicy Miso Apricot Chicken – The chicken itself can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stove. You may need to add more water to thin out the sauce, as it may congeal in the fridge. 
Scallion Garlic Rice – The rice can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven until warmed through. 
Herby Jalapeno Cucumber Salad – All salad components except for the sesame oil, ponzu, and Kosher salt can be combined and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one day. Dress and season immediately before serving. 
Keyword Apricot, Chicken Thighs, Chili Garlic, Miso, Rice Bowl, Scallion Garlic Rice
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