Food & dining
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    sunday supper

    Warming, healthy poached chicken becomes rice bowls

    Steamed chicken with napa cabbage.
    Karoline Boehm Goodnick for the Boston Globe
    Steamed chicken with napa cabbage.

    It’s still chilly this time of year, so you probably want something warming but light enough to help you think about what you’ll look like in a month when it’s shorts season. This steamed chicken and vegetable dish is healthful, nourishing, and offers a subtle hint of the Far East. Start with a flavorful broth, made by combining ginger, lime juice, and soy sauce. Layer Napa cabbage and carrots in the pot with boneless chicken breasts. Serve the dish with short-grain brown rice.

    The leftover cooking liquid is the base for the next day’s rice bowls. Use it to keep the rice moist while warming it. The juices are also the starter for a sweet glaze of brown sugar, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper to coat the chicken. Ladle the mixture into bowls and top with crunchy, nutty nori flakes, sesame seeds, and scallions. This versatile dish will pack well as lunch for everyone in the family, or use it for Monday night’s warming meal.

    Shopping list


    (For chicken, rice bowls)

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    6 skinless, boneless chicken
    breast halves (3 pounds

    1 head Napa cabbage

    3 carrots

    6 scallions


    1 clove garlic

    1 piece (1 inch) ginger

    2 limes

    Salt and pepper

    1 teaspoon sesame oil


    1½ cups short-grain brown

    ¼ cup soy sauce

    ¼ cup brown sugar

    1 teaspoon crushed red

    1 tablespoon sesame seeds

    1 sheet nori (seaweed)

    Karoline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at