In most of Europe and North America, the white breast meat of chicken is more popular, and pricier, than the dark meat. In Japan, the opposite is true.

Here, dark meat is preferred for its higher fat content and juiciness, and cookbooks and recipe sites are full of hints for making "dry" white meat more tender. Due to a recent popularity boom for low-fat, high-protein diets, white chicken meat has found itself at the center of weight-loss fads, especially in the form of sarada chikin (salad chicken).

A piece of poached, skinless chicken breast, sarada chikin is sold vacuum-packed at most supermarkets and convenience stores, sometimes with multiple seasonings on offer. However, making your own sarada chikin is quite easy and economical, and a marinating ingredient that makes it especially tender and juicy is shiokōji — cooked rice inoculated with Aspergillus oryzae mold (enzymes in shiokōji help break down proteins) and fermented simply with salt and water. Since shiokōji has a fairly neutral flavor, you can add whatever herbs or seasonings you like to the marinade for a personalized, healthy dish.