A Delicious, One-Pan Chicken Hekka – A Quick and Easy Okinawan-Style Meal

Let’s face it – we could all use a tasty, fuss-free meal every now and again. Enter chicken hekka, a one-pan wonder dish from Okinawa, Japan’s prefecture in the southern-most islands. This simple recipe is bursting with flavor, combining the piquant taste of soy sauce and sugar with the sweetness of carrots and onions for a balanced and satisfying dish.


– 1 lb chicken breast, cubed
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 2 inches fresh ginger, minced
– 1 large onion, sliced
– 2 large carrots, peeled & sliced
– 2 tablespoons soy sauce
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 2 tablespoons sesame oil
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Heat the oils in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Add the garlic and ginger, stirring for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
3. Add the chicken and cook until slightly browned.
4. Add the onions and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes.
5. Add the soy sauce and sugar, stirring to combine.
6. Simmer for around 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.

Serving Suggestion

For a complete meal, serve chicken hekka with steamed white rice and a side dish of your choice like kimchi, cucumber slices, or sautéed mushrooms. And of course, a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds goes along way to making this simple dish truly remarkable.

The ease and comfort of chicken hekka make it a go-to dish for busy days. But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a dull meal – the gentle alchemy of sweet, salty, and savory combine for a burst of flavor that will leave you wanting more. This dish is part of a rich culinary tradition that stretches from mainland Japan to the Okinawan Islands. Try this modern twist on a centuries-old dish and see for yourself why it’s been a staple for so many generations.