When talking about "frying" food, I believe only the oily method can really showcase the deliciousness and characteristics of a nicely fried dish. However, the tremendous amount of oil involved has always shunned me away from digging into this cooking method at home.
Looking at my sad deep fryer that's been sitting in the cabinet for nearly a year, guess it's about time to embrace the grease, roll up the sleeves, and start the deep frying magic in the kitchen.
Japanese fried chicken (Karaage/唐揚げ) -
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon mirin
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 clove grated garlic
- 1 lb deboned skin-on chicken thigh
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Some black pepper
- 1 lemon wedge
- Some Japanese mayonnaise
- Some cayenne pepper
- Vegetable oil (for frying, I used two medium size bottles)
Cut the chicken thigh into large bite size pieces. Prepare a container and add in all the marinade ingredients. Massage the chicken making sure all pieces are well coated by the marinade -
Cover and transfer to the fridge for 2 hours. Remove from the fridge and let the chicken rest in room temperate for 5 to 10 minutes before frying.
Pour the oil to the deep fryer or a big pot, wait till the temperature reaches 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Meanwhile, mix the flour, cornstarch, salt, and black pepper in a dish. Equal amount of flour and cornstarch.
Use one hand to grab one piece of chicken to the flour mixture; use the other hand to grab some flour mixture to coat the chicken. One hand handles the wet chicken meat and the other hand handles the dry ingredients. This helps in avoiding sticky paste forming on the fingers and getting in the way of coating the chicken pieces.
After coating the chicken, gently shake away excess flour mixture then set aside, or straight into the fryer if you're quick enough coating all the chicken pieces.
Fry the chicken in one or two batches for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the meat. My version took about 5 minutes.
Line a plate with kitchen towel and transfer the chicken over. Once the excess oil has been absorbed by the kitchen towel, transfer the karaage to a serving dish and squeeze some Japanese mayo on the side.
Dust with cayenne pepper and serve with lemon wedge.
Worth the effort, worth the oil - two bottles of vegetable oil.
Other Japanese food recipes:
- Japanese pork slices and Napa cabbage hot pot (豚バラと白菜の重ね鍋)
- Clay pot chicken rice with 20 days old pickled daikon (goodies from Kyoto, Japan)
- Potato salad - one good way to utilize leftover ingredients
- A new type of Japanese rice balls, not onigiri, but "onigirazu" (おにぎらず)
- Japanese curry nabe for two - to make it even better? Top it with an egg