Sunday, March 7, 2010

Guest Chef makes Karaage Chicken

Karaage Chicken
Home Cooking


I LOVE eating stuff made by friends. Not only is it great because you know they put in effort, there's a novelty factor for me too. Everyone has their own way of doing things and it's interesting to see what little tricks and methods they employ that's different from your own approach.

The amusing thing is I have had so many people tell me they don't want to cook for me or recommend me restaurants. Their excuse is that I write a food blog and therefore must be like Matt Preston's protege (i.e. tentatively nibble on a morsel of food before screwing up face in concentration and delivery a molecular-level taste analysis). That is so, so very far from the truth.


Before I start preaching about my ability to enjoy all standards of food (well, unless it's basically inedible), I'll jump back to the point. One of my closest friends from uni, a fellow food-lover, joined our cooking party yesterday. She decided to make karaage chicken (or perhaps, it was me who demanded she make it).

Karaage chicken
Serves 4 (my estimate; based on the fact that 4 of us finished the plate)


Ingredients:

  • 500-600g chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sake rice wine (we used plum wine)
  • corn starch for coating
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • to serve: lemon wedges and Japanese mayonnaise

Procedure:


1. Mix ginger, soy sauce, and sake in a bowl. Marinate chicken pieces in the sauce for 30 minutes.2. Coat chicken with corn starch.3. Heat oil in a skillet. Test the oil to make sure it's hot. Deep fry chicken until brown.4. Serve hot with lemon wedges and Japanese mayo.


We worked through this recipe pretty slowly for the sake of conversation and casual enjoyment. The steps are pretty easy but for us, the biggest bottleneck in the time management of the process was that we didn't have a lot of oil so we used the smallest saucepan to fry. The plan was to do the chicken in batches but it ended up being a continuous production line of chicken.

Hard at work

Initially, the chicken wasn't coming out that crispy but I think that must have been because the oil wasn't hot enough or because we took the chicken out prematurely because final pieces had a gorgeous color and were definitely more crisp.

The chicken could probably benefit from increased marination. Our chicken pieces were cute and small and to me, were a bit like karaage popcorn chicken.

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