Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Chicken kara-age – my take on the perfect dish for alfresco dining


TT does cook every now and then and this is one of her favourite snacks. 

Much as I love to eat out there is only so often that I can do it without breaking the bank. Luckily for me I do like cooking and I love checking out new recipes online. One of my online resources is the recipes section of Schwartz, the spice specialist which offers an array of interesting international recipes. I usually run out of ideas of how to cook chicken, one of the most readily available meats from the supermarket and it helps that Schwartz has a section dedicated to chicken recipes. Classified according to the level of difficulty and the time required, it is really easy to find something that is your idea of a meal.

I am thus very chuffed that Schwartz has invited me to share a recipe with my readers. The first recipe that comes to my mind is my take on chicken kara-age (deep fried chicken bites). It is a Japanese dish with apparently Chinese recipe origins. It is my go to recipe when I have guests as the ingredients are readily available these days and it takes around 30 minutes to prepare. Who could possibly resist fried chicken? I know I can never! They are perfect for that alfresco meal in the sun with lemonade.

Ingredients

4 chicken thighs (deboned and cut into 2 inch strips) 1 tsp soy sauce 1 tbsp cooking sake (if not available, substitute with mirin or white wine) 1 tbsp Schwartz ground ginger 4 tbsp cornstarch Vegetable oil for frying.


Instructions

Marinate the chicken with the soya sauce, sake, ginger and place them in the in the fridge. Chilling also dries them up thus minimising spitting when it comes to frying.

chicken karaage recipe

You can use breast meat instead of thigh meat but I think thigh meat gives the best results. If you are rushing for time, thirty minutes will do though I think you might even get away with just ten minutes!

chicken karaage recipe

Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat them dry. Dredge the chicken pieces in the cornstarch. Flick the excess cornstarch off. Fill a sauce pan with enough oil to come up to half the height of the chicken pieces.

Heat the oil on medium heat. You would know that it is hot enough when a bread crumb sizzles and turns golden in the oil.

chicken karaage recipe

Drop the chicken pieces in the oil. Be careful! The oil might spit! Cook the chicken in batches until they turn golden brown on both sides. Make sure you do not overcrowd the pan (and that you do not finish up one batched of fried goodness in the name of testing while waiting for the other batch to cook!). I find that 3 to 4 minutes on each side suffice to give that golden crumbly texture.

chicken karaage recipe

Serve with mayo, salad leaves and lemon wedges. While a squeeze from the lemon does moisten the otherwise crisp chicken chunks, it does give them the zingy taste. And the salad makes it a healthy meal or so I tell myself. Yum!

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