Are you a collector? Or maybe a pack rat? I was looking at my recipes folder the other day and realized that, gasp....I'm a Chicken Karaage recipe pack rat. I've got at least a dozen different recipes for Chicken Karaage, Japanese Fried Chicken. I don't know how I got these recipes...god knows I'm not a "collector".......Though I come from a long line of pack rats, I consciously try not to be one. I can understand that living on an "island" with the possibility of shortages and strikes made having a back stock of necessities a requirement way back when....but sometimes it seemed like my Mom never threw anything away. I remember cleaning up after my Mom passed away back in the mid-nineties, and being amazed at the stuff she kept; jars of pennies, buttons("you never know you might need one "), a drawer full of pens - most not working(I never knew Tanoue's Saimin had pens), and even more touching, every single card; Birthday, Mother's Day, you name it, from the construction paper-crayon doodles of a first grader, to the silly one that played, or used to play, some silly tune. But among all those little things was about the equivalent of 2 cases of toilet paper stacked neatly, filling an entire closet(let's not get into spools of thread, or boxes of Kleenex). You know........just in case. I guess for previous generations, a modicum of hording was the norm.
So I thought I'd relieve that collection of notes and text files, at least by a bit, and post 2 of the Chicken Karaage recipes I have. The first is my standard recipe, the one I normally use, the second is one that I thought was a bit more interesting.....
Here's a photo of the first recipe.....
Looks like 2 recipes, doesn't it? It's actually the same recipe, but just to illustrate how changing one thing can change the entire dish.
This is the second recipe......
Looks kinda the same, but a bit different, doesn't it? I don't know where I got this recipe, but the oyster sauce gives the dish a different, albeit maybe a bit odd, umami sweetness, and the lemon juice adds a bit of tart sourness. Mixed with garlic and ginger......the Missus thought the flavor to be "strange". I think it need perhaps a bit more sweetness.......
1 1/2 - 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 1/2" cubes
1 1/2 cup potato starch
The Marinade (1):
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup mirin
3 TB Sake
1 TB finely grated ginger
4 cloves garlic finely minced
Togarashi to taste
a dash of Allspice/5 spice
Combine ingredients and marinade chicken for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken from marinade and drain.
Version 1 - Put 1 cup potato starch and 1 tsp baking powder into a pan or large bowl, add the chicken cubes and coat well.
Deep fry chicken in 350 degree vegetable oil until cooked and cubes are crisp and golden - drain and serve with lemon wedges.....
Combine marinade ingredients well; taste and adjust salt and pepper. Add chicken, mixing by hand and gently massaging sauce into chicken. Let sit about 10 minutes.
Coat chicken in potato starch. Deep fry in oil heated to 350 degrees, until lightly brown.
For an even more crunchy coat, use the double frying method, remove chicken when pieces float, let rest for 1 minute, and return to oil for about 30 seconds.
I hope you enjoyed the recipes. I can now put them away for a while, next to my folders of take-out menus, and my box of POGs..........