Japanese Crispy Fried Chicken (唐揚げ, 日式酥脆炸鸡块)

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INTRODUCTION

Whenever I frequented Japanese restaurants, as I can’t, seriously, I can’t take any raw food, I have not much choices but ordered cooked dishes like Katsudon, Unagi Don, Ramen and this Karaage. When I first tried this dish, I immediately fell in love with it..

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I loved the chicken dish because of its strong ginger flavour.. In fact, it reminded me of my mum’s fried fish that uses ginger juices as one of the main marinating ingredients..

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The chicken is crispy, full of ginger aroma, crispy outside and slightly sweet. I can never missed this snack or appetizer item when I dined in Japanese restaurant..

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Per Wikipedia:

“Karaage (唐揚げ or 空揚げ or から揚げ [kaɽaaɡe]) (approximately kah-rah-ah-ge in English), is a Japanese cooking technique in which various foods — most often chicken, but also other meat and fish — are deep fried in oil. Small pieces of the food are marinated in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, and/or ginger, then lightly coated with a seasoned wheat flour or potato starch mix, and fried in a light oil — similar to the preparation of tempura.”

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Reading Wikipedia’s definition, I am unsure why most recipes have implied that karaage is fried chicken. But as per Wikipedia, it applies to all fried foods such as octopus, fish and etc.. Well, for purpose of this post, I will also assumed that karaage is fried chicken as well.

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Preparation of the dish is definitely not difficult.. The combination of spices and herbs will definitely suits the taste buds of most, if not all Malaysian and Singaporeans.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

Recipe adapted from : Karaage

Servings: About  3-4 adult servings

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  • 500 grams of chicken tights or drumsticks cut into 2-3 cm cubes
  • 10 cloves of garlics
  • 5 cm long ginger
  • 2 tablespoons of sake
  • 3 tablespoons of Japanese light soya sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of potatoes starch
  • Salt to taste
  • Dashes of white pepper

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Pound or grate the ginger and garlic until fine. Add it to the chicken cubes. Add sake, Japanese light soya sauce, sugar and pinches of salt. Stir until well mixed. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

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  • Get ready a bowl and place the potato starch and white pepper. Coat the marinated chicken pieces with these dry starches. Heat up a pot of hot oil, deep fry the chicken cubes under medium heat until the exterior is golden brown.

CONCLUSION

This is a simple recipe yet produces great taste. While it is authentic to use Japanese ingredients, if you do not have Sake and the Japanese light soya sauce, you can try to substitute with Chinese cooking wine and light soya sauce. Do give it a try..

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Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.

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I Am Confused If This Is A Japanese Cuisine–Japanese Seaweed Chicken Nuggets

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INTRODUCTION

I do not know if today’s post is a real and authentic Japanese cuisine, but it was marketed and sold in Singapore supermarkets as Japanese Crispy Chicken with Seaweed. I have this doubt because I can’t seem to locate any exact recipe on this ready made chicken nuggets dish.. Neither can I find the Japanese name to it. That made me wonder if this dish is just a special dish created by some company and marketed under the name Japanese Crispy Chicken with Seaweed. However, for my post, I will call it JAPANESE SEAWEED CHICKEN NUGGETS.

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Pardon me to be not humble, I believed I have managed to replicate what I have eaten and the similarity are closed to 80% with the ready made version sold in supermarkets. Because of this dish, I have purposely bought the Japanese seaweed Nori, Japanese rice wine Mirin and Japanese soya sauce Shoyu for the preparation.

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Nori is a type of dried seaweed in the form of a flat sheet and usually used for the wrapping of sushi rolls. Mirin is a type of Japanese rice wine which is sweet but with less alcoholic content. If you asked me, personally I would prefer Mirin than the traditional Chinese cooking wine like Shaoxing wine. As for the soya sauce, these Japanese soya sauces have their unique taste and it is hard for me to describe with my limited English vocabularies, but it resembles the unique soya sauce usually served for the dipping of Sushi. Sorry for my ignorance on Japanese cuisine ingredients as most Japanese packaging do not have English wordings.. However, I am very very familiar with the taste of these chicken nuggets as it is my kids’ favourite and at times, it was served as party snacks.

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Making this is definitely not difficult at all but a bit laborious. The ingredients are minimal and the steps are simple. However, for a guy of more than 80 kg, doing this is a “tough” job for me because it needs a bit of patience, neatness and artwork.. I am not good at these.. I admit but I am sure a lot of house chefs are able to do better than me.

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WHAT IS REQUIRED

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  • 500 grams of chicken drumstick meats, boneless and cut into 5cm x 2cm size (note below)

  • 2 cm of gingers, de-skinned

  • 5 cloves of garlics

  • 2 tablespoons of Japanese light soya sauce, Shoyu

  • 2 tablespoons of Japanese rice wine, Mirin 0r Sake

  • 2 teaspoons of sugar

  • 3 tablespoons of corn flour or potatoes flour

  • 5 pieces of Japanese seaweeds sheet, Nori. cut into 3cm x 4cm (approximate)

  • adequate corn flour or potatoes flour for coating.

  • adequate oils for deep frying the the chicken nuggets

Note: In this illustration, I have used both meats from the drumsticks and chicken fillets but subsequently, I found that drumstick meats are more suitable for the dish and the texture is better like those ready made version.

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STEPS OF PREPARATION

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  • Either pound the ginger and garlic in a mortar or blend it using the food processor until fine. Squeeze the juice and transfer to a plastic container. Add  in cut chicken meat, Japanese soya sauce, Japanese rice wine, corn flour or potatoes flour and sugar. Stir well and marinate for at least 1-2 hours.

  • Meanwhile, get ready another container, put adequate corn flour or potato starch. Set aside for the next step.

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  • In a flat surface, put a piece of the cut Nori or Japanese seaweed. Take out a piece of marinated chicken  nugget and coat with some corn flour and place on top of the Japanese seaweed. Roll the chicken nuggets with the seaweed. You can put 2 smaller pieces and when fried, the meat will glue together.

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  • In a frying pan, heat up adequate oils for deep frying the nuggets. Put a wooden chopstick and test whether the oil is hot enough for frying. If bubbles start to emit from the wooden chopsticks, it mean oil is ready for frying.

  • Take a seaweed wrapped nugget, hold the seaweed portion, coat both sides of the chicken nuggets with additional corn flour (refer 4th picture above). Deep fried until the chicken is golden brown in colour. In the process of deep frying, turn the chicken nuggets to ensure that it is evenly  fried. The process is relatively fast since the nuggets are quite small in size. If you find that you cannot it handle it, turn to low or medium heat and when  the colour is about right, increased to high heat and take out the seaweed chicken nuggets. This is to prevent the oil flow back to the chicken nuggets when the oil is not hot enough. 

  • Drain and put it on pieces of  oil absorbing papers. Let it completely cool before serving.

  • Best served as a party snack or a side dish and suggested dip is Japanese mayonnaise or Thai sweet chilli sauce.

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CONCLUSION

I am very happy that throughout the dinner, my wife and my daughter who did not see me preparing this are not aware that these nuggets were prepared by me. I asked them is the chicken nuggets nice, they said is normal. My wife then asked me, is there any promotion on? If not, why am I buying this? I told them that these nuggets were prepared by me and they looked in slight disbelief and casually remarked, “Well, next time we can save some money and need not to buy the nuggets from the supermarkets!” In Singapore, as at to date, it costs about S$13.95 for about 850 grams of these nuggets and the cost of preparing 500 grams of these chicken nuggets is definitely less than S$5 as the Japanese ingredients used were minimal.

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May be you should try preparing it  too. For those readers who have difficulty to get Japanese cooking ingredients, you can always substitute with Chinese cooking wine, Chinese light soya sauce and without the use of seaweeds. I can assure that it will still be a hit in your dinners or parties.

Hope you like the post today and cheers.

For more recipes, you can refer to my RECIPE INDEX here and you can follow me at PINTEREST or visit this blog’s FACEBOOK PAGE.

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