October 9, 2013

Soy sauce Fried Chicken

In the early period of living in Boston, my husband and I hosted a Japanese food party for his classmates (my husband was in grad school in Boston.) I made this Soy fried chicken for 50 guests. Although it was time-consuming to cut and fry so much chicken, it was a great success, and some guests asked me for the recipe.
Japanese fried chicken is marinated with garlic, ginger, sake, and soy sauce, and dredged with flour or starch, and deep fried. We call Japanese fried chicken “Karaage”.

“Karaage” has existed since Samurai era, and it has become a traditional dish. “Karaage” is the No.1 dish children want their moms to cook. Actually, my brother and I often fought over the fried chicken. The size of “Karaage” is easy to eat while drinking beer, so that it’s also popular among dads in Japan.

On a side note, when KFC opened its first branch in Japan, they were anxious if their fried chicken would be popular in Japan where there was already a fried chicken culture. Today now KFC is a great success ; )

Anyway, all Japanese pursues how to cook perfect “Karaage” once in their lifetime, including me. I inherited my mom‘s skill, and I did a lot of research for a long time by reading cookbooks, and interviewing many chefs. I’ve gotten four tips so far.
① Remove the fat completely. Don’t be lazy!
② Marinate for 15 minutes.
  (Salt permeates into chicken in 15 min)
Don’t over fry.
(Fry chicken for 1min/side and let it rest for 5min to continue cooking)
Fry twice [first fry + rest + second fry]
   (Liquid absorbs into flour from chicken at the first frying, and the liquid is released from the flour at the second frying. This makes the fried chicken crispy not soggy)
In addition, I prefer lighter fried chicken so I don’t use eggs. If you are a “karaage” beginner, you may want to try this recipe!!

soy sauce fried chicken
By Natsuko Kure • October 9, 2013

Serves 2-3
1 pound chicken thigh, remove the fat, cut into bite-size pieces
2TBSP sake
1 TBSP soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger, grated
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
3 TBSP corn starch
Salad oil for frying

1. To marinade
In a large ziploc bag, add chicken, sake, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, salt, and pepper. Knead the ziploc bag to marinade evenly. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes*.

2. Open the bag, and add corn starch. Shake it to coat evenly and aerate.

3. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 inches of salad oil to 350 . Fry the chicken for 1 minute per side**. Remove the chicken to a tray. Let it rest for 5 minutes***. Return the chicken to the skillet, and fry for 30 second on both sides to make chicken crispier.

4. Drain on paper towels and serve.

Additional Notes:
*you can keep in refrigerator up to overnight.
**Don’t overcrowd your pan to keep oil temperature.
***while resting the chicken, continues cooking.

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