Saturday, September 10, 2011
Foodbuzz Tastemaster: Kikkoman Karaage Coating Mix
One of my favorite sides with a bowl of udon is a plate of chicken karaage. Unlike Korean fried chicken, Japanese fried chicken is not inexplicably expensive. But if you're looking to save even more money, here's a box kit.
Karaage, at its simplest, is soy, ginger and garlic marinated meat or vegetable fried in potato starch and wheat flour. It's a comfort to see that's mostly what the ingredient list on the box consisted of.
Though Kikkoman suggests chicken too, I kept to the classic chicken. I happily noted that the recipe on the box suggests dark meat chicken thigh. Dark meat is certainly the preferred cut for something like this. And if you prefer white meat, you probably should stick to KFC and Popeye's.
The box contains two coating packets, each sufficient for 1 1/2 lbs of chicken. It's a simple shake and fry recipe. Though the serving instructions are to pan fry, and that's what I ended up doing, I imagine that a proper deep fry is really the way to go. In fact, the instructions are so simple, the recipe doesn't merit repeating here. Instead, in the future I think I'll try variations with vegetables like burdock, carrots, and sweet potato. I do have this note of caution however, the top picture of my chicken in the pan is overcrowded. It is imperative you leave enough space in the pan so that the coating comes out properly crisp instead of soggy or powdery.
The chicken fries quickly in two to four minutes. While Kikkoman suggests serving with Kikkoman banded ponzu, I thought the chicken was salty enough in the coating mix and went best with just a squeeze of lemon. Though it may not be traditional, a quick dust of Japanese shichimi red pepper gives the chicken a spicy kick while still keeping oriental in flavor.
*I received my Kikkoman Karaage Soy-Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program.