For more than 7,000 years, poultry has been a mainstay of the human diet. It is the most consumed animal protein around the world and there are endless, delicious ways to prepare poultry. Culinary Birds explores a number of traditions including staples of the American table such as the many variations of roast turkey, and just about everyone’s favorite-fried chicken!
Even other countries have their delicious versions of fried chicken. Below I have included a recipe from Culinary Birds that offers a Japanese twist on this beloved dish. Culinary Birds is available on Amazon.com and at bookstores throughout the country. I hope you’ll pick up a copy and ask me to sign it at one of the many events I have planned in the next few months. I’d love to meet you!
JAPANESE FRIED CHICKEN
Known as Kara-age this is a classic nibble sold all over Japan and especially at Izakayas, the Japanese bars that dot Tokyo’s nighttime foodscape. Instead of the thick flour based batters that have come from America, this chicken is traditionally marinated, dusted with potato starch and then beautifully and crisply fried. Its got everything you’d want in a bar snack: crispy, juicy, and salty.
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon sake (optional)
2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed through garlic press
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Vegetable oil for frying
3/4 cup potato or corn starch
Kosher or sea salt
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces. Combine the soy sauce, mirin, sake, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl, add the chicken and gently stir to coat the chicken. Marinate refrigerated for 30 minutes or so.
Add vegetable oil to a heavy, deep skillet to a depth of 1 inch or so. Heat to 360 degrees. Remove chicken from the marinade and dredge them in the potato starch, shaking to remove excess. Add chicken pieces in batches if necessary to the hot oil and cook turning occasionally until brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Drain chicken pieces on paper towels and season immediately with salt. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over.