I have a new obsession. Karaage, a Japanese version of fried chicken. For todays recipe I made them into onigiri and ate them with miso glazed eggplant.
Usually I made onigiri, Japanese rice balls, with homemade tuna salad. Looking for something new to try, I came across Just Bento’s list of onigiri fillings. The chicken karaage caught my eye. It seemed easy to make and the ingredients are easily available.
For the karaage I chose No Recipes recipe. To include some vegetables I also made some grilled eggplants with a miso glaze. I had tried this dish before and wasn’t satisfied with the results. This time it worked.
- Ingredients for the karaage:
- 1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
- 1 clove of garlic, grated
- 2 Tbs soy sauce
- 1 Tbs sake
- 2 ts sugar
- 1/2 – 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
- Corn starch
- Tonkatsu sauce or HP brown sauce
- (Japanese) mayonaise
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
Mix the grated ginger and garlic with the soy sauce, sugar and sake. Cut the chicken thighs into 1 inch pieces. Mix the chicken with the marinade and chill in the fridge for an hour.
Coat the chicken in corn starch. The original recipe uses 1/3 cup of potato starch, but corn starch is a good substitute. I probably used a bit more than 1/3 cup.
Heat about 1-2 inches of oil in a high enough pan to prevent the oil from spilling. Heat until 360°F/180°C and fry the chicken in small batches until golden. Drain on paper towel.
When all the chicken pieces have been fried once, it’s time to fry them the second time. This can be done in slightly larger batches. Fry until nicely browned, but not too dark. Drain on paper towel.
The second fry gives them a crunchier crust which will stay crisp longer.
You could use chicken breast, but thigh meat gives a more flavorful and juicy result. I use about 2 chicken thighs per serving.
The karaage is done and can be served on it’s own with a wedge of lemon or with a tonkatsu sauce and Kewpie mayo dip. I like the karaage hot or cold.
- Ingredients to make the onigiri:
- 1 cup sushi rice
- 1 1/2 cup water
For the onigiri I measure 1 cup of rice per 2 servings. Wash the sushi rice thoroughly, drain for an hour. Bring to a boil with 1 1/2 cup of water, put on the lid, set on the lowest heat and let it steam for 15 minutes.
You don’t need to season the rice for onigiri like you would with sushi. Set to cool slightly so it’s easier to handle.
Put a piece of cling film in a small bowl, spread with a fairly tin layer of rice, place a piece of karaage in the middle and wrap the rice around it using the cling film. Turn the ball in your hands and lightly press the rice to hold it’s shape. Remove from the cling film and make the next ball.
- Ingredients for the eggplant:
- 1-2 small eggplants
- 2 Tbs miso
- 1 Tbs suiker
- 1 Tbs mirin
- 1 Tbs sake
- Vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 390°F/200°C. Wash the eggplant and cut into approximately 2/3 inch slices. Brush with oil.
Cover a baking sheet or rack with tin foil and place the slices on top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes or until lightly colored and soft. Turn halfway through cooking.
Mix the rest of the ingredients.
Brush the top of the eggplant slices with the miso mixture. Turn the oven to broil and grill the eggplant in the top of the oven until nicely browned. Keep an eye on it, so it wont burn!
The eggplant recipe was inspired by Adam winner of MasterChef Australia.
Serve with the rest of the karaage and some tonkatsu sauce or HP brown sauce and Kewpie mayo.
A week ago I made this this for the first time. I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind ever since. Today I made some more karaage and served it with steamed rice and stir fried bok choy seasoned with soy sauce, delicious!