A bit before Christmas I bought a new recipe book, Tokyo Cult Recipes by Maori Murota. Emma spied my copy and I thought she might disappear back to Australia with it so bought her a copy too. A few times since then we’ve compared notes about what we’ve tried out of there.
One recipe that Emma raved about but I’d overlooked, was the one for fried chicken. So I tried it too – delicious!! Then a couple of days ago I decided to change it a bit to work with fish too. So, firstly the original recipe for fried chicken and then my suggestions on changes.
400-500g boneless and skinless chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
1 garlic clove, grated
2 cms piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp sesame oil
1½ tbsps soy sauce
1 tsp raw sugar
5 tbsps potato starch (available in the baking section in supermarkets or use cornflour)
1 tsp cinnamon
Freshly ground black pepper If the chicken thighs are small leave them whole, otherwise cut in half. Mix together all the rest of the ingredients whisking well so it isn’t lumpy. Add the chicken and leave to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
Pour a neutral tasting oil such as canola or rice bran into a frying pan or pot to a depth of about 3-4 cms. While the oil is heating stir the chicken in the batter as the potato starch will sink to the bottom.
When the oil is hot carefully add each piece of chicken to the pan. They’ll take about 5-6 minutes to cook. Turn once or twice to ensure the chicken is nicely browned and evenly cooked. To check if the chicken is cooked, pierce one piece with the tip of a knife and if the juices are clear, it’s done.
Drain on paper towels. As long as you’ve had the oil hot enough the chicken won’t have absorbed much oil at all. The batter should be crispy and quite dry, not greasy.
Serve with lemon wedges.
Second time around I changed the recipe a bit to work with fish. I used gurnard but any fish would be fine. It was also great. For some unknown reason the batter ended up thinner but that was fine with the fish. Next time if it’s thinner I’ll add some more potato starch. The fish only took about a minute to cook.
Replace the cinnamon with sumac, add a couple of good shakes of Japanese togarashi (red pepper mix available in the Japanese section of the supermarket) and the rind of a lemon.
Next time with chicken I’m going to replace the cinnamon with ½ tsp sweet smoked paprika and a good pinch of cayenne pepper or chilli powder. Another time I’ll try ground cumin. As you can tell it’s a very versatile recipe!! Serve with a vegetable salad.