Karaage Chicken, Kimchi Omelette, Miso Beans & Other Awesome Things To Put In Your Face

karaage chicken
I really can’t be assed ironing the table cloth, and there is no way I can convince Jennee to do it, so if anyone is ever keen give me a call…

I work with a chap who has spent time in Japan and is trying to school me in the ways of correct pronunciation of Japanese words. Or one Japanese word to be more precise; karaage. I have told him numerous times that I have enough problems as it is with the English language, so I do not have the surplus time to put effort into another language. But why karaage? Karaage, however it is that you pronounce it, is without a doubt my new favourite chicken. It is Jennee’s new favourite chicken, too. And, as it is gluten free, she can eat it and not have to pay it back ten fold with a currency of stomach pains and cramps, and an annoying moan, like that of an old gypsy woman dying slowly in the corner. While we’re on the subject of whose favourite chicken this is, it is also the favourite chicken of our children, Seba and Obi, as it is fried and we eat it with mayonnaise. I think that was all it took. They really are shallow little younglings sometimes… So, when facey told me it was my lovely Jennee’s birthday this past weekend, the product of my cerebral activity declared I should be making that chicken for her birthday dinner. Lesser self tried to argue for a moment, suggesting maybe we should buy her flowers and perfume. Smart brains brought to self’s attention that we were already surrounded by a country shows worth of flower display and also noted the place had started to look like someone had just awoken from a three year coma… Finally, after a brief melee, self agreed that we would be cooking that chicken tonight… But we would give her some other really awesome shit too (don’t worry. I had this shit sorted). If you kept up with that monologue you are doing a mighty fine job and the human race should be proud of you… and, you’re welcome to date my sister, I might add.

dusty, dusty
dusty, dusty
Hot oil bath
Hot oil bath
That chicken, that work, the knowledge that there is a good time a brewin'
That chicken, that work, the knowledge that there is a good time a brewin’
Just one more chicken snap
Just one more chicken snap
OK, last one, I promise
OK, last one, I promise

KARAAGE FRIED CHICKEN (for 8 peeps as part of a feast) 1kg boneless chicken thigh fillets*, skin on if possible 3 cloves garlic, finely grated 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger ½ cup light soy sauce 2 tablespoons mirin 2 cups potato flour (potato flour is the business for this fried chicken but if you seriously can’t find it use rice or corn flour) Oil, for deep-frying A pinch of salt, sliced shallots/spring onions/scallions and lemon wedges to serve • Combine all ingredients except potato flour and mix thoroughly. Marinate for 30 minutes • Put flour into a large bowl. Remove chicken pieces from marinade one at a time and coat with flour. Really get it in there and give it a damn good coat. Don’t leave a bare assed bit of skin any where on that piece of bird. This coating is going to be the crispy goodness that will in turn delight your mouth as the chicken prances between your teeth and your tongue, as you shatter the brittle love about the place • Heat the oil in a large saucepan or wok to 180°C. Dust excess flour from the chicken, and place the chicken into the oil. Deep-fry for 1 minute. Transfer the chicken to a rack and rest for 30 seconds • Return the chicken to the oil and fry for another 1 minute, and then rest on a rack for another 30 seconds • Return the chicken to the oil and fry for a third and final minute, and then rest for 1-2 minutes in a warm place • Serve it up with or with out a heap of good shit. We had mushroom and kimchi omelette (recipe below), more kimchi, cucumber kimchi (yeah we like it spicy, OK? If you think the dinner table has some heat in it you should see our bedroom! Winky smiley face), wakame salad and miso asparagus and beans (recipe below). Oh lordy lordy

I ate a lot of this omelette
I ate a lot of this omelette
The garnish alone is enough to give me an errection
The garnish alone is enough to give me an errection

KIMCHI, MUSHROOM & BACON OMELETTE (for 8 as part of a feast) This is a relatively simple omelette that I’m sure even you could make. Shit gets real with the different garnishes giving your face a one-way ticket to flavour town. A smaller version of this is also a cracking breakfast, don’t be doubting. 1 large handful of bacon, chopped 1 large handful of kimchi (I will post a kimchi recipe real soon folks), sliced 2 large handfuls of mushrooms, sliced 10 eggs, lightly whisked Oil Light soy sauce, Japanese mayo, crisp fried shallots, sliced shallots and toasted sesame seeds to serve • Sauté bacon and mushrooms for a few minutes to soften. Set aside • Heat oil in a 25cm skillet/pan over medium-high heat. Add egg mix followed by kimchi, bacon and mushrooms • Cook for 2-3 minutes. Don’t touch it. While that is going on heat your grill (broiler) • I like to flip the omelette in view of a pretty girl because I am convinced this makes me appear fucking awesome. Do that if you have the minimals, but it is a darn sight easier (and safer) to take the pan from stove top and place under the grill for 4-5 minutes until just cooked through • To turn out place a plate over the top of the pan and, with your hand firmly securing the plate to the pan, invert the whole damn lot. Remove he pan and the plate should be holding a sexy assed looking omelette… or possibly some tasty assed scrambled eggs • Either way, garnish with a few drops of soy sauce, Japanese mayo, a handful of crisp fried and fresh shallots, and toasted sesame MISO BEANS & ASPARAGUS (for 8 as part of a feast) Too busy eating to get a photo of these, soz. They were damn tasty though… 300-400g green beans, trimmed 1 bunch asparagus, woody ends trimmed and cut in half 2 tablespoons miso 1 teaspoon castor sugar 1 tablespoon rice wine ½ teaspoon light soy sauce A splash of sesame oil 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds to serve • Combine all ingredients except beans and asparagus, and whisk until smooth and dressing-like consistency. Add a splash of water if it is too thick • Boil or steam beans and asparagus for 2-3 minutes • Strain, add to dressing and toss to coat • Top with sesame seeds and serve *I have previously used boneless thigh for this but this time I used thigh and leg pieces and it worked really effing well. I gave them 10 minutes in a medium oven after frying just to be sure they job was done

…and follow that up with a great soup and throwing-of-the-glove by Pauly

PAUL’S CAUL

Supposedly I’m meant to write about food.

Word on the street is I’m meant to be writing about food… maybe I have a tendency to get a little carried away with a rant here and an opinion there, but I figured that’s why you love me. Now it has also come to my attention that Graeme and I may very well be writing this purely for ourselves as I have no evidence that any of you are real. So I’d like to conduct a small experiment, I will write this blog chock-a-block full of food goodness with a recipe to finish it. But I want photographic evidence that someone has actually cooked something at least similar to my recipe.

Have we got a deal?

Well have we?

What’s that, this is not what you signed up for and would prefer that I stop pretending I’m having a discussion with you… fair enough.

So lets walk over to the fridge and see what’s in there for us to use, hopefully by now this small exercise doesn’t end with you looking at a few cans of beer, some margarine, a withered half lemon and a chunk of poorly glad wrapped cheese which by all accounts is more closely related to wood rather than a dairy product.

Lets just pretend that’s there is a few onions, some celery and a couple of other veggie’s (you should always have onions and celery). What we are going to make is a soup. For me a soup is such a brilliant way to get involved in the kitchen, it teaches you so many basic cooking techniques that can be used in a variety of other areas of the kitchen.

Just about every soup starts of the same way, with a couple of onions and a few sticks of celery sweat off in either oil or butter with a pinch of salt…

Now I’m not going to go through the whole recipe here, what I want to do is get the overall concept to you and later I’ll write down a recipe for you, but by then you shouldn’t need one…

Back to the pot, simply whack in whatever is in the fridge (no not the half lemon and wood cheese) I mean a zucchini or a sweet potato, left over cauliflower, a couple of rashers of bacon and some tomatoes. You can even spread your gathering as far as the cupboard and grab some tinned corn, tomatoes or beans… there is literally so much scope when searching for soup ingredients.

Just make sure you stick to a few flavours and don’t get to carried away, and if it’s so old you weren’t going to eat it, don’t think boiling it will magically make it better.

Now for some flavor, this is the best part of the process, this can make or break the soup, your flavouring arsenal should consist of spices, herbs, stocks even vinegars… but most importantly you must never forget the salt and pepper. And if in doubt finish with some cream, that stuff makes everything taste better.

Here’s one of my favourite soups for you to have a crack at…

Now don’t forget I require feedback, do you like the recipe? Would you like me to talk more about world politics? Is it rants you want about random topics?

We aren’t mind readers… or are we???

No, we’re definitely not.

Potato, mushroom, leek and miso

2 onions sliced
2 sticks of celery sliced
2 cloves of garlic
1 large leek sliced
1 ½ cups mushrooms sliced
4 potatoes peeled & sliced
1 tablespoon miso
5 sprigs of thyme (leaves removed and stalks disguarded)
2 litres of chicken stock or veg stock
1 cup white wine
1 cup pouring cream
50g butter
50ml olive oil
Salt
White pepper
• Place butter and oil in a medium sized pot, add the onion, leek and celery with a pinch of salt and cook until they start to caramelize…
• Add the garlic, miso, thyme and white wine and then reduce wine by half…
• Add the potatoes and stock then simmer for an hour or until the potatoes are soft…
• Blend the soup with a stick blender and add cream, check seasoning and pass through a strainer…
• Serve immediately with heaps of crusty bread and butter.