Karaage (Japanese-style deep-fried chicken) is one of the most common items you’ll fi nd in a typical Japanese lunchbox. My mother always makes karaage with lots of ginger. You can also make a delicious version by adding a pinch of curry powder, powdered almonds or sliced almonds to the batter. You can easily find frozen karaage at most supermarkets, but I recommend making it from scratch as it’s so easy to do.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 14 1⁄3 oz (400 g) Cooked Japanese short grain rice
- 1 tsp Salt
- 4 Nori seaweed sheets
- 1 tbsp Japanese soy sauce (shoyu)
- 1 tbsp Sake
- 1 tsp Mirin
- 4 cm Ginger (11/2-in) knob, peeled and grated
- 5 1⁄3 oz (150 g) Boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size cubes
- 3 tbsp Potato starch
- Freshly ground black pepper a pinch
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Prepare karaage. Put soy sauce, sake, mirin and ginger in a small bowl and mix well.
- Add chicken and leave to marinate for 20–30 minutes.
- Combine potato starch and black pepper in a resealable bag and shake to mix well. Put marinated chicken in the bag and shake the bag to coat the chicken thoroughly. Take chicken out of the bag and shake off any excess potato starch.
- Heat oil for deep-frying and cook chicken until golden brown and crisp. Drain well on kitchen towels and set aside to cool.
- To make onigiri, scoop one-quarter of the rice into a rice bowl. Make a 2-cm (1-in) indentation in the rice with your fi nger and add some deep-fried chicken.
- Wet your hands and spread a pinch of salt on your palms and fi ngers. Transfer the rice to your hands and gently press rice 2–3 times and shape into a ball. Make sure the fi lling is completely covered with rice. Wrap nori around rice ball as desired. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.