Thursday, July 9, 2009

Make Dinner, Not Nuclear War

This post goes out to my co-worker, Josh. Josh is half Korean, but was raised in the booming metropolis of Luverne, AL, and therefore, 100% country (Josh, I love ya, man. You know work would be 10x more lame if you weren’t here). Anyways, Josh says the only Korean food he’d ever try is his grandmother’s, but I bet he’d like this, too.

This recipe is from Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee’s Quick & Easy Korean Cooking (via the May issue of Gourmet magazine) and just like Gourmet’s writer, I was surprised it used ONE CUP of cornstarch!!! Also, the thought of ketchup in Asian food doesn’t really get me excited, but if you think about it, ketchup is just tomatoes, sugar, vinegar and spices. That doesn’t sound too freaky, right?? **

Korean Seasoned Fried Chicken
3 chicken breasts, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces (yes, there were leftovers)
½ onion, grated
1 clove garlic, minced (with my handy new SLAP CHOP!!)
1 large egg
1 C cold water
1 C cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable Oil (I added some Sesame Oil)
3 Tbs Korean chile paste (I used Sriracha)
5 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs ketchup
2 Tbs toasted sesame seeds
Juice of ½ lemon (I forgot to get a lemon, so I substituted ½ C of OJ – I realize this totally changes the flavor, but in a good way)

First I marinated the chicken with the onion and garlic for about 30 minutes in the fridge. While the chicken was marinating, I made the sauce/glaze by combining Sriracha, sugar, ketchup, sesame seeds, and OJ in two separate bowls. Since the pregnant LOML is extra sensitive to strongly spiced foods, I made one bowl without the Sriracha, and one with (PS – If you do use the Sriracha, you will get a tasty sauce, but it has some HEAT!!). I added a little soy sauce and garlic powder to hers to help “Asian” it up.

For the batter/breading, you combine the egg, water, cornstarch, salt, and pepper together until just moist. I’m not sure how to combine until “just moist” because my batter was completely wet. Was there a phantom dry ingredient I missed??

After the chicken had marinated, and the sauce and batter complete, I heated the vegetable/sesame oil over medium heat, until a drop of water sizzled. Then I dumped the chicken pieces into the cornstarch mixture, and dropped them in the hot oil, making sure the pieces didn’t touch each other.

I imagined the batter would cling to the chicken a little better to make light and crispy breaded chicken, but honestly a lot of the batter came off in the frying pan. Maybe I should have kept that deep fryer JD gave me two years ago??? Anyhow, basically you fry the chicken on both sides (maybe 10-12 minutes total) and then drain on a paper towel. Afterwards, toss the chicken with your sauce and BOOM, dinner is served.

** Speaking of freaky, did anyone ever see that Kids in the Hall sketch where the two guys ate nothing but Kraft Macaroni & cheese and ketchup?? Now that made me a little queasy . . .


MIMI said...

That looks and sounds quite tasty. Might I suggest a few plain Panko crumbs in that breading process? I love the title of this, your latest blog!

LA girl said...

Nice post. Happy to know that one of my readers eats ethnic food. Looking forward to getting to know you on the blog (ilovepublix). Have a great day.