I’ve been a fan of David Chang since I saw him eating raw ramen noodles sprinkled with instant noodle powder in Mind of a Chef. One of the dishes I’ve always wanted to try at Momofuku is the caviar and fried chicken. I’ve never been to New York with enough people, or enough money for that matter. So this feast always seemed out of reach.
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Throwback someday to that time I couldn’t find @baohausnyc the day I’d planned to, so I ‘had to’ 👀 eat there and at @momolongplay Ssäm Bar during the same lunch and then Momofuku had octopus on the menu so I had to get that as well as some pork belly. 🐙🐷🤤 . De laatste keer New York, alweer bijna twee en een half jaar geleden. 🗽
Lady and Pups: Goddess of Aggressive Umami
But then I saw Lady and Pups post about her fried chicken and salmon roe. Of course! You can make this shit at home. And personally. I prefer salmon roe over caviar anyway, though that might be because I’ve never had the real deal. Either way making something like this at home means you can tweak it to suit your personal preferences.
For those of you who don’t know Lady and Pups, she is by far my favorite food blogger. All her recipes pack a punch and a lot of my cooking is inspired by her. She’s actually got a book coming out this fall, called The Art of Escapism Cooking and I can’t wait to get my hands on it (no spon, just love here, including a polite reminder to get it from anywhere but Amazon).
That said, I’m much more of a lazy cook than she is, so I just pulled together my own version of this dish.
Tokyo Cult Recipes
I got my recipe for kara-age from Maori Murota‘s Tokyo Cult Recipes and used Kewpie mayo (extra delicious because the addition of MSG) with either salmon or trout roe, depending on what I can afford and what my fish monger has laying around at the time.
Of course you can also just have the chicken with some rice and pickled cucumber. But if you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Kara-age with ikura and Kewpie mayo
- 500 gr chicken thigh boneless, skin off, cut into 4 cm strips
- oil for deep frying
- 1 egg
- 1 clove garlic finely grated
- 2 cm ginger peeled and finely grated
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp cane sugar plain will suffice if that's what you've got
- 5 tbsp potato starch corn starch also works in a pinch
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Kewpie mayo to taste
- salmon roe trout roe or caviar work fine as well
- 1 egg soft-boiled, optional
- Mix together the egg, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy, sugar, potato starch, cinnamon and pepper. Add the strips of chicken and leave to marinade for about 30 minutes while you heat the oil to about 180 degrees Celsius.
- Be sure to set up a plate or shallow dish with kitchen towels to move your chicken to once you're done frying.
- Now, stir the chicken and marinade thoroughly before you fry the chicken in batches. The starch can sink to the bottom of the marinade and the chicken really needs a good layer of properly mixed marinade/ batter to crisp up.
- Depending on the size of your fryer, fry the chicken in small batches until golden brown and crisp. My fryer holds about 3 pieces at a time. Move to the kitchen towel lined plate while you fry up the remainder of your chicken. Finish the fried chicken with some more good quality freshly ground salt.
- Plate this however you want. You can either serve all the strips of chicken on a big tray, douse them in Kewpie in a zig-zag or stripe pattern or more Jackson Pollocky style pattern and then toss on all the salmon roe in one go, or serve individual portions on smaller plates, mayhaps with a soft boiled egg, or get on the safe side and serve the chicken, roe and Kewpie separately, and let your dinners 'build their own'. Either way you're in for a very good time.
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