Well, there’s a first time for everything… and I do believe that this is the first deep-fried recipe to make its way onto Gather & Graze. Karaage Chicken (a Japanese dish) has lately become a family favourite, particularly when made into burgers with brioche-style milk buns, lettuce leaves and a dollop or two of chilli-kissed mayonnaise to bring it all together. It’s an occasional treat, due to its deep-fried nature… though I believe far better to make these dishes at home, from time to time, where you can ensure that the chicken is free-range/organic and to have an awareness of each and every ingredient going into the preparation.
4 Free-Range Chicken Thigh Fillets (cut into similar sized chunks)
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Sake
1 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
½ Cup Potato Starch
1 L (4 Cups) Vegetable Oil (for deep frying)
For the Dipping Sauce
125mls (½ Cup) Mayonnaise (I use Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise)
2 tsp Sriracha Chilli Sauce
I prefer to remove the chicken from the fridge about 1 hour before cooking, to allow it to come to room temperature.
Stir together the soy sauce, sake and grated ginger in a small bowl, then pour this along with the chicken thigh meat into a medium plastic zip-loc bag. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the meat, making sure that it’s all been coated. Place the bag to one side and allow to marinate for approximately 30 minutes before cooking.
Sift the potato starch into a shallow tray/dish. Allow any excess liquid to drip off the chicken pieces, before placing them into the potato flour and tossing to lightly coat. Tap off any excess and allow to sit for 5 minutes or so (which will give a better crust), while you heat the oil for frying.
Using a deep-fryer or a suitable pot (see notes below), heat the vegetable oil until it reaches about 180°C.
Without crowding the pot, cook the chicken pieces in batches. For a super crispy coating, I recommend frying the chicken 3 times. Start off by frying for 1 minute, then remove to a rack for about 30 secs. Fry again for 1 minute and then back on the rack for 30 secs. Repeat the process one more time. Please be careful while deep-frying to avoid any burns and do please also check to make sure that the chicken is fully cooked through, you may need slightly longer if the pieces are quite thick. Remove to a warmed oven and sprinkle with a little sea salt, while you fry the remaining batches.
Serve with a small bowl of Kewpie mayonnaise mixed with a little Sriracha (Thai Chilli Sauce)… perfect for dipping the Karaage chicken into. A ratio of about ½ Cup of mayonnaise to 2 tsp Sriracha gave just the right amount of heat for us.
My other serving suggestion is to make burgers with larger pieces of Karaage chicken (cooking time will be slightly longer). Find some soft milk buns, add some lettuce and a dollop of the above chilli mayonnaise and you’re all set for delicious home-made burgers. Our family LOVES them!
I have a Le Creuset (size 26) casserole pot which works really well for the occasional deep-frying. It’s just the right size to also hold a semi-circular rack (that came with my wok) on one side, which makes draining oil from the food all the easier. It also cleans up so much easier than other pots I’ve used in the past… just allow to cool completely, sieve the oil into a clean bottle to use again if you’re able to, and soak the pot for a few minutes in warm, soapy water before washing.
There are certain recipes on Gather and Graze that are posted primarily as a guide for my two teenage boys, who will one day leave the nest and find a need to not only cook for themselves, but perhaps for friends, or a loved one and even further down the track possibly children of their own. This is one of those recipes… Continue reading →
Pastitsio is a layered Greek pasta dish, in many ways similar to it’s rather delicious Italian cousin, lasagne. It works well with either minced beef or lamb, though my family unanimously prefers the beef version. If you’re unable to find the Greek Kefalotyri cheese, feel free to substitute with Parmesan. Hope you enjoy this gently-spiced pasta dish as much as we do! Continue reading →
My lovely Swedish friend recently lent me one of her baking cookbooks and I’ve been having a fabulous time translating recipes and learning the Swedish words for certain ingredients and cooking techniques. So far I’ve baked two cakes, as well as these delicious chocolate biscuits… all in the space of a week. They’re really quite easy to make and they taste just as wonderful as they look on the plate! Continue reading →
We’ve had something of an Indian Summer here in Canberra this year and it’s been absolutely glorious. For the first time ever, we may actually make it through to Anzac Day without having to turn the heating on… something Canberrans strive to achieve each year.
With the early evenings still warm enough to sit outside, this Prawn Paté worked a treat the other night. It was accompanied by a chilled glass or two of Bandol (Provençal) Rosé which, I’ve got to say, complemented the rosiness of the prawns perfectly. Continue reading →
The lemons in our garden are still a deep shade of green, but having almost reached a mature size, I catch myself daydreaming about what to do with them all once fully ripe. These lemon and poppyseed biscuits/cookies are a wonderful way of utilising some of the zest, while at the same time creating a beautiful, little treat to pair nicely with a cup of tea or coffee. Continue reading →
Over the phone, I listened rather enviously as my Mum proceeded to tell me recently that she had passionfruit coming out of her ears… thankfully not literally, just figuratively! Unfortunately, my parents live about 1300km north from where we live, so helping her out with this glut of fruit was not going to be an option. It did, however, jolt my memory of a delicious passionfruit ice cream that I’d made about a year ago. Continue reading →
There’s a certain novelty to eating outdoors in the form of a picnic. The vigorous shaking out of the much-loved blanket… ours, a tartan one, made all the more nostalgic having been received as a wedding gift decades ago from English friends unable to attend our wedding. And there’s room on that blanket for three, four, five, six… is it not true that however many people there might be, enough space can always be created? Coffee slurped out carefully into cups from a thermos or two… complementing both sweet and savoury offerings, centrally placed, spilling from tins or Tupperware or preferably both… giving the freedom to eat with one’s hands! Continue reading →
Finding the right balance of flavours when creating Asian dishes at home can sometimes be a challenge. So when this dish hit the spot with each and every member of the family, I figured it was definitely worthy of featuring on Gather and Graze. The amount of chilli is just enough to tingle on the tongue, without making eyes water and noses run… and the sauce generously coats the chicken and vegetables, without leaving a puddle of liquid on the bottom of the bowl. The two slightly unusual ingredients, Kecap Manisand Sambal Oelek, can be found in most good Asian grocery stores and in many everyday supermarkets here in Australia. I hope this is also the case for those who live overseas as well. Continue reading →
Eeek… remember me? Roughly a year and a half between posts and for that I am truly sorry! Hopefully some of you lovely people are still out there, graced with the ability to forgive (and not forget!) this lapsed food blogger. Continue reading →
It was our first year growing Broad Beans in the garden here in Canberra and they survived through the winter frosts beautifully to produce a surprising amount of pods that are just now becoming mature enough to pick. Mostly, I’ve been allowing them to reach about the 18-20cm mark, so that they can be shelled and the tender beans inside eaten raw, without peeling. For those that sneakily grow a little larger, I’m hoping to test out Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Spicy Broad Bean Fritters… which very much looks like falafel. I’m already dreaming about sandwiching a few into some home-made flat bread with salad and yoghurt dressing.Continue reading →
It’s been way too long, my friends… and I apologise sincerely for my all too frequent lapses in blogging these days. All manner of excuses come to mind, mostly legitimate… others somewhat pathetic… in the desperate hope that you’ll forgive me and continue to accompany me on my food blogging journey (as sporadic as it may be). Continue reading →
The occasional kitchen flop can sometimes be a blessing in disguise on several fronts. Most likely it helps to ensure that the same mistake won’t be made again in the future… and it can also serve to get those creative juices working to find ways of improving upon a particular recipe that didn’t turn out so well. Continue reading →
Despite the fact that I’m 4th generation Australian, I feel a strong, quite emotional pull towards European life. Such a rich mosaic of culture, history and food, that Australia (despite it’s many fine qualities) somewhat struggles to compete with. Don’t get me wrong, life is pretty darn wonderful here… there’s a lot to love… and I won’t be moving anytime soon, however it doesn’t change the fact that at certain times of the year, things just seem a little out of kilter. It struck me the other day, as I was making up a batch of these maple-glazed walnuts, that it felt like a Christmassy thing to be doing, yet a good seven months need to be worked through before the silly season hits again. Continue reading →
It feels a little self indulgent to prepare a big bowl of Tiramisu, when it’s just for the four of us… on a weeknight no less. But with weather temperatures starting to dip, I really don’t require too much coercing to unleash my indulgent side. Thankfully walks around the lake have recommenced with vigor now that school holidays are over, ensuring those oversized portions of tiramisu don’t rest on my hips any longer than necessary. 😉 Continue reading →
Autumn is well and truly here… and my gosh, what a stunning season it is. Somehow, I never cease to be amazed each and every year, at the vividness of the reds, yellows and oranges of the foliage, giving out their last hurrah of the growing season. I’m thankful that there’s been a lingering warmth in the daytime… to soak up and relish for as long as it lasts; though eating al fresco of an evening has sadly come to a close.
Plums, figs and apples have been the highlight of the local farmer’s markets recently… Continue reading →
My obsession with cookbooks extends also to food magazines… the usual suspects being the Australian publications of ‘Gourmet Traveller’, ‘Donna Hay’ and ‘Delicious’. During our 2 year New Zealand sojourn, ‘Cuisine’ and ‘Dish’ became the new favourites and then later on while living in the USA, I spent many a pleasant hour reading ‘Cook’s Illustrated’, cover to cover. Cook’s Illustrated was like nothing else I’d seen before. Continue reading →
Feeling refreshed and recuperated after our long summer break, the boys are now back at school and my mind can finally refocus a little on my dear Gather and Graze. I hope you’ve all been well over the past few months and may I (somewhat belatedly) wish each and every one of you a very Happy New Year.
This recipe has been a popular one with our family through the summer time, though I can certainly picture us eating it year round, as the flavour is simply too good to set aside as a seasonal dish. Continue reading →
Having been firmly on the path of healthfulness and exercise for several weeks, I somehow managed to pull a muscle in my back. The week from hell commenced exactly seven days ago and is thankfully on the mend now, though still not back to 100%. For several days driving was out of the question… sitting upright a total agony… and even now, trying to get socks onto my feet creates the visual appeal of the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. A number of close family and friends have suffered with debilitating back pain and surgery over the past twelve months… now I have a tiny inkling of what they’ve had to deal with.
Resorting to comfort food over this past week has seen a lovely fruit and nut slice, of my Mum’s, make an appearance. There’s often a tupperware container filled with this very moreish slice when we go to stay with my parents… ready to be picked up with whichever hand isn’t holding a cup of tea or coffee. There’s absolutely nothing like Mum’s food for a little pick-me-up when you’re not quite feeling yourself. The only thing I’ve adjusted is the amount of sugar… lessened by ⅓ Cup and is still beautifully sweet from the dried fruit within. Continue reading →
The Primary School my youngest son attends has recently released a cookbook. It’s a beautiful compilation of family favourites from our school community, packed full of stunning food photographs taken by a talented local photographer. One of the recipes in this book (contributed by our Principal, no less…) jolted my memory of a biscuit/cookie that I used to make quite frequently many years ago, when we lived in New Zealand.
I’ve adapted her recipe here, almost beyond recognition, to try to re-create the fragrant, mostly healthful macaroon from my past. It comes extremely close to being just how I remember it. Continue reading →