I am constantly asking myself “what are these parents thinking serving those nasty nuggets to their kid?” You see it everyday. Over-salted white-meat chicken with vegetables pureed and formed in to a nugget. Now I understand the principle of wanting your child to eat more healthful meals, but trying to hide veggies in nuggets is just wrong! Preparing vegetables properly is a way better way to give your kids a life-long appreciation for vegetables and not a life-long resentment for having been duped as a child. But that’s another post… Here we are going to make Chicken Kara’age. A Japanese-style chicken nugget that will not only make your kids love to eat dinner, it will also wow your dinner guests when you serve it as an appetizer. So here we go!
- About 3x 8oz Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs (Cut into about 1.5″ nugget-sized pieces)
- 1-2 Tablespoons of fresh grated/minced ginger (I use a zester to breakdown about a 1″ diameter by 2″ long piece of ginger)
- 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Mirin
- 2 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Sake
- About 1.5 Cups of Potato Starch (for deep frying)
- About 1-2 Cups Vegetable oil (also for deep frying)
- About 3 Tablespoons Kewpie Mayo (Regular Mayo works too, but I like Kewpies flavour better)
- An equal amount of Sriracha to the Mayo (so about 3 Tablespoons)
- About 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- Juice Squeezed from 1/2 of a lemon
Do these ingredients sound familiar? They should. It’s very much the same for the fish in the fish tacos (with the exception of the sake)! To marinate the chicken, combine the ginger, soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar in a small bowl and whisk together. Generally you’ll want to marinate these for at least 2 hours, but I’ve succeeded in getting-away with 1 hour. Typically, I marinate them overnight. But either way, they’re still delicious! While marinating them, whip-up the aioli by combing the mayo, sriracha, sugar, and lemon juice in a dipping-sized bowl.
Now we’re ready to fry! Dredge the nugget pieces in the potato starch just before frying. Make sure to coat them evenly. With this recipe, the marinade works with the potato starch to make the “batter.” So no need for egg or anything else. On my gas stove, I fry chicken thighs at medium-high heat for about two to three minutes. The outside should be crispy and brown. Move to a paper towel-covered wire cooling rack to cool for a minute or two before serving. I promise I’ll take better pictures the next time I make this. You might also try serving this on a bed of the Asian slaw as made in my fish taco recipe. Serve with lemon wedges, because… well just because!