Japanese cuisine, all encompassing, has been widely celebrated in the culinary community for its emphasis on seasonal ingredients, refined flavors, and artful presentation. Beyond the traditional silken slices of sashimi lies an open door to a variety of Eastern and Western influence in the modern era. Dishes inspired by neighboring countries, particularly China with ramen and other noodle-based dishes, have been favorites among Japanese tastes for a very long time. But hamburgers and fried chicken recipes inspired by old-fashioned Americana have been gaining in popularity in Japan over the past few decades as well.
Many years of my career were spent firing up and fanning binchotan behind yakitori grills. Any unusable chicken (a rarity) was given liberty for family meal use. Those of you who are unaware, family meal is a steadfast tradition in a working kitchen. A gift to the cooks and line workers, as well as a call to friendly cooking competition among colleagues after grueling hours of service on the line. After one particularly slow night, a batch of fatty foul became the canvas for what is now my favorite way to prepare fried chicken. It’s stupidly simple and insanely delicious. Definitely worth dirtying up a vent hood for.
All the flavor in this recipe is driven by the marinade and seasoning of the chicken meat. So don’t skimp on the sodium when it comes to the soy sauce. The sweetness from the mirin and sake balance it out just right. The key to a perfectly crunchy coating is in the blend of rice flour, potato starch, and baking powder. You can use corn starch as a substitute if you can’t find potato starch, but the potato starch is definitely the best way to go. Try a variety of chicken cuts, remember to adjust your cooking times according to the size and whether the pieces are bone-in or out. If you like a hint of spice, sprinkle some shichimi togarashi or cayenne after the final fry. Oh, and, Celiacs rejoice! This recipe is naturally gluten-free. Make sure to substitute the soy sauce with tamari. Finally, a gluten-friendly fried chicken recipe that tastes even better than the Colonel’s. Pair this recipe with our Samurai Gourmet-inspired croquettes to make it a meal!