April 04, 2019

Spiced Up Mochiko Chicken



Ingredients:

1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup mochiko flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon mixed black and white sesame seeds
1 tablespoon gochugaru (Korean red pepper flakes)
1 teaspoon shichimi togarashi
2 egg, beaten
1 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs (trimmed of excess fat if desired)

Directions:

WARNING: This must be done the day before you want to make the chicken.

Place all ingredients in a resealable bag. Seal and squish around until the ingredients are evenly distributed and the chicken is well coated. Refrigerate at least 8 hours, preferably 16-24.

Heat about 1-inch canola oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan. Fry, turning once until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown. Drain on paper towel-lined plates.


My thoughts:
I love mochiko chicken. The technique is different than other fried chicken, you marinate it in the sweet rice flour and then it goes straight into the pan and super easy. Every time I make this Hawaiian classic, I wonder why I don't make it more often. I love the crisp batter, how easy it is to make and how flavorful the chicken tastes. I'm not much of a chicken person but even I look forward to this!

Until now, I've only made it the traditional way but this time I decided to spice things up a bit. I was going to just add shichimi togarashi but it has a bit of salt in it and since we were marinating it in soy sauce so I was worried the final dish would be too salty. So we added some of my favorite red pepper gochugaru which added some more heat and a lot of pepper flavor. Totally not traditional for mochiko chicken but it works. Think of it as sort of a Hawaiian-Korean-Japanese mash up. Hawaiian food is a real mix of flavors from all over the world and Korea and Japan both have their own style of very wonderful fried chicken (here's my recipe for karaage) so it made sense to me to add some those flavors to mochiko chicken to spice it up.


I served it with a scoop of sticky rice sprinkled with furikake (I buy this variety case)  and some broccoli sauteed with shichimi togarashi and onions. A super easy, surprisingly light weeknight dinner.

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