Ginger Chicken (Japanese)

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I ought to be ashamed putting up a dish that doesn't look perfect. I should atleast have hidden those crisp edges... ugghh. But these things happen everyday in every kitchen. One wrong pan and this is what happens. Also, I happen to like them a little crispy. That's my excuse. But please note, I've invested in a non-stick pan since. Something I don't normally approve of. I convinced myself I need a new omlette/crepe pan; which I can also use to gently fry chicken maybe just once in a while.

This is my first foray into Japanese cooking. I love Japanese food. During my short stay in London, I trudged around and found Japanese places in the locality and blindly pointed out things in the menu to eat. My favourite which I still remember the name of is Katsu-don. One day I'll make it in my kitchen. But not today. When a dear friend came on vacation from Japan, she asked me what to get. Little did she know what a big error that was. I had a BIG list, so big I was frothing at the mouth by the end of it. But I was so excited that someone offered. She got me all the things I wanted and more. I'm slowly getting around to opening these things one by one and enjoying each little surprise so much. Thank you again and again Anila. And again sorry for turning up with only a simple tart in hand.

This recipe is from one my favourite chef/bloggers - Marc Matsumoto of no recipes fame. I've been following his blog for a while and always wanted to try something. But there are always so many strange ingredients, I didn't know what to substitute. Anila got me mirin, bonito flakes, miso and lots more stuff I'll have to go and check and probably ask her again. But what all these things help me with is, I get to understand the flavours, and probably reach out to a culture different from my own, and a place I hope to visit one day. Thanks so much Anila and thanks Marc for making these recipes so accessible to me.

The recipe is really simple. I was a little skeptical at first, but in the end it really tasted good and I enjoyed it a lot. It tastes oriental without being so overboard about it.

I substituted sake in the original recipe with mirin. I finally got to taste mirin! Super excitement. Now if you don't have mirin, sake will do just fine.. haha... I googled around and mirin can be used instead of sake in a pinch just that you have to keep in mind that its slightly sweeter. So adjust your sweetness component. If you have neither sake, nor mirin, I think white wine would do ok. Since I used mirin in this recipe, I cut down on the honey from the original recipe. You can go the original recipe by clicking anywhere on this sentence. Please do spend some time at Marc's site and enjoy his recipes and photos. I'm in love with the entire thing.

Ooh and I also rechecked his pics of Ginger Chicken, and yes! he's got those crispy edges too!! yayy!! (Hmm... maybe not as much as mine)


500g             Chicken thighs boneless in 2 inch cubes with skin
2tsp               soy sauce
1tsp               honey
2tsp               mirin
1tbsp             fresh grated ginger
Oil to fry
chopped spring onions for garnish

Mix together soy sauce, honey, mirin, ginger and marinate chicken in the mix for atleast 30 mins.
Heat a non stick pan and add minimal oil for frying. Flame on Medium high
If the pan is too hot, the chicken will burn, if the pan is not warm enough, water will leech out and you will not get enough caramelisation. The honey caramelizes the chicken and this is what you're looking for.
Fry chicken pieces in batches with space between, skin side down first, and flipping over once its browned on one side.
After frying all the chicken, bring the marinade together to a boil with 2tbsp of water.
Add chicken and stir till the marinade has mostly evaporated and the chicken is coated with a shiny layer of sauce.
Serve warm over steamed rice.
Garnish with spring onions. Don't miss this part. It brings that extra fresh green crunch to the dish.

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