And who could really concentrate with the election drama these last two weeks? Even before Tuesday, I realized how emotionally invested I was in this election. Tuesday was the climax, with all that stress and anxiety building up. Wednesday saw the gradual release of all that tension and a sense of exhilaration. Friends and relatives from overseas have emailed me to congratulate us. People I didn’t even think were paying attention! Finally today, I’m getting a sense of “back to real life and work.” My tile grout might look sparkling clean, but the dishes and unpaid bills need to be addressed! Not to mention that test. Gaaah!
But lest you think I’ve been feeding my family microwave dinners these past weeks (okay, only occasionally), I have come with proof otherwise. In essence it’s chicken katsu, but really that doesn’t say anything but chicken and panko. This is more than that because I’ve added miso paste before dredging the chicken. Still, that doesn’t really describe how good this is. It’s not just dipped in miso, but miso that has been spiked with ginger, garlic, and tamari. Then the pieces are dredged in flour, egg, and panko and pan-fried till golden brown, sealing in that awesome punch of flavor.
I know this picture just doesn't do this dish justice. All the good stuff is underneath that crispy panko coating. And the dipping sauce is a slightly sweet, yet very savory compliment.
If you haven’t used miso before, this is the perfect time to try. I know buying special ingredients can be annoying because you may use it for one dish. And if you end up not even liking that one dish, then it's a real waste of money. But no worries here. This dish will be a hit and you’ll want to make it over and over again. And miso lasts just about forever stored in your fridge, so you don’t have to make this over again and again all in the same week.☺
Miso-dipped Chicken Katsu
Serves 4 to 5
- 2 tbs white miso
- 1.5 tbs sugar
- 2 tbs tamari (regular soy sauce if fine)
- 1 tbs mirin (optional)
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 1 knob ginger, minced or grated (about ½ to 1 tbs minced)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or pork loin chops), pounded to a thin, uniform thickness
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten for coating
- All purpose flour for dredging
- panko crumbs for coating
For the dipping sauce:
- 3 tbs mirin
- 3 tbs tamari
- 1 tbs sugar (more or less to taste)
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp minced ginger
- dash of toasted sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds (to taste)
- pinch of Japanese or Korean chili powder (to taste, optional)
Start by combining the miso, sugar, tamari, mirin, garlic, and ginger to make a paste. Rub all over the chicken or combine with the chicken in a large bowl and allow it to rest for a little while you prepare the sauce, the dredging ingredients and get your rice (or whatever you want to serve with this) going.
To make the sauce, just combine everything in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar. Set it aside until ready to serve. You may want to give it a quick stir every now and then to make sure the sugar goes into solution.
Put the flour, beaten eggs and panko crumbs into 3 separate deep plates (or whatever setup you like to use for dredging) close to where you are going to do the frying. In a skillet, heat about a half inch or so of oil for shallow pan-frying over medium-high heat. Deep-frying is another alternative, but I find no advantage doing it that way. It’s just a waste of oil. When the oil is hot (test by adding dry panko crumbs; they should sizzle right away), quickly dredge the chicken in flour (shake off excess), then egg, then panko. Add to the hot oil and allow to fry until golden on one side. Turn and do it on the other side. Don’t crowd the chicken; you may need to fry in batches, depending on how large your skillet is. And here’s where you need to watch the heat. If the panko is browning too fast, turn down the heat a little. Cooking time will depend on how thick the pieces are. I think it took anywhere from 6 to 8 minutes. Remove and allow to rest on paper towels or on a rack (my preferred method).
Serve with Japanese sticky rice, dipping sauce and whatever other tasty side dishes you’d like. I’ve done a carrot-ginger stir-fry and a cabbage-celery stir-fry. Even steamed broccoli will do.
Did I mention this works beautifully with boneless pork loin chops? Be sure to pound them thin as well if they are too thick.
I’m submitting this recipe to Regional Recipes, a blogging event celebrating world foods! The region this time is Japan and the host is Wandering Chopsticks. If you have a tasty recipe, please do share! Deadline for submissions is November 15th and you can send them to wanderingchopsticks(at)gmail(dot)com. Check out the rules on the Regional Recipes main page. And be sure to check out the round-up around the 20th to see the other submissions and find out the next region. Wanna host a future event? Let me know and I’ll put you on the list.
Other Japanese-inspired dishes you may like:
pan-fried udon noodles with shiitakes and beef