Following on from my tonkatsu burger post, I’ve decided to take another Japanese staple and combine it with an American classic. This time, I’ve taken everyone’s favourite Japanese snack –karaage chicken – and added it to the humble New Orleans Po’ Boy.
If you’ve never had the pleasure, karaage chicken is deep fried bite-sized marinated chicken that’s a common izakaya menu item and pretty much tastes like the best KCF popcorn chicken you’ve ever had. Po’ Boys are sandwiches made famous in New Orleans that typically have either roast meat or fried fish or chicken and served in a French baguette. Having never been to New Orleans, I’ve never tasted a real Po’ Boy, but from what I’ve heard it’s all about getting the best bread possible. It’s got to be crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, so make sure you head to the best French bakery in your area to get the proper stuff.
- 300 g chicken thigh, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sake
- 1 small piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- 1 French baguette
- 1 shallot, sliced
- Japanese mayonnaise
- Japanese mustard
First make the karaage chicken by marinating the chicken pieces in the soy sauce, sake and ginger for at least half an hour. When done, remove the chicken pieces from the marinade, drain, and coat it in the cornstarch. Heat up an inch of vegetable oil in a saucepan to medium-high heat (you can test if it’s hot enough by dropping a small bit of marinade and cornstarch in the oil and it should sizzle immediately). Fry all the chicken pieces until golden brown (you may need to do this in two batches, depending on the size of your pan) and drain on paper towels. At this point you’ll want to just eat all the chicken pieces then and there. It’s almost impossible not to eat a few, so I always make extra to accommodate for this.
Now onto the Po’ Boy part. Slice your bread open and smear on a good dollop of Japanese mayo and Japanese mustard. If you don’t have Japanese mustard, you can use American mustard or anything else to give it some kick (sriracha sauce is a good alternative). Fill up the Po’ Boy with your freshly made karaage chicken, sliced shallots and lettuce. Smack your lips and enjoy.
JAM: Soil and “Pimp” Sessions – Waltz for Goddess
For a dish that combined flavours from Japan and New Orleans, how could not go with some heavy Japanese jazz? I’ve decided to go with a more modern band this round and choose a track from Soil and “Pimp” Sessions called Waltz for Goddess. I first heard about Soil and “Pimp” through Giles Peterson’s radio show in 2005 and was instantly hooked on their ferocious energy and undeniable cool.
Hailing from Tokyo and known for coining terms like ‘death jazz’ and ‘punk jazz’, these guys are meant to be incredible live so be sure to catch them if they ever tour in your area. This isn’t elevator jazz, so turn it up and grab some cold ones to go with your Po’ Boys.
Hassel your local record store or buy the album online here.