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Monday, June 23, 2014

Karaage and Omurice


It's been a long time since I have made a post about food. I have been cooking quite a bit still but they've been really easy things that I have done before or I have been really lazy with taking photos but this past weekend, my boyfriend was at a Netrunner tournament so I decided to make him lunch!

I made him a nice little box of karaage and omurice as well as another box of salad (that I didn't take a picture of because it didn't seem important that I was able to cut up vegetables and make a salad.). So I adapted some recipes to suit what I had in my kitchen from No recipes and from Your Japanese Kitchen from 26 September 2011.

So to make this little bento you will need the following ingredients (and it makes enough to serve about 4 - 5 people depending on how much you eat)

Karaage Ingredients
500g chicken thighs, boneless skin on and cut into 2.5cm pieces (my chicken was skinless)
1 tablespoon ginger, grated (in the image below you can see I used my microplane)
2 cloves of garlic, grated
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup of potato starch
vegetable oil (for frying)
japanese mayonnaise (for serving)

Omurice Inredients
2 cups uncooked rice
200g of mushrooms (I used enoki and field mushroom but you can use anything)
1/2 carrot
3 tablespoon light soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon mirin
2 cups of dashi stock (I used chicken stock)
salt to taste
8 eggs

I did this first step the night before, but you can do it an hour before you need to make the karaage too. I just like leaving my meat to marinate overnight. Combine all of the ingredients (from the ginger down to the sugar) into a dish. 

Then leave the chicken to marinate in that overnight. 

The next morning, the first thing I did was prepare my ingredients. Firstly, wash and drain the uncooked rice. Then leave the rice to continue draining for about 15 minutes while you do the rest of the vegetable prep. I cut up the mushroom into bite sized pieces (I cut the enoki into 1/3s). The carrot and the garlic I also sliced up and put onto a  plate ready to go.

In a measuring cup, combine the liquid ingredients but only add enough of the stock so that it adds up to a combined amount of 2 cups of liquid. Taste and then add salt to how you like it.

In a pot, add the rice into the bottom of the pan, then place the carrot on top. 

On top of the carrot I added the garlic and the mushroom. Then I poured all of the stock on top and put a lid on. Bring to the boil on the stove and then lower the heat. Then let it cook on a low heat with the lid still completely on for about 12 minutes. After the 12 minutes, bring the heat back up to high for 20 seconds to scorch the bottom. Then leave it for 10 minutes with the lid still on it while you prepare the karaage.

Bring the oil to about 180C and take the chicken pieces out of the marinate. Lightly coat each piece in the potato starch (don't add too much starch, you just want a light even coat on each piece) and fry until a nice golden colour. Allow to drain.

Unfortunately, this is where I ran late and there was nobody helping me so I wasn't able to take pictures of the actual omurice wrapping part. But this is how I went. First, I mixed up the rice. It looked so delicious I kind of just wanted to eat it as it was.

Crack 2 eggs into a bowl and beat. Put a rather large pan onto the stove and turn the heat up on high and wait until the pan is very hot. Then pour the egg into the pan and tilt the pan so it covers the entire base. Don't touch it with the spatula yet so you get a very nice smooth bottom to the egg. When the egg is cooked almost all the way through (so that you can see it's cooked but still just slightly wet on top) put about two scoops of rice onto the egg. Turn the pan down to a very low heat here if you want more time and wrap the egg around the rice gently with a spatula. Since it's not completely cooked all the way through when you have the rice, it should stick as the wrap it around and form a nice little parcel of rice wrapped with egg.

Gently flip the parcel over and put it into your desired container or plate.

Then fill the other half with the tasty tasty karaage.

You can see here that a few of the top pieces are slightly speckled white. Those are the few pieces I had put too much starch on. Best to brush it off if you can so it's just a light coat but even if this does happen, they are still very very delicious.

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