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JAPANESE MONTH: A SIMPLE ART: Grilled and Pan-Fried Dishes, Deep fried Dishes

Please use this thread to discuss and review recipes from the chapters about grilling and pan-frying, deep frying, grilled and pan fried dishes and deep fried dishes.

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  1. Deep-Fried Marinated Chicken, Toriniku Tasuta-age
    Japanese Cooking, page 234

    Another dish chosen due to creative shopping by a household member. Four chicken thighs needed to be eaten so I chose this recipe thinking it would be fairly fast.

    A marinade is made of sake, soy sauce, ginger juice and green onion. Debone and cut the chicken into "generous bite-sized" pieces. Though I wasn't sure what this meant exactly, I did my best but the pieces were not all the same size. After marinating for 30 minutes, the chicken is drained. Again, my chicken marinated longer than this.

    The chicken is dusted with flour, rests for 2-3 minutes, and is dropped into the oil. I used a wok for frying.

    This dish was good, though a tad bland. Without the accompanying mushrooms and pickles, I think this chicken would have seemed too invisible. But, miraculously, I chose just the right items to serve together. The chicken was the perfect balance to the flavors on the table. Not a dish I will crave, but will choose when the menu demands it.

    Served with:
    Miso Soup with Enoki Mushrooms, Enoki no miso-jidaté, Washoku pg 117
    Mushroom Relish, Shiitake Kara-ni, Japanese Cooking, page 397
    Sweet Vinegar Dressed Carrots, Amazu, Japanese Cooking, page 242
    Quick Turnip Pickles, Kabu no Sokuseki-zuk, Japanese Cooking, page 323
    Cooked White Rice, Gohan, Washoku pg 137

    1 Reply
    1. re: smtucker

      What a great menu! Thanks for sharing. This is one of the dishes I remember from my childhood. My mom always referred to this as boneless fried chicken. She would always add garlic to this (maybe influenced by her Korean friends). Curious to see how this compares to mom's.

    2. Yuan-Style Grilled Chicken (Tori no Yuan yaki) p. 187


      Whole boned chicken legs (we used boned chicken thighs with skin) are marinaded in equal amounts of soy, mirin and sake plus slices of yuzu or lemon rind (I used dehydrated yuzu flakes, but I may add a small amount of yuzu juice to the marinade next time so the citris taste comes through more) for 20-30 minutes. We broiled the chicken for about 15 minutes. It does need to be watched closely, as the chicken skin will blacken (mine did a little on the ends). We skipped the negi (welsh onion), but I think it would have been a nice addition. This is a delicious and easy way to cook chicken. It is very tender and succulent from the sake marinade and the flavor of soy softened by the mirin permeated the chicken. It is definitely on the satly side, but this was tempered by the gohan and tofu salad (shira ae) we served with it. Serving the dish with the salad helps the palate from being overwhelmed with the taste of soy. Both of us would eat this again. Andoh has a Yuan-style swordfish dish that we also enjoyed and will post on too in the appropriate thread.

      1. Yakitori Sauce, pg 185
        Yakitori pg. 186

        Yakitori Sauce, how not to love a recipe that calls for one chicken bone, grilled? And it does make a difference lending the sauce a smoky richness that would be missing without it. I made a half recipe, and that will easily see us through several rounds of Yakitori. The bone itself, once drained from the sauce, made a little snack for my bone gnawing husband, I think if I'd have served him a meal of nothing but these bones he'd have been a happy lad. (see pic below)

        Yakitori, these kabab like treats are delightful, but my grilling technique for them needs some work. I used a combination of chicken thigh meat, scallions (no long-onions or leeks available), and mushrooms. Interestingly after skewering the meat (unsalted, un-marinated), the skewers go on the grill, and only after things heat up is the Yakitori sauce applied. I chose to use a basting brush this time, bad idea, dipping the skewers in the sauce, one of Tsuji's suggestions, would have been a better solution. Also I put the skewers right on the grill rack, and should instead have used his suggested improvised brick grill....next time!

        4 Replies
        1. re: qianning

          Oh wow, do those ever look good. It's so lovely out today that I'm tempted to grill. This looks perfect for such an occasion.
          Love the bone photo!

          1. re: qianning

            Those look lovely and delicious! This was supposed to be tonight's dinner but husband's dental work has changed those plans. Can't wait to try these for myself.

            1. re: qianning

              Your yakitori look delicious and has me longing for summer. I agree that the chicken bone adds a lot to the tare. In addition to the negima (thigh and green onion), we also like to make tsukune (little chicken meatballs-ground chicken, ginger juice,egg, green onions). I also like yakitori made of chicken liver, but am the only one in my family that does.

              1. re: qianning

                Yakitori Sauce & Yakitori, p-185-186

                Made a half-recipe of this wonderful, addictive sauce, if only because I didn't want to use up all my soy sauce for a full batch, but you can bet I'll be making this again when I run out.
                For the skewers, I did mostly the chicken/scallion version, with a few extra skewers of just coloured peppers and onions. I did the dipping-into-the-sauce method, and all the salty-sweet goodness leached into the very inner parts of the onions and meat. Wish I also would have cooked dangling the skewers over bricks, but that will occur next time. I really wished that I had thought ahead enough to pick up some mushrooms, as I bet this would have been a marvellous pairing. I ended up sliding the chicken and the veg off the skewers and on to a nice mound of rice and dribbling some extra sauce over the top. Just an excellent, well-rounded summer meal.

              2. Tonkatsu p. 240


                Pork loin chops (fat is cut to prevent curling during cooking) are seasoned with salt and pepper, dredged in flour, beaten egg and panko. I dipped them in egg and panko twice to make them extra crunchy and then chilled in the refrigerator for about half an hour. Dredging twice and chilling is something I picked up when learning to make Spanish croquetas (croquettes).

                This type of breading/deep-frying can be done with other proteins like shrimp (ebi furai), oysters (kaki furai), and chicken (chicken katsu). Tonkatsu is used in many other recipes like katsu curry (served with curry), katsu sando (made into a sandwich), and katsudon (cooked with egg and served in a bowl of rice).

                We fried the chops in the wok and ate them with gohan, cabbage (I should have sliced the cabbage much finer) and miso enoki soup. We served them with tonkatsu sauce for my husband and karashi and soy for me. These really hit the spot last night. Crispy, crunchy outside with a succulent inside.

                10 Replies
                1. re: BigSal

                  Made the mistake of showing Mr. QN the picture of your gorgeous Tonkatsu.....looks like we'll be having this sometime soon!

                  1. re: qianning

                    Hope the two of you enjoy it! Delicious results with very little effort.

                    1. re: BigSal

                      Tonkatsu pg. 240

                      We did enjoy it and thanks to Big Sal for pointing it out and also for the tip on dredging twice and chilling, it worked a charm.

                      I'd never made it before and hadn't had Tonkatsu in years, it was once a staple of my student days in Taiwan and like any over-exposed dish some of the appeal faded, but its been so long now that the magic is back, and it sure is easier than I would have thought. Mr. QN took over the sauce making, and whatever he did that came out just right too.

                      1. re: qianning

                        I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. Great presentation and it looks scrumptious!

                    2. re: qianning

                      It is really good..... if you aren't making your own sauce, the BullDog brand is not bad at all.

                    3. re: BigSal

                      Really beautiful. You're doing an amazing job with these books.

                      1. re: BigSal

                        What kind of oil do you suggest for the tonkatsu. I peanut oil acceptable? The dental emergency is over, and my dining partner can eat crunchy food again.

                        1. re: smtucker

                          Yes, we used peanut oil for ours. Glad to hear that the dental emergency is over. Tonkatsu sounds like a nice way to introduce crunchy food back into the diet.

                          1. re: BigSal

                            The tonkatsu was a huge success. I used Big Sal's breading method and let the cutlets sit in the fridge for 15 minutes, since I just ran out of time.

                            I sliced the cabbage on the thinnest V-slice setting so it was properly shredded, mounding it on a serving platter and put that into the fridge while waiting for the cutlets to cook. Cooked cutlets went into the oven set at 200º while I cooked the next batch. [The package at the Japanese market was huge so we have tons of leftovers.]

                            Served with lemon slices, organic BullDog sauce, goshen, miso soup with spinach and negi, and some pickled carrots.

                      2. Pan Broiled Salmon pg. 361

                        This is an old favorite of ours, and as it is quite rich a nice way to use a smaller piece of salmon. It is supposed to be made with salmon steaks, but only fillets ever seem to be available around here, and so that's what I use, which is OK, since the marvelous thing is that even after saucing the salmon the skin stays wonderfully crisp.

                        So heat a heavy pan/skillet over very high heat (I do this on the grill as there is definitely some sizzling and some smokiness), add a scant amount of oil, swirl, add the salmon (flesh side down if fillets), after a minute or two, flip onto the skin side, once the fish is just about cooked through add some butter to the pan, swirl over the fish, remove the fish to a serving plate, add sauce ingredients mirin, vinegar, soy, to the pan and reduce (this only takes a few seconds) add chopped scallions to the pan, swirl, and then pour the sauce over the salmon. This is a quick and really tasty way to cook salmon.

                        3 Replies
                          1. re: qianning

                            That looks delicious! I bet this would be good with almost any "fatty" fish. Must add this to the list of recipes to try this month.

                          2. re: qianning

                            Pan Broiled Salmon pg 361

                            Thanks so much for highlighting this recipe qianning. This was a real winner! Loved it!

                            I love your idea about doing it outside on the grill too, as the one downside of the dish is the slightly smokey fishy kitchen afterwards. Did this on the stove and used slightly lower heat than intended-- but still absolutely delicious.

                            This one will make it into regular rotation around here.

                          3. Yellowtail Teriyaki (Buri Teriyaki) p. 200

                            ¾” pieces of cobia (instead of yellowtail) are salted and then left to rest for 30 minutes. Cook on high heat with a tiny bit of oil moving constantly and turning once. When half done, put in a colander and pour boiling water over the fish to remove excess oil. Return the fish to the pan and add the teriyaki sauce (soy, sake, mirin and sugar- heated up until sugar dissolves) until it begins to bubble and fish is coated. Remove fish and cook the sauce to deglaze and make the sauce shiny and then add sauce to the fish. A simple and tasty meal. We ate this with gohan and green beans in a sesame-miso dressing.

                            1. Tempura, page 235

                              Tonight I invited another couple to dinner. It was supposed to be a fun evening. The plan was to sit in the dining room and enjoy some miso soup before moving into the kitchen, sitting on the most uncomfortable stools known to man, while I cooked tempura. Then we would move back to the table to have the rice and pickles.

                              I cleaned the kitchen. I prepped the dinner [see attached photo], rinsed the rice, made the dashi. and made the tempura dipping sauce and the phone rang. They CANCELLED!

                              So the two of us enjoyed our miso soup. Then I made the tempura batter with 1 egg yolk, 1 cup of ice cold seltzer water [a substitute] and one cup of flour. Careful not to overmix, I started with the asparagus. The tempura was perfect. Light without any oil retention. Then I moved across the tray to the yams, lotus roots, onions and mushrooms. Since my wok could hold about 8 pieces at a time, the tempura batter started to warm up and we noticed that the batter began to drink a bit more oil.

                              We never ate the rice, though I did eat some pickles.

                              Since I will never be a production kitchen, in the future, I will either keep half the egg yolk in the fridge or half the mixed batter. As the batter warmed, the characteristics did change. But before that happened the tempura was wonderful. We found the veggies to be really good, especially the asparagus, shitake mushrooms and yams.

                              I would make this again, but not often. It is party food. Not food for two people. So it was a ton of culinary fun, but next time I am inviting people who actually come.

                              p.s. Found the recipe and instructions online at http://www.bento.com/trt-tempura.html

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: smtucker

                                It must be so disappointing when dinner guests cancel at the last minute. But, from your description of the preparations and tempura it sounds like they missed a stunning evening. Your mise en place looks so professional. It seems as if you had a nice post Valentine dinner, though.

                                1. re: smtucker

                                  Why the seltzer rather than ice water? I'm thinking of making Tempura soba tonight....

                                  1. re: qianning

                                    The bubbles give a nice light texture. I first learned this trick from Moonan in FISH.

                                    1. re: smtucker


                                      tempura soba got delayed to the weekend, not sure who's recipe i'm going to use, it may end up being a hybrid.

                                      1. re: qianning

                                        Tempura pg 235

                                        So I did make a batch of tempura for tempura soba last night. Pretty much followed the recipe, but made a few intentional changes as well as one glaring mistake. Still it all came out fine and I would make this again.

                                        First the mistake, I butterflied the shrimp, but completely forgot to make the belly incisions, and so they did curl when fried. Oh well.

                                        As for the intentional changes, I took smtucker's advice and used the seltzer for water. Would definitely do that again. After reading several other recipes for tempura, I decided to amend the flour. So for my flour, I put 1TBSP potato starch and 1/2 tsp baking soda into the measuring cup and then added cake flour to make one cup, then sifted this together. I would do this again.

                                        To keep the batter cool, I put the bowl with the batter inside another bowl full of ice & water; the batter did stay cool but inevitably as pieces were dunked into the batter the liquid and flour got more and more amalgamated and smooth, and the coating on the final pieces that I fried got a little bit heavier. I think I'd try mixing in even smaller batches, maybe 1/2 c flour & 1/2 c liquid, next time I attempt tempura.

                                        Mr. QN has a thing for the little crispy bits that float to the surface of the oil...I'll have to admit they are awfully good sprinkled on top of soba in broth.

                                        1. re: qianning

                                          tempura pics.....having trouble loading, let's see if this works.

                                      2. re: smtucker

                                        Oh! What an interesting idea for the onions at the bento.com link. I'll have to give the piercing with a toothpick technique a try rather than doing onion rings.

                                        1. re: smtucker

                                          Made the tempura over the weekend. Must say that I only wish my setup was as organized as smtucker's! My kitchen looked more like a warzone at the end. But-- it was fun! So the background is that shrimp tempura sushi is one of my oldest's (5) very favorite foods in the world. He is coming out of a very picky phase, but loves seafood, especially if fried.

                                          So, obviously mommy had to try to reproduce this restaurant favorite at home. I probably could have been better organized before embarking on this project, but my husband agreed to keep the little ones away from boiling oil and I figured I better go for it while I could. I fried a selection incluing shitake mushrooms, baby broccoli, onion and shrimp. The baby broccoli was the unexpected success to me. Really delicious in this preparation. I had some issues with oil temp. Didn't have the thermometer out so some batched suffered a bit from oil which was too cool or too hot. I used seltzer water as suggested by smtucker and thought this worked well. AS everyone else notes, the batter does change throughout a batch and become slightly heavier as you go. I thought the dipping sauce was fantastic.

                                          We ate some of the pieces straight out of the fryer and then used some of the shrimp to wrap our own homemade shrimp tempura maki. My 5 year old declared "best dinner ever!"

                                          In reality, it reminded me why deep frying and small children do not mix well, but it was fun and will probably do it again in a few years.

                                        2. Wave Skewered Fish (Sea Bream) pg. 178

                                          One of the simplest and best things in this book, how to properly skewer fish for grilling. Probably everyone else already knows these things but for me Tsuji's drawings have made grilling a whole fish so much easier. As for the recipe, coarse salt and one fish, lemon on the side, that's it.

                                          For the first time I had my fishmonger clean the fish without cutting the belly. it does make for a slightly better presentation, but there is also just a tad of bitterness left this way, and generally I think I prefer to have the fish gutted.

                                          Picture below shows the fish just off the grill with the skewers still in place. And leave it to me, the fish is swimming ion the wrong direction. Oh well it still tasted awfully good.

                                          1. Grilled Whole Shrimp, pg.356

                                            This was fabulous! It wasn't part of the original dinner plan, but the bream I bought for the main meal was small, and my fishmonger had in gorgeous fresh head on gulf shrimp that I just couldn't resist. So glad I gave in to temptation, I think these were hands down the best grilled shrimp I've ever had.

                                            So, cut off the tip of the shrimp head, then cut the shrimp down the back without cutting through the belly, gently flatten, and remove the vein. Skewer. Make a sauce of sake, mirin, and soy by bringing it to the boiling and reducing (I made much less sauce than he suggests, but kept proportions, and it worked fine and I had plenty). Grill the shrimp for about two min. per side, basting the grilled side as it comes up, then lightly grill and baste for another two minutes or so per side.

                                            I was afraid these might be dry, they weren't. They were perfect & totally delicious.

                                            1. Steak Teriyaki pg. 370

                                              Made this for the first time in ages this week for a weekday dinner, and was reminded how good and how fast and easy this recipe is. I used two small (3-4 oz each) top-blade steaks rather than the reference sirloin, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly and in under ten minutes all in, it was done. Served sliced on the diagonal over some rice, with a side of greens with sesame dressing, made an excellent and quick dinner.