Friday, August 2, 2013

Lunch Week 26: Chicken Katsu with Soba Noodles and Chinese Broccoli

So every Sunday, I head over to the kitchen to whip up a big batch of food for lunch the next week. Yes, I brown bag. And I almost always do it every week unless I become too busy to even buy cold cuts from the deli. I do it for several reasons being health, finance, and laziness. Now, you may think that spending hours on a day off to prep and cook five meals at once is hardly lazy. But let me remind you, I hate it when the time comes to decide what to eat for lunch every day. I work in Midtown so the choices are endless. My problem, the more choices, the harder it is for me. So it's much easier for me to have my lunch ready and already decided.

So my lunch for the week: Chicken Katsu with Soba Noodles and Chinese Broccoli
This week's lunch veers off the healthy route I've been trying to do. But you have to treat yourself to something special once in a while. And well since I was craving fried chicken, I made some. Japanese style katsu, that is.

Along with the fried chicken cutlet, I wanted to include some kind of carbohydrate so I boiled up some soba noodles in salted water. A few minutes before the noodles were fully cooked, I added in the washed Chinese broccoli. It's great being able to cook several ingredients in the same pot. After everything was cooked, I drained it and rinsed it under cold water to stop the cooking as well as wash off a lot of the starch from the noodles.
While the noodles cooled, I prepped the chicken. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs. First season with salt, then dredge in flour, egg, then panko crumbs. Set over a wire rack in a sheet pan while you prepare the rest of the chicken.
Then heat some vegetable oil in a large pot until it reaches 350oF. Slowly drop one chicken thigh into the oil. Cook 3 minutes, flip then cook another 3 minutes. If your pot of large enough, you can cook multiple pieces at once. Be careful to watch the thermometer to maintain the right temperature. Once cooked through, rest over wire rack again until cooled.
To pack the lunches, I put the soba noodles on the bottom and Chinese broccoli on the side.
Next, the sliced chicken katsu goes right on top.
And the finishing touch is the tonkatsu sauce which is kind of like a Japanese barbecue sauce.
Although the crust suffered when I went to microwave the lunch over the course of the week, the flavors were incredible. The earthy soba noodles, the crunchy, fresh and bitter Chinese broccoli, the juicy tender chicken, and the tangy sweet sauce. This was a great lunch. I loved it so much in fact that I could just make this for dinner as well. It really wasn't too complicated. And who couldn't go for some fried chicken in their life?

Recipe below courtesy of Food & Wine

Chicken Katsu
Contributed by Roy Choi

8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 6 ounces each)
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs, lightly beaten with 3 tablespoons of water
3 cups panko bread crumbs
3 cups vegetable oil
Tonkatsu sauce (see Note), Dijon mustard and steamed sushi rice, for serving

Lightly pound the chicken thighs 1/2 inch thick and season with salt. Put the flour, eggs and panko in 3 separate pie plates and season each one lightly with salt. Dredge 1 piece of chicken in the flour, tapping off the excess. Dip in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then coat the chicken with the panko, pressing to help it adhere. Transfer the chicken to a wax paper–lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining chicken.

Divide the oil between 2 large skillets and heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and crispy, 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Serve the chicken with tonkatsu sauce, mustard and steamed rice.

NOTES Tonkatsu sauce is a sweet, thick Japanese barbecue sauce. It’s available in the Asian section of most supermarkets.


Recipe below courtesy of Saveur

Tonkatsu Sauce
Makes about 1¼ cups

1 tsp. dry mustard powder
1 cup ketchup
¼ cup Worcestershire
4 tsp. soy sauce

Whisk together mustard and 2 tsp. water in a bowl until smooth. Add ketchup, Worcestershire, and soy sauce, and whisk until smooth.

1 comment:

  1. Well, guess what! I’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more fried chicken!

    H, That looks fantastic.


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