Watching Raz Cook: Miso-Dipped Chicken Katsu

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Raz is a much less anxious cook than I am. He gets ideas by eating something he likes, or talks to his mom about something she's recently cooked, and researches until he has the perfect recipe. We often sit next to each other and eat without speaking because it's just so good.

But, let me be clear: I am also a good cook. I just don't like to do it as much as Raz does. I'm also not as experimental. He'll open the fridge and know how to combine what's left in it. I'm much more methodical, which isn't always a bad thing. It's just not as much fun.

Anyway, Raz made this Chicken Katsu a few weeks ago and I'll say this: He packed me some for lunch after we ate more than our share for dinner. We've been crazy busy at work. I didn't have time to heat it up. I drooled in my mouth eating cold chicken. That's the power of this recipe.

You'll note the pictures aren't very beautiful, which is why I'm campaigning for us to buy a new camera. Raz has promised me one if I can get 1,000 views in a day on one of my posts. So, please, share away! Mama needs a new camera to show you how delicious Raz's recipes really are.

While I watched Raz cook, and pushed Prima off the counter, I drank Jesse James Outlaw Trail Sweet Red Wine from my friend Lindsey. It was her host gift for us when she visited last 4th of July. We don't typically go for sweet reds, but (not to sound like Sharleen on The Bachelor - "He was more fun than expected"), it was actually a really nice complement.

Herewith, Raz's first recipe.

Miso-Dipped Chicken Katsu
Serves 4-5 (unless you're Raz and Whitney)

For the chicken:
• 2 TB white miso
• 1.5 TB sugar
• 2 TB tamari (regular soy sauce is fine)*
• 1 TB mirin (optional)*
• 1 large clove garlic, minced
• 1 knob ginger, minced or grated (about ½ to 1 TB 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 TB mirin*
• 3 TB tamari*
• 1 TB 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)

*If these ingredients make your brain hurt, know there is an amazing mecca of Asian foods in Seattle called UWAJIMA. I write that in all caps because that's how I say it. Like I'm karate chopping something. HIYA. It is full of weird, amorphous things without any indication of what they are. It's the cheapest and best date Raz takes me on. I encourage anyone local to check it out, and anyone non-local to look into specialty stores in your area.



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).


Have a little drinky drink. 



Serve with Japanese sticky rice, dipping sauce and whatever other tasty side dishes you’d like. Even steamed broccoli will do. A cabbage and onion bed is shown here.

From the original chef (Raz’s mom sent us the recipe, so I don’t know the exact source):
Did I mention this works beautifully with boneless pork loin chops? Be sure to pound them thin as well if they are too thick. 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.
I'd love to have Raz make your favorite recipes. Share them with me in the comments. 

6 comments:

  1. Josh and Raz have creative cooking talents in common! At our house the kids call it playing "Chopped"! They even send him to the other room for the judges to discuss the meal and typically chop one of their stuffed animals! Ha! Such fun!

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    1. Sounds like our households would get along nicely! I bet Mason and Ellie are pretty tough critics, too :)

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  2. YUM. I'm starving. And this looks amazing!!

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    1. It's so good, Kelli! Raz makes a lot of great things, but this is def one that will be on rotation.

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  3. And now he can cook this for me too when I come to visit...maybe I do eat chicken afterall.

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    1. Hahahaha, I think you'd really like it!

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