It's been a crazy week. My children are in college now. But somehow I've managed to get my life involved in the rush-rush of each new school year. I don't work for the schools. I don't even step foot into a school. I don't work in retail. What I do does impacts a few children in school. But I don't see the children.
And I love my job.
Yet...summer is ending. School is starting on Wednesday and that effected my work week in a major way. (And will continue to do so (in a lighter manor) until summer school is out next year.) So you can understand my excitement when I received a box of Kikkoman Kara-Age Soy-Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix in the mail early in the week. Why the excitement? Besides the fun of trying new things through the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Kikkoman, I was excited....thrilled....overjoyed because I was able to make a quick, delicious meal, in minutes. Without having to over think it. I didn't have to think about it at all. I got to come home...coat, pan-fry and eat. Minimal effort. Maximum results. Perfect for those exhausting, mind numbing days at work.
I've been using Kikkoman brands for years. I have a gallon of their soy sauce in my fridge (I'm not lying). I've used their sauces and dips numerous times. In my American mind, Kikkoman is the brand that represents Japanese food. Yet somehow I had no idea that Kikkoman makes more than dips and sauces. Seriously....take a look at some of the stuff they have on their Kikkoman Homecooks Products page. Soup mixes? Soymilk? Yep...all there and then some.
Well, let's take a look at what I did for my simple dinner....
1 packet of Kikkoman Kara-Age Soy-Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 lbs) (you can use breasts instead or even fish fillets)
Cut the chicken into little bigger than bite sized pieces, about 1 1/2 inches. This will take longer than anything else you do in this recipe. If you'd really like to save time....use those chicken tenders and call it night.
Heat about 1/4" of vegetable oil in large, heavy skillet to about 350' over a medium heat.
Pour the seasoned coating mix into a baggy.
I know that's not a baggy...but I wanted to show you the coating. It's not a breaded mix at all...but very finely ground flours, spices...etc. (there's always "etc" in packaged products). When I opened the packet....my senses were overpowered with various scents. Don't go sticking your nose in there...it's about as bad as straight pepper. In other words... those 3 oz are fully packed with flavor.
Working in batches of about 12 pieces of chicken at a time, coat the chicken
Pan-fry half of the pieces of chicken in the hot oil for about 2 - 4 minutes....turning often, until cooked through. Drain on a paper towel.....repeat with rest of the chicken.
Serve with your favorite sides. I made a simple vegetable fried rice (here's a quick tip for fried rice.....use leftover rice. That way it doesn't end up being mushy rice)
One of the things I loved about this coating is that it stayed on the chicken! Every piece was still coated with seasonings when I removed them from the pan. And somehow....that seasoning seemed to penetrate into the chicken. I'm not sure if that's also why the flavor had mellowed quite a bit since it first came out of the packet. I have to admit...once I'd gotten a whiff of the seasoning, I was a bit concerned that it would be insanely overbearing. But it wasn't. It was flavorful and delicious. I drizzled a bit of lemon juice over the chicken which brought out a certain brightness (the way only lemon can do). Each bite was just as tasty as the last.
I have another packet in the box (each box comes with two 3 oz packets). If I weren't allergic to fish, I'd try it out that way. So I'm thinking of other, non traditional ways to use the packet. And I think I just decided what I'm going to do with it. But it's a secret for now.....shhhh