Korean Fried Chicken

We got an unexpected Instacart delivery yesterday so I was able to make something my family really loves – Korean Fried Chicken. We miss eating out from favorite restaurants in our area. We are lucky enough to have several Korean chicken places where we live like: Boom Boom Chicken, BBQ Olive Chicken, Kono Chicken and of course BonChon in NYC. We have not gone out nor gotten any food deliveries since the start of the stay at home order in our state. So I tried to recreate one of the food that may family misses the most – soy garlic chicken !

I searched for several recipes online and found one that appears to be closest in taste to the the fried chicken we love. I didn’t follow the exact recipe and tweaked it to suit my taste.

This recipe is for a pound of chicken wings. First season the chicken with salt and pepper. Then dredge in equal amount of all purpose flour and cornstarch. Make sure to shake off excess flour. Lay it on a wire rack.

Deep fry the wings for about 5 -8 minutes (depending on the size). Do not overcrowd your pan. Take it out and drain in paper towels.

While frying your wings you can prepare the sauce. Place in a saucepan the following: 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (just my preference), 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup Mirin, 2 cloves finely minced garlic (I used a garlic press), 1/4 of a medium sized onion grated, about an inch of grated ginger and 2 T. brown sugar. Let this cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved then add a slurry of 1/2 tsp cornstarch diluted is about 1 T water. Cook until thickened and set aside.

After you have cooked all the chicken. Fry it again a second time for a couple of minutes until it’s golden brown and crisp.

Place your sauce in wide enough bowl then add your wings and toss making sure that it’s coated with the glaze.

I served this with some baked crinkle cut fries. It’s also good with rice.

P.S. After making I suggest you double the recipe for the sauce, I find that it’s not enough to really coat all the wings, if you really wanted the sticky/saucy end product.

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Chicken with Quail Eggs

I have been trying to get creative with cooking our meals lately because of the limited amount of meat I have in the freezer. As with everyone else in the world, we are staying home for now and literally avoiding going out. I have a lone pack of chicken thighs from Costco which I got way back in January. It has only three pieces in it. So I deboned it and diced it into bite size pieces thinking to make some kind of a stir fry and and this is what I came up with.

To make. Get a pan and heat 1-2 tbsp. vegetable oil. Saute 1 smal onion diced and 2-3 cloves of garlic minced. Cook until fragrant, then add your cut up chicken thighs. Continue cooking until the meat has changed color. Add about 1/2 tsp. ground pepper, cover and let it cook over low heat until juices come out. Add one can baby corn and about 1/-2 to 1 cup frozen mixed vegetables. Stir and add 3/4 cup water or chicken broth. Let it simmer for a couple of minutes. Season with salt or fish sauce to taste. Add one can quail eggs and let it simmer again over low heat for 2 minutes. Make a slurry by mixing 1 tablespoon cornstarch with a couple of tablespoons water. Add to your stir fry and cook until sauce is thickened. Remove from heat and serve hot.

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Filipino Fried Chicken

Fish sauce or patis in Tagalog is the number one dipping sauce as well as seasoning in the Philippines. Almost everyone uses it in place of salt.

I have featured pork chops seasoned with patis previously and this is just the poultry version. As I have mentioned I grew up eating fried chicken or pork just seasoned with fish sauce and calamansi. The procedure for this dish is the same as the ones for the chops.

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Take a pound of any bone in chicken, I used drumsticks. Then marinate it in 2-3 tbsp good quality fish sauce (you can add more or less to suit your taste), and one packet of calamansi concentrate ( fresh would be better). Let this sit for while before dredging it in all purpose flour seasoned with pepper. Shake of excess flour.

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Heat about 1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetables oil and when it’s at the right temperature carefully drop the chicken pieces. Fry 5-6 minutes per side until brown and crisp. Drain in paper towels. Serve with rice and some banana ketchup.

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Crispy Adobo Turkey Flakes

It’s the day after Thanksgiving and as expected we have leftovers. I did something totally new with it this time, I made adobo flakes.

I had my first taste of adobo flakes at Via Mare Cafe, where it was originally created by the owner Glenda Barretto. They serve this with garlic rice and egg. It’s like toasted chicken adobo that is extra crispy, crunchy and flaky. One usually makes this from leftover adobo. Since I didn’t have adobo just leftover turkey meat, I had to cook it into adobo first by adding 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup of combination of rice vinegar and cane vinegar, 1 tsp of ground black pepper, 2-3 bay leaf and 4-5 cloves minced garlic and about 1/4 cup water if needed. I let this simmer for about 20 minutes. Then let it cool and sit so that all the flavors and seasonings get absorbed.

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Then I strained the meat and flaked it with two forks. Then in a non-stick pan I fried or browned the turkey flakes in hot oil until crispy. Do this in batches, it takes around 10 minutes for the meat to become brown and crisped so make sure to continuously stir and cook over low heat.

I served this over my leftover wild rice with mushrooms and a sunny side egg. This will go very well with garlic rice too.

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Chicken Salad with Avocado and Cranberries

I love how Paris Baguette make chicken salad sandwiches. It’s light and not overly dressed with mayonnaise. I took inspiration from them and added avocado to take it up a notch. I had leftover poached chicken from the soup I made last time so I used it to make this recipe.

First, dice your poached chicken breast and place in a bowl. To it add a stalk of celery finely diced, 1/2 of finely minced white onion, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1/4 cup Japanese mayonnaise (kewpie brand), 1 small avocado diced, salt and pepper to taste. Mix everything together. Toast some crusty bread in my case I used farmer’s bread from our local market. Serve between slices of your bread with some greens. Some thinly sliced cucumbers would be a nice addition to the greens for some crunch. You can also serve this on a bed of lettuce or arugula.

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Chicken Longanisa Rice Bowl

Preparing meals at home than eating out is not only healthier in my opinion but also cheaper. You don’t need to spend a lot to eat well. This longanisa rice bowl that I made for my family of four costs roughly fifteen dollars, excluding the rice. If we were to order this rice bowl in a restaurant in NYC or downtown LA it would have set us back 12 dollars per person. A pack of chicken longanisa from our local Asian grocer was $3.79, the cherry tomatoes from our local farm market was $4.00 a pint, a dozen eggs at Whole Foods was $3.49 and the mixed herb pesto which I already have in the fridge was around 4 dollars.

To make, cook your longanisa by placing the links in a pan and adding about 1/2 cup water. Don’t forget to prick the sausages all over with a fork or tip of a small knife. Let this simmer in medium to low heat until done and liquid has evaporated. Add some vegetable oil and pan fry until brown all over. Set aside.

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Rinse and dry your cherry tomatoes and cut in half. Place it in non-stick pan and add about 2 teaspoon of mixed herb pesto. Cook over medium heat until tomatoes are softened but not mushy.

Then fry a couple of eggs sunny side up.

To assemble, place some cooked rice in a wide bowl then carefully arrange your fried egg, longanisa, and cherry tomatoes. I added some thinly sliced cucumbers for color.

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Chicken Katsu

The word katsu is short for katsuretsu in Japanese which means “cutlet”. Chicken katsu is breaded fried chicken cutlet. In Japan the first katsu that was created used beef and eventually pork. It was only later on that chicken was used.

I got this recipe from my youngest sister. She served chicken katsu in one of the dinners she hosted for us during our visit to Manila. It was so good that I have to ask for the recipe.

To make, rinse and pat dry 4 pcs boneless skinless chicken thighs. Season both sides with salt and garlic powder. Then in an assembly line fashion dredge and dip your chicken thighs in the following in this order: Cornstarch, beaten eggs and panko bread crumbs. Remember to shake of excess as you dip and dredge.

Get a medium size pan and heat about 1/2 an inch of vegetable oil. Heat should be set on medium so as not to burn your meat. When oil is heated enough place your cutlets gently into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. About 2-3 minutes per side. Drain on papers towels.

Slice your chicken crosswise into 1/2 – 1 inch slices. This is best eaten with rice and some shredded cabbage and tonkatsu or bulldog sauce. If you don’t have tonkatsu sauce ketchup is good too !

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Pakam na Manok (Chicken stewed in Ginger)

I know that not a lot are familiar with Pakam. I believe this is a regional dish from the province of Bulacan. However, this is also well known in the Navotas/Malabon area where my family comes from. The reason maybe because of its proximity to Bulacan. My grandparents from both maternal and paternal side makes this dish using either chicken or beef.

It is fairly simple to prepare. First, heat a pan and add 2 tbsp. vegetable oil. Then saute 1 thumbsized piece of ginger cut into slivers, 1 medium sized finely chopped onion and 3 cloves of minced garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and aromatic. Add 2 chopped roma tomatoes and cook until softened and has released its juices. Then add your chicken pieces (I used 1.5 lb bone in chicken thighs). Stir until the chicken are coated with the aromatics. Season with 2 tbsp. white vinegar preferably cane vinegar and 2 tbsp. fish sauce. Lower the heat, cover and continue cooking for about 30 minutes. You will know when its done when the sauce is reduced and has considerably thickened.

Ladle into bowls and serve with rice.

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Filipino Sopas from leftover Turkey

The day after thanksgiving I always make soup from the turkey carcass. It’s always the Filipino style chicken noodle soup or what we call “Sopas”. I just place the bones in a big stock pot and cover it with water and add celery, carrots and onion and let this simmer for about 20 minutes. Then I strain the broth and set this aside. Before throwing away the the bones make sure to pick the meat from it.

In another pot saute 2-3 cloves minced garlic and 1 medium chopped white onion in some olive oil. Cook until translucent and vegetables are soft. Then add 1/2 cup diced carrots and a cup of diced leftover turkey meat (I use white meat) and the meat picked from the bones. Stir until just combined. Place half a box of pasta, I like to use elbow macaroni but I didn’t have any, so I used penne or whatever you have on hand. Shell shaped pasta is also a good choice and my mom’s preference. Stir again until pasta is coated with the oil and then add enough water to cover everything approx. 5-6 cups. Let this come to a boil then lower the heat and let simmer until pasta is done around 9-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add 3/4 – 1 cup milk and some shredded napa cabbage. Simmer until the milk is heated through and vegetable is crisp tender.

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Chicken Nilaga (Filipino Chicken Soup)

Chicken Nilaga I think was the very first dish I learned to cook. It is the easiest I think because it’s just practically boiling meat and adding vegetables. Making a flavorful and tasty Nilaga is another matter.

I make nilaga during the Autumn and Winter season when the weather is a lot cooler. Nothing beats a warm bowl of soup on a cold night. Since our weather is starting to get chilly, I made some chicken nilaga for dinner.

First, make sure to use bone in chicken to create a flavorful broth, I prefer to use thighs or drumstick. Place your chicken pieces in a deep pot and add enough water just to cover the meat. Add 1 medium chopped white onion and some peppercorns (if you don’t have peppercorns ground pepper will do). Let this come to a boil then lower the heat and let simmer covered until chicken is tender. Don’t forget to remove scum. Then add your vegetable of choice, you can use white cabbage, napa cabbage, boy choy and even broccoli. Season with salt and pepper. Filipinos by the way like to season this with fish sauce. For this recipe I used napa cabbage, chayote and carrots. Cook until vegetables are crisp tender, I don’t like my vegetables to be mushy or too soft.

Ladle in deep bowls and serve with rice. My family eats this with a dipping sauce of lime or lemon and soy sauce. Traditionally Filipinos would use fish sauce and calamansi as dipping sauce.

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