Here is a terrific appetizer for New Years Eve! Simple to make, and I haven't met a person yet who doesn't absolutely love it. Kara Age is pronounced sort of like Kahdah Ahgay you have to sort of roll the "hd" like you roll an R in spanish but not quite as hard. (my own phonetic spelling there... take it for what it's worth!) My husband spent 2 years in Japan on a church mission. He loved so much of the food. Oddly, this wasn't one of the dishes he tried there! However, when we were first married, and had our first internet connection, we searched for Japanese food recipes and this one came up. It has been a favorite for years.
This requires deep frying, but I just use a 2 quart pan and about 3 inches of oil. You marinate this for a few minutes prior to frying, so be sure to start this about 1/2 an hour ahead of time. As a time saver, you COULD mix up the marinade early and cube the chicken, but you don't want to mix them together too soon or it is MUCH too salty.
3-4 boneless chicken breasts or the equivalent in boneless chicken thighs
1/2 C. soy sauce
2 T. apple juice or mirin (a Japanese sweet rice wine for cooking)
1/4 C. chicken broth or 1/4 C. water plus 1/2 tsp. chicken boullion
1 tsp. ground ginger or 1 T. fresh ground ginger
1 tsp. garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
1/2 C. cornstarch
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces. In a large bowl, mix the remaining ingredients EXCEPT the cornstarch. Add chicken and mix so all is coated. Cover and refrigerate, stirring occasionally for 1/2 - 1 hour. When you're ready to fry, heat oil to 350-375 (I use a thermometer to keep mine the right temperature). Pour part of the liquid off of the chicken - maybe 1/4 C. worth. Into the remaining chicken and liquid, add the cornstarch. You should have a slightly thickened mixture. Drop pieces of chicken into the hot oil and fry until golden brown. About 3 minutes most of the time. Remove from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Continue frying in small batches until it's all cooked. Serve warm.
about it! :) Kara Age can also be served as the main dish in your meal. Tonight we had fried rice and sliced oranges with ours. Delicious!