Street Food - Japan
Aaron's first week of the Street Food Course proper features a mishmash of Asian fusion dishes:
'slaw, salt & pepper chips and katsu curry.
But first a history lesson
Japan adopted the western habit of breading and frying thin cuts of meat some time around 1900,
possibly calling them katsuretsu
as an oriental approximation of the French cotelette
They were made following the traditional French paner
process of dipping them in flour, eggs, then breadcrumbs before frying.
Except the breadcrumbs were panko
(from particularly airy, crispy, flaky bread) just to be different.
These gradually became known as just katsu
in their original form of breaded beef steaks,
then pork tonkatsu
("ton" being pig),
for chicken cutlets often first marinated in buttermilk and dressed with sweet wine.
Finally these cutlets were joined by the popular Japanese re-interpretation of Westerners' interpretation of Indian curry sauce.
And thus was Katsu Curry born!
The story behind Salt and Pepper Chips is even more intriguing
having been developed in Liverpool's Chinese immigrant-owned fish and chip shops
from combining the toppings for salt and pepper squid, chicken wings or ribs with the insatiable Scouser appetite for chips.
Put these together with a generic Asian version of the 18th
century Dutch koolsla
and you have this week's street-food box.
Torikatsu - Chicken Cutlets
main oriental fowl
Unlike most Japanese chicken katsu cutlets these are just floured, not breaded.
- 2 skinned boneless chicken thighs
- 200ml buttermilk
- 200g self-raising flour
- 2 tsps dried oregano
- 2 tsps cayenne pepper
- 2 tsps dried thyme
- 1 tsp black pepper
In a large bowl place your chicken thighs in the buttermilk and leave to coat.
In another bowl add the spices and flour and combine together.
Place your chicken in the flour and spice blend and coat, then place in a deep fat fryer to go golden
or shallow fry in 2-3cm of vegetable oil until golden each side and add to the oven at 180°C for 8 minutes.
oriental salad veg vegan
This makes far more than you will need to accompany the katsu quantities.
But knock yourself out.
- ¼ red cabbage
- ¼ white cabbage
- 1 carrot
- ½ onion
- bunch coriander
- 4 tblsps soy sauce
- 4 tblsps oil
- 1 sliced chilli
- fish sauce
- rice vinegar
- lime juice
- onion or sesame seeds
- sesame oil
Finely shred all the vegetables and place in a bowl with spices, sauces, oils and seasonings and combine.
oriental sauce veg vegan
Katsu cutlets are mostly served either with a dipping sauce created by mixing (Japanese) ketchup, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce,
particularly when eaten as a sandwich,
or a curry sauce made from a block of dried commercial curry roux. You can make your own roux from frying flour and curry powder in a little oil.
Aaron's version here is a little different, and leans more towards
curry sauce made by blending softened vegetables and curry powder.
Though their sauce uses coconut milk instead of vinegar.
You pays your money, you makes your choice. Though I can't help feeling rice vinegar might have been a more appropriate choice than wine?
- 1 carrot
- 1 white onion
- 5 tblsps curry powder
- 100ml white wine vinegar
- 100g sugar
- 200ml water
- 1 tsp chilli powder
Roughly chop all the ingredients and sauté in a pan with a little oil for 3-4 minutes until softened.
Add the water, vinegar and spices and leave to simmer for 20 minutes (topping up with more water as required).
Blend, then pass (through a sieve), cook to reduce if necessary, and cool.
Salt & Pepper Chips
oriental side staple veg
Given that this was developed by thieving thrifty Chinese Scouser fish 'n' chip shop owners, you would normally expect it to consist mostly of onion,
with just the odd chunk of pepper thrown in. If you're lucky.
- 2 large potatoes
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 onion
- 1 chilli
- salt & pepper
- Chinese five spice powder
- Sichuan peppers
- a little sugar
- coriander, chopped
- spring onions, sliced
Cut the potatoes into fries, chips or wedges. Season and mix with oil then bake in the oven at 180°C for 20 minutes
Set aside when cooked.
Slice the pepper, onion and chilli.
In a hot wok or large pan, stir-fry the vegetables for 3 minutes, then season with salt, pepper and five-spice powder.
Add the chips and combine everything together in the pan.