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Category: Recipes

Korean Stir Fried Potatoes

Korean Stir Fried Potatoes

In my recent travels through Seoul, I rekindled my love with all the little side dishes, known as banchan, that accompany a meal. These sides often end up stealing the show from the main dish. Kimchi, spicy beansprouts, steamed eggplant, cucumber salad…the variety is dizzying. read more

Rosé Rabokki

Rosé Rabokki

If you’re a fan of Korean cuisine like I am, you’re probably familiar with tteokbokki, the hugely popular street food featuring chewy rice cakes in a spicy, savory sauce. But have you ever tried rosé tteokbokki? This delightful twist combines the classic flavors of tteokbokki read more

Warabi Mochi

Warabi Mochi

Warabi Mochi is a traditional dessert enjoyed in Japan, especially during the summer months. Usually served chilled, it has a fun jelly-like texture. Chewy and “bouncy” textures are really popular in many Asian countries, celebrated for their unique and satisfying mouthfeel. From Taiwan’s boba drinks to Korea’s tteok (rice cakes) and all the different ways mochi is used in Japan, these textures add a playful and enjoyable element to a wide variety of traditional sweets and snacks. True Warabi Mochi is made using bracken (a type of fern) starch, which can be hard to find in the states, so I use the more widely available warabi mochiko (Japanese sweet potato starch).

I keep the traditional toppings of Kuromitso, a black sugar syrup, and kinako, a Japanese roasted soybean flour. Like most Asian desserts this isn’t cloyingly sweet. Instead it has the perfect drizzle of  sweetness from the syrup with a toasty goodness from the nutty roasted soybeans. It’s about to be your new favorite summer dessert. This is such an easy and pleasing confection, so let’s get into it.

the ingredients

Make the Kurimitso

I start by making the syrup so it has time to cool. It can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for whenever the mood for a little something sweet strikes. Japanese black sugar, known as kurozato, is a traditional unrefined cane sugar with a rich, molasses-like flavor and dark color. Unlike regular white sugar, black sugar retains more of the natural minerals and nutrients found in sugarcane, such as potassium, iron, and calcium. It often comes in solid blocks or granulated form, with a crumbly texture that can be easily grated or dissolved. It can be found at most large Asian stores or online and is worth seeking out for its unique taste. Dark brown sugar or muscovado can be used instead, but they are sweeter so I would omit the regular sugar in the syrup recipe.

the sugars and water in a saucepan

simmering until liquid is syrupy

Cool the syrup to room temperature and keep it in the fridge until ready to use.

Making the Warabi Mochi

kinako for warabi mochi

whisking warabi mochi flour and water together

stirring the warabi mochi mixture on the stove

Making Warabi Mochi is identical to making a “pudding” in the pot and then pouring it out to let it set. And like any pudding, it comes together very quickly once the liquid starts to gel. Make sure you are constantly mixing/stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon as the warabi mochi cooks, so you can ensure a smooth consistency. Once the mixture starts to thicken and gel up, the color will change from snow white to translucent.

Then it’s ready to pour out onto the kinako lined baking pan.

pouring and shaping the mochi

Put it in the fridge to chill to at least room temperature, it will be easier to cut.

cutting mochi into cubes

Now it’s time to serve! Drizzle the kuromitsu sauce on top and serve with some extra kinako on the side.

pouring the syrup on top

I’m excited for you try this popular Japanese sweet, and I can’t wait to hear what you think of it. And to see your pics, don’t forget to tag us @funkyasiankitchen.

Love Asian inspired treats? Check out our Almond Jello, Halo Halo, or this Mango Sago.

 

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picture of the warabi mochi dessert

Warabi Mochi

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

Scale
  • ¾ cup (82 gram package) warabi mochiko (Japanese sweet potato starch)*
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ¾ cup water

Kuromitsu (Black sugar syrup):

  • 4 ounces black sugar*
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water

Topping:

  • ½ cup kinako* for the pan plus a little more for topping

Instructions

Make the syrup:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the black sugar, sugar, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Lower the heat to medium low (so it’s at a gentle simmer) and simmer it for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it has reduced slightly and has a light syrupy consistency, like maple syrup.
  3. Cool the syrup to room temperature and store in an airtight container in the fridge. The syrup will last for several weeks or even months if stored in the freezer.

Make the Warabi Mochi:

  1. Sprinkle a ¼ cup of kinako on a small baking tray and set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the warabi mochi flour, water, and sugar and mix well. 
  3. Put the pan over medium high heat and bring to a simmer while stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon.
  4. Once you start to see the mixture gelling up in the pot, reduce the heat to medium low and keep stirring with a wooden/silicone spoon, mixing/beating the mixture constantly, for about 5-8 minutes. The color will transform from white to a translucent color and the mixture will be thick like a pudding.
  5. Pour/scrape the mixture out onto the prepared pan, trying to keep it in a thick rectangular slab, about 1 ½ inches thick.
  6. Sprinkle another ¼ cup of kinako across the top of the warabi mochi.
  7. Refrigerate for 15-20 minutes until it is slightly cool. (I  just leave mine on the kitchen counter until it’s room temperature because I’m weird and like it a little warm.)
  8. Cut the warabi mochi into small cubes and divide it into small serving dishes, making sure to get the kinako in the pan. Serve with the syrup and extra kinako on the side.
  9. You can make the wasabi mochi ahead of time and keep it covered in the fridge for several hours.

Notes

*If you cannot find Japanese black sugar, feel free to substitute muscovado or dark brown sugar. However, these sugars are less bitter than Japanese black sugar so you can omit the regular sugar in the syrup recipe.

*When I’m feeling lazy, I just mix confectioner’s sugar into the kinako and don’t bother with making syrup. Sift the confectioner’s sugar over the kinako and stir to combine. I use ¼ cup sugar (or more to taste) for every cup of kinako.

*Kinako is available in Japanese grocery stores. Koreans also use soybean flour; however, the flavor is milder and not as roasted. 

*Warabi mochi is best consumed the same day. If you refrigerate leftovers overnight, they will become hard. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and microwave on 50% power for a couple minutes to bring back the chewy bouncy texture. Add a little more kinako before serving and you’re good to go.

Keywords: sweets, dessert, mochi, japanese, treats, warabi

Broccoli Salad

Broccoli Salad

If you’re looking for a quick and delicious way to enjoy broccoli, this simple broccoli salad might just become your new favorite. Inspired by my recent trip to Seoul and reminiscent of banchan, the dizzying array of small side dishes that accompany a Korean BBQ read more

Corn Cheese

Corn Cheese

You don’t see a lot of cheese in most Asian cuisines. But boy does that change in South Korea! Dating back to the war when American army bases would hand out some of their rations like Spam, canned corn, corn meal, and sliced cheese, Koreans read more

Poached Chicken

Poached Chicken

In theory I get the appeal of meal prepping. In practice though the idea of making a big batch of say, chicken and rice, on a Sunday and then eating that same chicken and rice on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday is my personal idea of hell. How do I know on Sunday what I will be craving on Friday?!  The monotony of it all makes me sad. I feel like meal prepping is for people who don’t really enjoy cooking and don’t see it as a creative pursuit in and of itself. But I do get the appeal of opening the fridge and having some of the work already done. So my idea of meal prepping is to have ingredients, rather than meals, prepped and ready to go so that I can reap the benefits of planning ahead while still satisfying my desire to cook and eat in the moment. And that’s where this Poached Chicken comes in.

If you think this is a dish that belongs back in your grandmother’s country club era, think again. Perfectly poached chicken is lusciously tender, and a blank canvas for an endless variety of delicious and healthy meals. Sandwiches, salads, noodle bowls, tacos, and more can be ready in minutes if you have these poached chicken breasts sitting pretty in your fridge, so let’s get into it.

ingredients for poached chicken

Poached Chicken has a bad rap for being bland and dry. But not with my method! A flavorful poaching liquid and gentle cooking insures perfect results every time. Seasoning the poaching liquid with  ginger, garlic, bay leaves and onions gives the chicken a nice flavor base without overpowering it so it can still be used in any recipe.

When I was a kid, there was one Thanksgiving where we had to leave during the day to visit some friends. We had only been cooking the turkey for a hour and worried that we would come home and the turkey would be raw, forcing my mom to scramble to get the meal on the table. Shockingly, when we cut into the turkey, it was fully cooked and probably the best turkey we had ever tasted. Moist, tender, and oh so juicy. The idea of cooking meat on high heat at first and then finishing the cooking on residual heat is not new but it was the first time for me that I tasted what a transformation it could have on meal. Lean protein in particular, like boneless skinless chicken breasts, really benefit from this method of cooking.

smashed garlic poached chicken

ginger onion poached chicken

For this recipe I seek out smaller chicken breasts, around 8 ounces each. This helps them to cook evenly and in less time so they stay moist. If using larger chicken breasts cut them in half (crosswise) before proceeding. I also use a fork to pierce the chicken all over, this both helps it absorb the flavors of the poaching liquid and shortens the cooking time.

The pot you use is important. It needs to be big enough to hold 8 cups of water and fit the chicken breasts in an even layer. I used a 4 quart pot but anything up 6 quarts should work fine. If you’re planning on poaching say 4 breasts, I suggest you cook in two batches rather than dumping two more breasts into the pot. But you can re-use the same poaching liquid. This technique relies on transferring heat from the poaching liquid to the meat and you want to have plenty of liquid to bathe the raw meat.

lemon poached chicken

salt pepper poached chicken

simmer chicken

Letting the brine simmer for 10 minutes makes a perfectly seasoned poaching liquid. After the 10 minutes I remove the lemon so the bitter citrus flavor doesn’t become super pronounced.

I cook the chicken for precisely 3 minutes, and then cover and remove from the heat. Then it continues to gently cook (off heat) for another 13-15 minutes until cooked through. You can test for doneness by either using a meat thermometer or just cutting into one.  Now you have perfectly poached chicken ready to be used in your favorite recipes. It will hold in the fridge for several days. It is traditionally served cold, but you can gently reheat in the microwave. I like to serve it with a dipping sauce, the scallion ginger sauce from my Hainanese Chicken is a superb pairing. If you like it spicy Prik Nam Pla is excellent too. You can use it to add protein to a simple salad dressed with Roasted Sesame Dressing. I’m excited to hear how you’ll use these Poached Chicken breasts, let me know in the comments! And don’t forget to tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you.

 

 

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recipe poached chicken

Poached Chicken

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4
  • Category: entrees
  • Cuisine: pan-Asian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 piece ginger (roughly the size of half a lemon, sliced
  • ½ large onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed 
  • ½ Tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons sea salt
  • 23 chicken breasts, about 8 ounces each

Instructions

  1. Fill a medium deep large pan with the water, bay leaves, ginger, onion, garlic, salt and peppercorns. Your pot needs to be able to fit the chicken in one layer, so that the chicken will be completely submerged in the hot liquid.
  2. Juice the lemons into the water, and then add the lemons to the pot as well. Bring the contents of the pan to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan with a lid, lower the heat to medium, and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  3. With a fork, prick your chicken breasts liberally on both sides. This will help the brine and heat penetrate the meat.
  4. Remove the lemons, add the chicken breasts, turn the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes. The liquid will not come to a simmer and that’s ok-trust the process. 
  5. Remove the pot from the heat, cover the pot with a lid, and let the chicken sit for about 13-15 minutes until the chicken reaches 160 degrees with a thermometer (you can also take one breast out and cut into it to check).
  6. Remove the chicken from the liquid and it’s ready for use.

Notes

*You can chill and store the chicken breasts in the fridge whole until ready to use. The chicken breasts are good for several days.

*These chicken breasts are lightly seasoned and can be served topped with sauce or mixed with a dressing. Increase the salt by ½ Tablespoon if you prefer more pronounced seasoning.

*For best results, use evenly sized breasts that are as close to 8 ounces each. If your chicken breasts are incredibly large, cut them in half crosswise first before poaching. 

*You can use the poaching liquid to cook more chicken breasts, although I recommend cooking only 2 at a time. Add a little more salt before repeating.  

 

Keywords: poached chicken, meal prep, poaching, healthy, chicken