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Category: Quick

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

Soy Glazed Potatoes

Soy Glazed Potatoes

Whenever I tell people that I don’t love potatoes, they gasp as if I just said I hate kittens. But it’s true, they aren’t my fave veggie by a long shot. I usually find them kind of bland and boring. Generally when I want a read more

Vegetarian Flat Noodles

Vegetarian Flat Noodles

I can’t believe we’ve gotten through almost the entire first month of the year and I haven’t posted a noodle recipe yet. Well that travesty ends today! These Vegetarian Flat Noodles are an absolute winner of a dish. They are on the table so fast- read more

Korean Potato Pancake

Korean Potato Pancake

Everyone knows that I’m a noodle/rice over potatoes girl any day of the week, but I do make an exception for a crisp and crunchy potato pancake situation. This Korean Potato Pancake is latkes’ cool older cousin; all the savory and crispy potato flavor you love coupled with the much easier (and far more fun) communal aspect of making one large pancake to share. I serve it with a creamy, gently spiced dipping sauce that takes just seconds to make. Best of all the ingredient list is short and uses common pantry staples.

I live in Miami and have many Jewish friends…and I cook. So who do you think gets asked to help out come holiday season? For years, my friend Kira and I would prep her Hannukah dinners at one of our restaurants. She would come in loaded like a pack mule and we would end the day with piles of ready made food, all set for her special night.

The highlight of those meals were her latkes, mini potato and onion patties/cakes, which she liked to make extra crispy and “spidery” to get the most crisp edges. The combination of potato and onion figure prominently in many different cuisines because it’s cheap, always available, and above all delicious: that comforting, familiar flavor is hard to beat. Add in my honey curry dipping sauce and it’s like a latke/samosa baby. So late night snack, appetizer, or side- my Korean Potato Pancake is ready to satisfy all of your carb desires, so let’s get into it.

 

ingredients Korean potato pancake

I start making my Korean Potato Pancake by whipping up the dipping sauce. A few pantry ingredients later and I have a sauce that combines the creaminess of mayo with the earthy spice of curry powder and just a touch of sweetness from some honey. The yield on this sauce is just enough for 1 pancake. If you’re a sauce lover, you can double up as any leftovers would be great paired with my Japanese Fried Chicken.

 

Once I’ve stirred everything together I put it aside and start grating the potato and onion. I use a russet for this, and one big potato should be enough.

grating korean pancake potato

salt pepper korean potato pancake

I mix it with a fork until everything is thoroughly combined:

mixed korean pancake

Now it’s time to fry this baby up! I use a neutral oil like avocado so it doesn’t mask the potato goodness. I heat the pan for several minutes. Get the pan good and hot. This is important because the potato mixture is quite wet and you need to get that pan as hot as possible so the mixture doesn’t glue itself to the pan when you pour it in. You can also use a non-stick pan, but I like to live dangerously. We use a generous amount of oil which helps to crisp up the potatoes and gives it flavor.

Once you scrape out the potato mixture into the pan, use a fork to help it spread out evenly and then don’t touch it. It needs time alone to build a crust and brown. Resist the urge to touch and look. Once it’s cooked for 3 minutes, use a thin spatula and scrape along the edges to loosen the pancake and then flip it over.

Once the second side has cooked, I like to cover it with a lid for several minutes. Since the potatoes started raw, you need to make sure that the inside of the pancake is soft and fluffy… not crunchy and undercooked. Once the pancake is cooked, I flip and brown each side for a couple more minutes to get a beautifully crisp pancake.

Slide the Korean Potato Pancake onto a serving platter and dig in! You can cut it into wedges like a pizza and serve, or you could enjoy it communally like Koreans do. What could be better than bonding over  a big, crunchy and crispy potato pancake?!

feature k potato pancake

We like to enjoy this as a snack on its own, but it would also be most welcome as part of a brunch along with my Tamagoyaki Frittata, Strawberry Lychee Lemonade, and Mango Sago.

I hope you love this Korean Potato Pancake. Whip it up this weekend and let me know! Leave a comment and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you.

 

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recipe korean potato pancake

Korean Potato Pancake

  • Author: Funky Asian Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 22 minutes
  • Yield: serves 2
  • Category: snacks
  • Cuisine: korean

Ingredients

Scale

Dipping Sauce:

  • ½ teaspoon mild curry powder
  • 3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
  • A couple dashes of salt and pepper to taste

For the potato pancake:

  • 1 large russet potato (about 10 ounces)
  • ¼ medium yellow onion
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup neutral oil

Instructions

  1. Make the dipping sauce: combine the curry powder, mayonnaise, honey, and garlic powder. Stir with a fork until smooth. Taste and adjust with a little salt and pepper as needed. Set aside.
  2. Peel the potato and grate it over a bowl. (Use a coarse grater or the largest hole on a box grater. Do not use an asian grater as it will turn the potato into a wet mush)
  3. Next grate the onion, adding it to the potato. Add the salt, ground pepper, and potato starch. Use a fork and mix to combine.
  4. Heat a heavy 10 inch skillet over medium heat for several minutes (be patient and get it good and hot). Add half of the oil to the skillet and swirl to coat the pan.
  5. Scrape the potato mixture into the pan, using the fork to spread the mixture evenly into the pan.
  6. Cook the potato pancake for 3 minutes and then use a thin, stiff spatula to loosen the edges of the pancake. Flip the pancake and pour the remaining oil around the perimeter of the pancake. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  7. Cover the pan with a tight lid and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Take off the lid.
  8. Flip the pancake again and cook for another 2 minutes. And flip one last time to crisp the other side for another minute.
  9. Either plate the pancake for communal sharing or ransfer to a cutting board and cut the pancake like a pizza into 8 slices before serving.
  10. Serve Korean Potato Pancake immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.

Keywords: korean, savory pancake, potato pancake, crispy, gamjajeon, gamja-jeon