I’m on a mission to get people to make and enjoy mussels at home. Mussels are sustainable, economical, and an effortless way to add drama and sophistication to any gathering. There’s no reason to save these for a special restaurant meal. These Vietnamese Mussels are read more
Well guys, I did it. I finally caved to peer pressure and I got an air fryer. And wow am I having fun playing with it! We have this Japanese Fried Chicken on our restaurant menus, and it is hugely popular. I wanted to see if I could capture the juicy, crunchy deliciousness of it in an air fryer, and I was not disappointed! All the crispy, savory goodness with none of the hassles of deep frying, so let’s get into it.
Prepping Japanese Fried Chicken
There isn’t a culture that doesn’t make fried chicken, and I love them all, from Korean Fried Chicken to Nashville Hot. But Japanese Fried Chicken, known as karaage, holds a special place in my heart. It gets marinated with ginger, sake and oyster sauce, and that helps it stay extraordinarily juicy and flavorful. And instead of flour, I use potato starch. That makes for super crispy fried chicken, and it happens to be gluten free.
I start making this by cutting up the chicken into bite-sized chunks. I use thighs because they have a better, meatier flavor and it is we typically what use when making this dish. Also since we’re using an air fryer that is much drier that frying in oil, the extra moisture from thigh meat is very much appreciated.
When it’s thoroughly mixed I press plastic wrap down on the chicken and let it chill in the fridge for at least a half hour, or up to overnight. The extra time in the fridge really allows the flavors to penetrate giving you an even more delicious fried chicken.
Air Frying Japanese Fried Chicken
Although this recipe is made using an air fryer, you could easily adapt it to oven-frying or even traditional frying. And I put both techniques in the recipe notes. There’s no reason not to make this chicken!
The trick to air frying and oven-frying is to use a modest amount of oil to re-create a similar mouth feel and texture as fried food. However, it would be a mistake to think you don’t need to use any oil. Foods just don’t get crispy without oil, no matter how much air you pump at it. To help with that, I use a can of spray oil, which I consider a great resource for quickly and evenly getting oil across the surface.
I like to spray the fryer basket with oil. This allows the bottom of the chicken to sit on an oiled surface and develop the same texture as the top of the chicken, which will also be sprayed.
I put the chicken in two layers but I think if you can fit it in one layer, it would be easier to flip the chicken. And don’t be too aggressive when flipping/shaking the chicken as you want to preserve the coating and not have it flake off.
I cook the chicken at a moderate heat so it the coating doesn’t get too dark before the chicken is finished cooking. You’re looking for a nice golden crust and juicy chicken. When it’s done it will look like this:
Serve it with some Kewpie mayo, lemon wedges, and shichimi pepper for an outrageously delicious starter.
It’s wonderful served alongside:
Make Japanese Fried Chicken this weekend-I promise it’s worth lugging the air fryer out. Then take a moment to rate the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
- 1 ½ pounds boneless skinless chicken
- 2 Tablespoons peeled grated ginger (minced ginger is ok too)
- 3 Tablespoons sake
- 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup potato starch
- Oil spray
- Lemon wedges, kewpie mayonnaise, and shichimi pepper for serving
- Cut the chicken into 1½ inch pieces. Place it in the bowl.
- Add the ginger, sake, oyster sauce, salt, and black pepper. Mix the chicken to thoroughly coat.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
- Spray the bottom of the air frying basket with oil.
- Dip the chicken pieces a couple at a time into the potato starch.
- Set the chicken into the air fryer basket/tray and spray with the oil. If you have to stack the chicken in two layers, spray each layer of chicken with oil.
- Air fry the chicken at 360 degrees for 20-25 minutes, flipping the chicken every 5 minutes so the chicken cooks evenly. (I also sprayed the chicken with oil again the first time I went to flip it.)
- Transfer the chicken to a plate.
- Serve the Japanese fried chicken with some lemon wedges, kewpie mayo, and shichimi pepper.
*If you have the ability to cook the chicken in one layer in the airfryer, I highly recommend it so you reduce the chance that the coating will peel off from flipping it around.
*You can also oven fry this chicken if you do not have an air fryer. Preheat the oven to 400. Put down a piece of parchment paper. (You can also use aluminum foil). Spray your parchment paper with oil. Lay your prepared chicken on the paper and spray again with oil. Bake the chicken for 20-25 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. (I would spray the chicken again after you flip it). Serve immediately.
*If you would like to deep fry your chicken, pour 2 inches of oil into a deep heavy skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Test the oil by dipping a piece of chicken into the oil. It should bubble immediately. If not, let the oil continue to heat for a couple more minutes. Depending on the size of your skillet, put enough chicken into the pan so that it’s only half full of chicken. Do not crowd the pan otherwise your chicken will soak up a lot of oil and not cook properly. Cook for 6-8 minutes until crisp and golden. Transfer the fried chicken to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat with the remaining chicken. Serve immediately.
Keywords: air fryer, fried chicken, japanese, appetizers, small plates, gluten free
Have some kimchi laying around in the fridge that you need to use up? Try these Korean style dumplings, known as Mandu. They are stuffed with shrimp and kimchi, so they are packed with explosive flavor. And of course I serve them with a yummy dipping sauce. I even manage to squeeze some noodles into them, and I make no apologies for that. Noodles are life! So what are you waiting for?
First Make Mandu Dipping Sauce
Dipping sauces are half the fun of dumplings, whether you call them potstickers, mandu, wontons, or gyoza. And this one has the gingery, tangy, toasty flavor we all love. A little rice vinegar, some soy sauce, minced ginger and garlic, sugar and toasted sesame oil create a perfectly balanced sauce. Just mix everything together and set aside.
Make the Mandu Filling
I start with the shrimp. Since they are going to be ground, it doesn’t matter what size you use. Get whatever’s on sale! Also, it’s not necessary to grind them to paste; chunks of shrimp will give your dumplings much better texture and flavor.
I use one of my favorite noodles for this, the Korean noodle made out of sweet potato starch. They have an awesome chewy texture, and they are naturally gluten free. They can be labeled as either Japchae or Dangmyeon noodles. (Try them in my Mushroom Japchae). You can substitute with mung bean noodles (also known as bean thread noodles) if you’re at a Chinese grocery store that doesn’t carry Korean products.
Shape the Mandu
I use a very simple fold and seal to speed up the process. If you want to try your hand at a more decorative, but more labor intensive dumpling, I give detailed instructions in the note section on how to make the pretty pleats.
Repeat with the rest of the filling, which should yield about 3 dozen dumplings. (Do you see a couple of dumplings that don’t match in the photo below? This is what happens when other people want to help you! 😉 You can freeze some at this point, and I give instructions for that in the note section. Having delicious homemade dumplings in the freezer ready to go for a last minute craving is like money in the bank. The best part is not having to defrost the dumplings before cooking. They go straight into the pan from the freezer. Add a couple more minutes of cooking time and you’re good to go.
Cooking the Mandu
Dumplings in Korea can be deep fried, pan fried, boiled, or steamed. I give directions for boiling them, which creates a softer dumpling. I prefer them pan fried; I love the crispy wrapper which contrasts with the soft interior, but you do you.
Then I add a little water to the pan and cover it with a lid. This creates steam which helps to ensure the filling is cooked all the way through. After a couple minutes, once the water has evaported I take the lid off and let the mandu crisp up a little bit before serving.
These shrimp and kimchi mandu are crispy, spicy, and make a terrific starter. Or just eat a plateful and call it dinner. It will be our secret. Let me know what you think by rating and commenting on the recipe below. And don’t forget to show off your gorgeous dumplings by tagging us @funkyasiankitchen; we love seeing your creations!
- 1 package dumpling skins
- neutral oil for pan frying
- ½ pound shrimp (you can use any size since you will be chopping them up)
- 1 egg, divided
- 2 teaspoons potato starch (can also use corn starch)
- 2 ounces dried sweet potato starch noodles (dangmyeon)
- ¼ yellow onion minced
- ½ cup chopped garlic chives (2 oz. about ¼ of a large bunch)
- 1 cup kimchi, squeezed tightly to eliminate juice and finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 Tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger
- ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
Make the dipping sauce:
- Combine the garlic, ginger, rice wine vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Set aside or refrigerate until ready to use.
Make the filling:
- In a food processor, place the shrimp, egg white (save the yolk for later), potato starch, garlic, and ginger into the bowl.
- Pulse 8-10 times until roughly chopped. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Add the sweet potato starch noodles and lower the heat to medium high.
- Simmer the noodles for 6-8 minutes until the noodles are chewy and do not have a hard core (taste one to check).
- Strain the noodles into a colander and rinse under running water to cool.
- Then put the noodles into some paper towels to dry off the noodles.
- Chop the noodles into small ¼ inch pieces and add them to the shrimp mixture.
- Add the minced onion, chives, kimchi, ginger, oyster sauce, toasted sesame oil, salt, and pepper to the shrimp bowl.
- With clean hands or a spoon, mix the ingredients well.
Make the Mandu/Dumplings:
- Put the egg yolk into a small bowl and whisk well with a fork.
- Take one dumpling wrapper and brush half of the edge with the egg wash. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of filling onto the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper over and seal the edges. This makes a simple half coin dumpling.*
- Set the dumpling aside on a tray and keep making more dumplings until all of the filling has been used up. You will yield approximately 36 dumplings.
Pan Frying the Dumplings:
- Heat a pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Add a Tablespoon or two of oil (depending on the size of the pan you are using) and swirl to coat the pan.
- Add as many dumplings as will fit the pan without the dumplings touching.
- Cook the dumplings for 2 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown. Flip them and brown the other side for 1 minute.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of water and cover the pan with a lid. Cook with a lid and cook for 2 more minutes until the water has evaporated.
- Take off the lid and cook for an additional minute to re-crisp the skin. Transfer the mandu to a plate and serve with the dipping sauce.
- Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in a 4 quart pot over high heat.
- Add 8-10 dumplings and cook for 2-3 minutes until the dumplings float to the surface.
- Scoop them out with a slotted spoon or spider, letting the water drain back into the pot.
- Repeat with more dumplings as desired.
- Transfer the dumplings to a plate and serve with the dipping sauce.
*If you would prefer to make more decorative mandu, place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper and then holding the dumpling with your left hand (if you are right handed), pleat the dumplings by pushing the dough with your left index and middle fingers to create a fold and then pulling it with your right index finger, pinching gently to form a pleat. Seal the pleat by pinching it firmly with the right index finger and thumb. Keep folding and sealing 6-7 times across the top of the dumpling until you have a row of beautiful pleats. It takes a little practice to make it work, but keep trying. All misshapen dumplings taste amazing too!
*You can freeze any dumplings you do not plan on consuming immediately. Put them on a tray so they are not touching. Freeze them for 6-8 hours until they are frozen solid. Bang the tray on the kitchen counter to loosen the dumplings and transfer them to a zip top freezer bag or an airtight container. You should cook them straight from frozen, adding 2-3 more minutes to the cooking time.