Quarantummy: Kakiage

I love Japanese food. I mean, who doesn’t? I love ramen and tempura. I love gyoza and sashimi. I love yakiniku.

Once, when Oneal and I were newlyweds, we tried to make ebi tempura. We ended up having dinner at midnight, because it took so much work! So we were like, okay yeah we’ll just eat out when we want tempura, haha.

Now, because of the quarantine, we actually have a lot of vegetables, from deliveries and from a bag given by a relative (thanks Trina!). So I’ve been trying to figure out how to cook them before they go bad.

Last night, Mary Ann suggested kakiage. So I gave it a try.

Ingredients:

  • Carrots – peeled and chopped into matchsticks
  • Bell pepper – chopped into strips
  • Zucchini – chopped into matchsticks
  • Eggs – 2, beaten
  • Water – 2 tablespoons
  • Oil
  • Panko breadcrumbs
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Oil

Best if you chop the vegetables into similar sizes or lengths. You can also add seafood, or use other vegetables like sweet potato, onions, green beans, enoki or oyster mushrooms.

 

For the sauce: I had to improvise because I didn’t have mirin.

  • soy sauce
  • brown sugar
  • ginger – chopped finely, or grated
  • white wine vinegar

 

Procedure:

Like tempura, this is a pretty laborious process. Also messy. Be prepared to use a lot of plates, bowls, spoons and forks. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

Also prepare a plate where you can put the kakiage post-breading and pre-frying.

  1. Prepare three bowls.
    • In the first bowl, mix flour, salt and pepper.
    • In the second bowl, mix beaten egg with water.
    • Put panko in the third bowl.
  2. If using an air-fryer (I did), pre-heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  3. The instructions said to get a clump of vegetables, then dip them in the flour, then egg, then the panko. This was kind of stressful and wasteful. So instead, I poured all the vegetables into a wide, shallow dish, then added flour. Then I mixed everything up until all the vegetable pieces were covered in flour. This was much more efficient, and I even had flour left over.
  4. I took the bowl with the egg and water mixture, and poured that onto the vegetables that were now thoroughly coated with flour. It wasn’t enough to coat all the vegetables, so I beat another egg with a tablespoon of water, and added that.
  5. The egg and flour on the vegetables made a thick, sticky coating around the vegetables. I spooned a small cluster of vegetables and rolled it around in the panko. Then I carefully placed the breaded piece on a plate.
  6. When I had about two plates of breaded vegetables, I brushed the tray of the air fryer with oil. Using tongs, I carefully arranged the vegetables in a single layer. Then I cooked it for 10 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius).
  7. Continue breading the clusters of vegetables until you’ve gone through everything. Fry in batches.
  8. Frying may take anywhere from 10 to 15 minutes, depending on how crunchy or toasty you want it. If you have an oil spray, you can spray with oil to make sure all the flour and breading gets toasty. I didn’t have oil spray, so I used a silicon brush and dripped oil onto the pieces that were a little dry.

 

For the sauce: In a shallow pan, mix all ingredients over a low flame, until sugar dissolves.

OMG this was tiring. But it was so good, and Lucas loved it!

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