Hidamari Sketch has always given its viewers plenty of examples of Japan’s inventive and colorful snacks, as well as shown us just how conflicted Hiro is with her love for cooking and nervousness about body weight. This time around, it’s little Nazuna in the spotlight along with her kitchen incompetence and impending visit from the parents. What makes this particular episode so charming is the homey and family feel that the fried chicken, “karaage”, brings to the residents of Hidamari Apartments, their home away from home.
Unlike the fried chicken I grew up with, bone-in chicken soaked in buttermilk, karaage is steeped for a short amount of time in a soy sauce-based mixture. Not so different is the popular big bowl presentation, where everyone around the table can reach in for a handful of crispy, juicy bites! Other options include making lettuce wraps or rice bowls. Whether you’re cooking for your family, friends, or a table of one, karaage is comfort food at its finest.
You’ll notice that Hiro’s recipe calls for twice-cooked chicken. She doesn’t specify a temperature in the episode, but I started off just barely cooking the chicken at 240, removing them to turn the heat up to 340, then finishing them quickly at the higher temp. This ensures that the chicken is both cooked fully on the inside, and perfectly crispy on the outside. You’re free to just cook the chicken in one step if you’re not so worried. Also be careful to not crowd the chicken, but to fry them a bit at a time. Placing too many pieces into the oil will lower the temperature and affect the timing and quality of your final product.
Source: Hidamari Sketch x Honeycomb, ep. 5, and runnyrunny999
- Boneless chicken (I prefer thighs, but white meat works, too)
- Salt and pepper
- Wet mixture
- 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 3 tbsp. White wine (sake, dry vermouth, etc.)
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 tbsp. Grated ginger
- Green onion
- Dry mixture
- Cornstarch or potato starch
- Remove any undesired skin or fat from chicken
- Cut into bite-size pieces and season with salt and pepper
- Mix together all the wet ingredients
- Marinate chicken in wet mixture for 20 mins.
- Mix together equal parts dry ingredients
- Remove chicken from marinade and coat with dry mixture
- Fry at 240 degrees F until barely golden
- Remove chicken to a separate plate for 1 minute and turn heat up to 340 degrees F
- Re-cook for a couple more minutes or until golden brown
- Arrange cooked chicken on a plate with lettuce leaves
- Green salad
- Rice (as a side, or make a chicken rice bowl!)
- Miso soup