...especially when I only got about 5 hours of sleep the night before. All day long my planned chicken karaage and vegetable tempura dinner loomed ominously. Whattheheckanutcrack was I thinking?
Once my visiting sister and I got home from errands and picking up Bunny from school, I didn't even want to think about making a complicated dinner. We lazed the afternoon away but then, around 4:00 I got a second wind. I decided to suck it up and get dinner going. And once it got going, it just rolled right along.
The veggies are channeling Bell Biv Devoe saying, "Do me, baby." Kabocha doesn't need to be peeled before cooking. (I ended up using only about half of the veggies I cut. I'll do something with the rest of them later in the week. The kabocha lends itself to miso soup, so that will be lunch one day this week.)
A colorful melange of veggie tempura. I picked a few of each vegetable and deep-fried them together for about 4 minutes, the drained them on a rack, Korean-style. I think placing things directly on paper towels makes fried foods soggy. I used a Korean frying mixture for the tempura (not Japanese, I know) and thought it worked very well. It was light and crispy. My mix was pre-seasoned with salt and garlic powder which added a nice little kick.
Now for the chicken karaage. That's what's up right there. I used this recipe,
made a test batch and decided it need salt. So I added some sea salt
to the chicken before I tossed it in the corn starch. Muuuuch better. A
little squeeze of lemon over these tasty bites of fried chicken took it
over the top. Make these and you'll never buy frozen nuggets ever
again. You could easily make a big batch and freeze it.
This dinner (with rice on the side) was a huge hit with Bunny and
Wallie. The karaage was gone in minutes. Bunny prefers the asparagus
and broccoli, Wallie likes broccoli and onion rings. They didn't like
the kabocha squash but that's okay. It was always my favorite growing
up and still is. More for the adults.
The thing I keep forgetting about the deep fryer is that, while I don't want to use it all the time, it truly is a one-pot, practically no clean-up way to cook a meal. My Delonghi drains easily and washes up in a snap, and let's face it—it's loads of fun to use. I've used it twice now and the novelty still hasn't worn off. That plus the fact that everyone really enjoyed their dinner made me happy I decided to make it after all.