We do like to eat, and we do like to cook. So we spend quite a long time preparing, cooking, and eating food. Today's marathon started at 5:30 in the afternoon with the chicken tonkatsu, we proceeded to make a batch of shrimp fritters (we love these!), and warmed up some lo pet ban to snack on. We ended with fresh-baked ginger cookies and mango-peach smoothies. It was 11:00 by the time we finished licking the spoons clean!
I found this tonkatsu recipe on japanesefood.about.com. I don't know how authentic it is...it's probably a westernized version of a Japanese dish. In any case, I made my version with chicken, since I think cooking with pork is a chancy deal. Unless you use pork tenderloin, this meat is going to come out tough. So chicken it is. First, make the rice then make the tonkatsu sauce.
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup rice wine (I substituted rice vinegar)
2 tablespoons ginger (I used a 2 inch piece of ginger root, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds)
2 tablespoons garlic (I used 3 large garlic cloves)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup mirin (I substituted 1/4 cup white wine mixed with 1/4 teaspoon sugar)
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan. Adjust seasonings. Bring to a boil then simmer 25-30 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, cook the chicken and boil water for the broccoli. You'll have about 2 cups of tonkatsu sauce, more than enough. Refrigerate or freeze the leftovers.
8 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless, trimmed of fat
4 chicken breasts, skinless and boneless, trimmed of fat and tendon
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
3/4 cup flour
2 eggs beaten
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
Canola oil for frying
Slit the chicken thighs on the thickest part or pound to 1/2 inch thickness. Slice the breasts in half horizontally at the thickest part.
In a pie plate, combine salt, pepper, and flour. In another pie plate, beat two eggs with water. In a third pie plate, sprinkle the Panko crumbs. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
Dredge each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and finally in the Panko breadcrumbs. Place breaded cutlets on the prepared baking sheet. Heat oil in a large skillet until it shimmers. Reduce heat to medium-low. Fry cutlets 2-3 minutes on both sides until golden brown and cooked through. Drain well on paper towels. Set aside or keep in a warm oven. When ready to serve, slice each chicken piece into 1/2 inch slivers.
The Vegetable Side
4 cups fresh broccoli florets
1 sweet red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
3 carrots cut into thin rounds
1/2 large onion cut into 1/4 inch strips
3 cloves garlic sliced
1 tablespoon oil
salt and pepper to taste
Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a large pot. Cook the broccoli until it turns a bright green. Drain well. In a large skillet heat oil and stir-fry the carrots until they are shiny. Add about 2 tablespoons water, and stir-fry, about 3-5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic. Stir-fry until the onions and garlic become fragrant. Add the peppers for a minute. Add the cooked broccoli. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
To assemble, spoon rice into a deep bowl. Place the chicken slivers on one side and drizzle tonkatsu sauce on top. Put a generous spoonful of veggies next to the chicken.
Ah, dessert! Mango-Peach Smoothie with Ginger Cookies