Proving cheerfully day by day that your diet aspirations for the New Year and trash.
Happy Wednesday, and welcome back to my cooking blog series! This is the first post I've written since I've come back from my vacation in Vietnam and Laos, so it's really been a fun and weird experience to get back in the swing of things. I have a lot of good ideas from the new year, and over on Twitter (@yumpenguinsnack) I've been given some good recommendations for shows to watch, which makes me happy and excited for the new season!
I came back home and, while catching up with my friends, I was made aware that quite a few people are, as usual, seeking out some kind of diet resolution for the new year. My friends' conversation, coupled with multiple articles and other bits and bobs on the internet made me over-aware of the subject. Cutting back on food, wiping out carbs, eating only a thousand calories a day... honestly, it was depressing to hear so many people talking about it.
I mean, I run a food blog for goodness sake. Dieting is as far from my mind as possible, at least in the traditional sense of cutting calories and removing entire parts of the outdated food pyramid from my food intake.
I'm a firm believer that diets are doomed to fail, because everyone likes to break rules, especially the ones you make for yourself. Instead, I subscribe more to the 'everything in excess' theory. That is, everything in excess is bad for you, including too many raw carrots. If not for your physical health, that would chip away at anyones mental health after awhile. Instead, I like to caution moderation in eating, no matter what you're eating. Having a donut? Fine, just one a week. Want to eat some seasoning-free, plain-as-sand baked chicken? Fine, but don't overdo it- you'll kill off your taste-buds and, if nothing else, you could possibly single-handedly wipe out the poultry industry. Lately I've been eating candy every day in an attempt to cut down on sugar. I still eat candy, but only a piece or two a day, to satiate my burning addiction to the additive. And that's all the sugar I eat. So far it's worked quite well- I've been able to avoid hidden added sugars in take-out, which I eat with embarrasing frequency. I feel good about this strange form of dieting, so far. Everything in moderation, you see?
In any case, I was feeling a bit mischevious with all of the doomed diet talk floating around, and when I watched the first episode of Masamune-kun's Revenge, I knew what I had to do. Masamume-kun is convinced he will ruin his physique with the breakfast that was lovingly made for him, but I disagree. One indulgent breakfast in the midst of a strict diet isn't going to kill you; in fact, it may give you the strength to keep going and remember why life is worth living. Masamune-kun was a fool to reject the calorie-laden meal set out for him, and so I decided to recreate it here to give new year dieters a change to indulge, just a little.
The only thing I did not make by hand were the donuts. I've made donuts before, and thought the curry and karaage would be quite enough on their own. I bought my own donuts, but you can choose the path you'd like to make. I've linked the donut recipe I'd use below, which is the same one I used to recreate Shirobako donuts. Making the curry and karaage I think is fine- the donuts I bought tasted great. And you can easily double recipes to get some good leftovers out of the two dishes.
Check out the video below for a visual on instructions. Ingredients and picture instructions are listed just below.
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 8 cloves garlic, pressed/finely grated
- 1 tbs ginger
- 1 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs sake
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 splash of sesame oil
- 1/2 cup flour + 1/2 cup corn starch
- Canola oil for fying
- 1/2 box of curry roux, med-hot or hot spice level
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 1-2 small carrots, scrubbed
- 1 small russet potato, scrubbed
- 1 onion
- Olive oil
- Cooked rice
- Either follow my donut recipe here. You will need to melt some chocolate to dip these donuts in to perfectly recreate Masamune-kun's breakfast.
- Or buy your own. I bought my own for this recreation.
1. Start with the chicken! Cut the chicken thighs into bite size pieces.
2. Dump in a bag along with other seasonings. Mix thoroughly together. Do not put in the flour/corn starch combo at this point.
3. Refridgerate for 1/2-1 hour.
4. While that's resting, we'll work on the curry. Set the rice to cook. Cut up the vegetables into bite size pieces.
5. Saute lightly, about 5 minutes, in a pot at med-high.
6. Pour in the water and let boil until veggies are tender, about 15 minutes. A knife inserted into the center shouldn't meet much resistance.
7. Turn heat lower, and add in the curry roux. Stir through and let cook down, just a few minutes.
8. Cover with a lid and set aside until the chicken is done.
9. Take chicken out of the fridge, and then dump the chicken and the flour/cornstarch mixture into a bowl. Toss thoroughly. Coating doesn't have to be even, but each piece should have at least a thin layer of the flour mixture.
10. Bring a pan of oil at least 2 inches deep to 330 degrees. Do a first fry. Cook each piece about 90 seconds, or until crust is lightly browned. I'd recommend cooking about 5-7 pieces at a time. Make sure to maintain the oil temperature! Once done, take each piece out and set aside. It will continue to cook while you work through the whole batch.
11. When you've finished the first fry, bring the oil up to 350-360 degrees. Re-fry each piece another 60-90 seconds or so until it is nicely golden brown. Pile finished pieces onto a plate.
12. Plate up your rice and curry, along with your donuts!
13. And now it's done!!