Bento 113: Chicken Karaage onigiri bunnies
Okay – I know it’s Chinese New Year and I am totally celebrating the Year of the Rabbit, but I am actually getting sick of bunnies now. Totally sick of them. And sick of the fact that I can’t seem to do them very well! Maybe that have to do with the fact that I try to do everything speed-style. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I can’t find my nori punch and am only using up nori punch outs that I keep in a container for speed bentos.
So this may be my last bunny bento – or maybe not. At least it contains my favourite meal! I am a lover of fried chicken – you can feed me fried chicken everyday. It also contains some brocollini, bibb lettuce, a strawberry, more lychees (it always seems to make an appearance during Chinese New Year?) and radishes and tangerine segments for color. The bunnies are plain white rice onigiris, whilst the ears are cut from polony and stuck on with a bit of spaghetti.
To make chicken karaage, I marinade my boneless chicken thighs (they came skinless as well, but its better with skin-on) in a mixture of soya sauce, mirin and minced ginger for about 30 minutes. I cut each thigh into about 3-4 pieces. I dredge it through a mixture of corn flour, himalayan salt and toasted black sesame seeds before dropping it into a pan of boiling oil. It has taken me years (I used to be deep-frying adverse), but the key to deep-frying safely is start on a low fire, and then slowly crank the heat up. The oil is ready when you can see a slight haze above it. I take it out after the chicken pieces start to float to the surface (lightly browned) and then pop them back into the hot oil to finish them off until they are golden brown. This double-frying method ensures that the chicken remains crispy even after it has gone cold – perfect for popping into the bento box.
If you’re unsure on level of cooked-ness, cut through the largest piece of chicken to make sure that the juices are running clear. Serve with some Kewpie mayo; or the traditional way of a squeeze of lemon. I, however, love it with bulldog sauce, which is also known as tonkatsu sauce. Yum. And with nearly everything being leftovers from dinner; this bento was put together in less than 15 minutes – yay!