6 April 2012

Harumi Game Changer Deep Fried Chicken with a Leek Sauce and Green Pea Rice

Deep Fried Chicken with Leek Sauce and Green Pea Rice

I often think of Japanese cooking as complex and difficult but Japans most famous housewife Harumi Kurihara, has sought to change that perception. She is all at once a cookbook author, restauranteur, TV chef and personality, and a business woman with a line of products to rival her famous American counterpart Martha Stewart. She has become one of the best known style gurus in Japan over the last 20 years! We can learn more about this amazing woman on her site where it is easy to see why she deserves her rightful place on "the list" of Gourmet Live's 50 Women Game Changers.  

Whether you agree or disagree with the authors chosen fifty and their order it has been an enjoyable and creative outlet to cook from the masters and those we admire with a group of dedicated ladies. There have even been a few successful bloggers on "the list". We have checked out books from the library, borrowed cookbooks from friends, surfed the Internet and browsed our own cookbook collections seeking that one recipe that will highlight that weeks outstanding woman. This group is spearheaded by my favourite well-travelled blogger Mary of One Perfect Bite who back in June 2011 invited bloggers to travel along on a culinary journey throughout the year. It is still not too late to join in in 2012.
The Martha Stewart of Japan

What have we been up to with our 42nd Game Changer....

Mary of One Perfect Bite - Scallop Saute with Miso Sauce
Val of More Than Burnt Toast - Deep Fried Chicken with Leek Sauce and Green Pea Rice
Susan of The Spice Garden
Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed 
Heather of Girlichef - Lettuce-Wrapped Fried Chicken
Miranda of Mangoes and Chutney - Scallop Sauté with Miso Sauce
Jeanette at Jeanette's Healthy Living - Cold Asian Noodles with Peanut Sauce Chicken and Vegetables
Sue of View from The Great Island _ Spring Vegetable Salad with Miso Dressing
Barbara of Moveable Feasts - Japanese Tsukune with Teriyaki Sauce.
Mireya - My Healthy Eating Habits - Green Beans with Sesame Dressing
Martha at Simple Nourished Living - Green Beans with Ground Pork
Jill at Saucy Cooks - Tofu with a Spicy Minced Meat Sauce

Harumi's menus are delicious but surprisingly simple, quick and very straightforward, and are most definitely approachable for everyday cooks. She has an effortless, down-to-earth, unpretentious approach to sylish living and eating. She is one of the best known food writers in Japan and over the years has published 115 cookbooks and is credited with over 4,000 recipes. A couple changes were made to the original recipe only in the fact that I used boneless chicken breasts and used a shallow pan to fry them. No deep frying here in the More Than Burnt Toast kitchen. The chicken was still extremely crispy and flavourful. I served this  super simple dish with Green Pea Rice which also easily translated to my home kitchen. 

**Deep Fried Chicken with a Leek Sauce**

1 lb boneless chicken thighs with skin on (sorry but I had to remove the skin)
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sake
Corn starch for coating the chicken
Sunflower oil or vegetable oil for deep-frying


1/2-1 leek
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sake
2 tablespoons rice vinegar, unseasoned
1 1/2 tablespoons superfine sugar
1/2 tablespoon sunflower or vegetable oil
1 red chili, without seeds, roughly chopped

To make the leek sauce: Pierce the leek randomly with a sharp knife and then chop finely. This method makes it easier to mince.

Mix the soy sauce, sake, rice vinegar, and sugar together in a bowl. Heat the oil in a skillet and lightly saute the minced leek and the red chili. Then add the soy sauce, the sake, rice vinegar,and sugar to the pan, stirring constantly. When the sugar has dissolved, take off the heat and set aside

Pierce the chicken skin with a fork, cut an large pieces in half, and marinade for 5 minutes in the soy sauce and sake.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and coat thoroughly with potato starch.

For the best result, the chicken should be at room temperature before deep-frying

Deep-fry the chicken at a medium-high temperature (340F). Make sure each piece is completely immersed in the oil so it cooks on the inside while remaining crispy on the outside.

Remove when golden brown. Place on a serving dish and cover with the leek sauce

**Green Pea Rice**

11 oz uncooked Japanese sushi rice
1 tablespoon sake
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups green peas (blanched)

Wash the rice thoroughly in cold water, drain, and leave in a strainer for 10-15 minute

Put the washed rice into a heavy saucepan, add 1 2/3 cups water, the sake, and salt.

Cover with a lid and place over high heat until it comes to a boil, then turn the heat down low and continue cooking for 10-12 minutes. Then turn the heat off and leave for a further 10 minutes, without taking the lid off.

When the rice is cooked, add the drained cooked peas and mix in roughly, season with a little more salt if necessary, and serve.
Serves 4

NOTES: If you plan to use a rice cooker, cook your rice as you normally would and follow the amount of water calls for in the recipe. Our rice cooker has a sushi rice setting, so that’s what I used. Once the rice is cooked, add in the green peas and mix in roughly.

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison.
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  1. What a wonderful recipe, I'm really intrigued by that leek sauce, and I love the texture that you get with the starch coating on the chicken. I think my husband would have been a little happier if I had chosen this to make instead of the very spare and lean veggie salad!

  2. I think your comment about the simplicity of Harumi's recipes is the key to her success. And why I actually own her cookbook. Nothing complicated, great flavors and we can all make her recipes in our homes.
    Great write up, Val, and your chicken looks delish. Love that leek sauce!

  3. Oh, we made the same chicken! Well, almost...I subbed rice wine vinegar for sake since I didn't have any...but otherwise! And I like the sound of this leek sauce, as well. Yum!

  4. I usually don't think of Japanese food itself, as being elaborate. I do always think of Japnese food as having elborate presentation though. I'm glad Japan has its own "martha stewart" who can guide ordinary shmoes through the finer points of the cuisine.

    This looks so good I think I want to make it. Yum!

    Interesting the recipe calls for boneless, but skin-on thighs. I always find skinless, bone-in thighs, or else boneless, skinless thighs in the store. Although I have a weakness for chicken skin, I'd probably use boneless, skinless by default.

  5. I love how pretty this dinner is. I have been really intrigued the past few weeks with Japanese cuisine.

  6. I have a cooking sake that I found at our local Asian grocers heather, the chicken sure was delish and crispy too!

  7. Mouthwatering dish and flavors!

    Happy Easter!



  8. What a wonderful chicken dish, Val! I love it when the chicken is velveted with cornstarch ... it's consistency is just so smooth ... the leek sauce sounds just delish! I like your trick for mincing the leeks, too! Clever girl!

  9. This has to be the most elegant fried chicken on earth. Just gorgeous Val. Happy Easter weekend.

  10. These game changer posts are incredible. I am learning so much - and the food! I wanted to step into the photos and eat everything up.

  11. i'm a disaster with chopsticks, but i'd try my hardest to scoop this deliciousness up! :)

  12. Sounds delicious. However, I would have left the skin on (bad girl) but probably would have baked it instead of deep-frying. We all cut our calories in different ways. :)

    Happy Easter to you, your daughter and family.

  13. Val, you have done it again. This looks wonderful and it sounds delicious. I must give this recipe a try. I hope yon have been enjoying you day off. Have a good weekend. Blessings...Mary

  14. Wow this recipe is excellent. I love the simplicity and freshness of it. Wonderful stuff!

  15. i' ve always loved leeks, they go so well with meat and rice - today i'm using them in an unusal way, in little cretan pies called kalitsounia: the leeks are very special because we grew them for the first time this year in our very own garden

  16. What a great recipe! Always been fascinated by Japanese food!

  17. The leek sauce sounds very versatile

  18. Great choices! This looks like something I would enjoy, although I don't make fried chicken too often.

  19. I love the juxtaposition of fresh and fried flavors in this dish! A perfect blend for the tastebuds.

  20. deep fried anything paired with a really good sauce is bringing it to a whole new level.
    i'm such a sauce-junkie to put it that way eh? lol

  21. What a wonderful looking dish to represent Harumi Kurihara. I'm bookmarking it. I've enjoyed discovering how simple and accessible Japanese cooking can be too.

  22. Hi, thanks a lot for this page. I'm very surprised by the 100 ml of Soy Sauce, doesn't Harumi use too much? I've tried that recipe many times and it seems to me that 30 ml of Soy Sauce are more than enough, anyone else had the same experience?


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