Our beloved in-house chef went to the beach with friends but before she left, she baked a cake and cookies for who us are staying home this weekend. With dessert and snacks taken care of, there’s just our meals for me to cook. It’s a cloudy drizzly day so I thought comfort food was in order. What better comfort food is there than fried chicken? Using chicken thigh fillets, this spicy miso chicken katsu bursts with Asian flavors.
Why chicken? Isn’t lechon kawali or crispy pata the ultimate comfort food in a Filipino household? We had a glorious pork overload last night. An aunt’s 80th birthday party was celebrated with family and friends at Pepeton’s and, oh my goodness…
“Kapalmuks“, the house specialty of deep fried pork face, was jaw-dropping good. The oxtail in the kare-kare was melt-in-the-mouth tender and there was this dish called sinuman tyan ng bangus with boneless milkfish belly stuffed with tomatoes, onions and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and simmered in soy sauce. It was tempting to take photos of the food but it was a birthday party, we were guests, and documenting the food to review the restaurant under such circumstances would have been not only awful but the height of bad taste. So, I just ate to my heart’s content. And had four beers afterwards.
Having enjoyed so much pork, beef and fish at last night’s party, I wanted chicken today. Something simple to prepare but still mouthwateringly delicious. The result was this spicy miso chicken katsu. Despite miso being the primary ingredient for the sauce, and despite labeling this dish as “Japanese-inspired”, the truth is that the flavors in this spicy miso chicken katsu are as much Korean as they are Japanese. Japanese katsu dishes are served with a traditional katsu sauce but I was inspired by Chopstick Chronicles’ miso katsudon and I wanted to make a chicken version with a spicy miso sauce.
And just what went into the sauce? Pantry basics, really, IF you keep a well-stocked Asian pantry. If not, you will find the sauce ingredients in any Asian grocery or the the Asian aisle of supermarkets.
Dashi granules, mirin, sunchang ssamjang (seasoned bean paste), gochujang (chili paste) and, of course, miso paste. The only ingredient that’s not in the above photo is sugar. Just mix all the sauce ingredients together, boil gently for a minute and you have your sauce.
Shihoko of Chopstick Chronicles suggests serving the meat over shredded cabbage but I decided to go a step farther. After shredding the cabbage, I sprinkle in some salt, drizzled in Japanese mayo and sesame seed oil then tossed everything together. Yes, like coleslaw but simpler and with a decided Asian slant.
Spicy Miso Chicken Katsu
For the spicy miso sauce
For the cabbage salad
- 2 cups shredded white cabbage
- pinch salt
- 1 heaping tablespoon Japanese mayo
- tiny drizzle sesame seed oil
Make the sauce
- In a small sauce pan, mix together all the ingredients for the sauce.
- Over medium heat, bring the sauce to a boil, stirring constantly. Set the heat to medium-low and let the sauce boil gently for another minute. Turn off the heat and set the sauce aside.
Make the salad
- Place the shredded cabbage in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt. Add the Japanese mayo and sesame seed oil. Toss to moisten every sliver of cabbage.
Complete the dish
- Cook the chicken katsu (get the recipe and instructions).
- Transfer the cooked chicken katsu on the chopping board and cut into strips.
- Ladle rice into two bowls. Arrange some cabbage salad on one side. Top the rice and cabbage salad with chicken katsu. Drizzle the spicy miso paste over the chicken. Sprinkle in some toasted sesame seeds.
- Serve the spicy miso chicken katsu at once.