Chicken Katsu Donburi

Chicken Katsu Donburi

Chicken Kastu is a Japanese version of battered and fried boneless chicken pieces.  It can be eaten as a main dish or as part of a noodle or rice bowl where slices of the fried chicken is placed on top of noodles or rice.  If you place it over rice it’s called Katsu Donburi which is a Chicken Katsu rice bowl with eggs.

Katsu Don is one of my favorite Japanese comfort foods.  It’s very similar to my favorite Tendon or Tempura Donburi.  It’s pretty much made the same way, but instead of topping it off with Shrimp Tempura you top it off with  sliced Chicken Katsu.

So to make Katsu Don I make a couple of Chicken Katsu then use my recipe of Tendon.  Easy peasy!

First you make the fried chicken, I prefer to use boneless skinless chicken thighs so it stays tender and juicy.  I also find that thighs are tastier for this type of dish.  But if you want to use boneless breasts you can, just pound it into a thin piece for easier cooking without burning the batter.  I use Panko for breading, if you can’t find it at your grocery store you’ll definitely find it at an Asian Market.  Or you can use plain breadcrumbs.

Once you’ve got the chicken katsu done and set aside just follow the recipe for the Donburi Sauce and the Donburi itself.  In short skip the tempura part of the recipe. 

So here’s what you need to make Katsu Don at home.

Katsu Don

Ingredients:

2 Pieces Boneless Skinless Chicken thighs.

1/2 Cup Flour

1 Egg Beaten

1 Cup Panko bread crumbs.  Or plain bread crumbs

Oil for frying

Donburi Sauce – click here for the recipe

Donburi Egg mixture and bowl instructions – click here for the recipe

Directions:

Dry chicken thighs with a paper towel.

Place flour, beaten egg, and panko in 3 separate bowls.

Line bowls up in this order by your stove – egg, flour, panko – assembly line fashion.  Panko should be bowl closest to stove.

Heat oil in frying pan.

Roll chicken thigh in flour to coat all sides.

Dip in beaten egg.

Roll in Panko to coat all sides.

Shake off excess panko.

Place in hot oil.

Cook until both sides are golden brown.

Drain on rack and set aside.

Make Donburi Sauce and Donburi Bowl click here for those recipes.

Slice fried chicken thighs into 1′ pieces and place the pieces in the bowl on top of rice and fried egg mixture.

Garnish with green onions and seaweed flakes if desired.

 

Katsu Don
Print Recipe
Japanese rice bowl with fried chicken katsu
Servings
2 bowls
Servings
2 bowls
Katsu Don
Print Recipe
Japanese rice bowl with fried chicken katsu
Servings
2 bowls
Servings
2 bowls
Ingredients
Servings: bowls
Instructions
  1. Pat Chicken thighs dry with paper towel.
  2. Place flour, egg, and panko in 3 separate bowls.
  3. Line bowls up by the stove in this order: flour, egg, panko - panko bowl should be closest to stove.
  4. Heat oil.
  5. Roll chicken in flour to coat all sides.
  6. Dip in egg.
  7. Roll in panko to coat all sides.
  8. Fry in hot oil until both sides are golden brown.
  9. Drain on rack and set aside.
  10. Make Donburi Sauce.
  11. Make Donburi eggs and assemble in a bowl as the recipe instructs.
  12. Slice fried chicken katsu in 1' slices and place in bowl on top of egg mixture.
  13. Garnish with green onions and seaweed flakes if desires.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish

Macluba

Maqluba is a Levantine dish popular in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Palestine.  The name literally means “upside down” because the meat, vegetables, and rice are stacked in a handleless pot to cook, then flipped over and placed on a large tray for serving.

These days Maqluba is described as a one pot dish, which I suppose it could be; assuming you don’t count the pot you stew the meat in, and the pan you fry the veggies in.  Not to mention the bowl you soak the rice in, and if you’re adding vermicelli and pine nuts the pan you brown the pasta and nuts in.

Maqluba is very similar to Paella which is also a one pot dish composed of meat or seafood, veggies, and rice.  Considering that many parts of Spain was under Moorish rule for a total of about 800 years it would be fair to say that Paella is the Spanish version of Maqluba or vice versa.

It is honestly the only Arabic dish I can claim to have mastered.  After years of making Maqluba I’ve finally gotten it right every single time.  It’s really not that difficult to make, it’s just tedious due to all the steps in the recipe and the time it takes to make it.  If you count the time it takes to soak the rice this dish takes all day to make, at the very least about 3  hours.  But it is truly worth the time and effort.

Maqluba is typically made with stewed meat, either lamb, beef, or chicken; fried vegetables such as potatoes, cauliflower, or eggplant; and rice.  All the ingredients are stacked in that order into a large deep pot preferably without handles.  Of course you can omit the meat and make a vegetarian dish.

There are “enhancements” you can add to make the dish fancier.  Some folks like to mix vermicelli and even garbanzo beans in the rice before cooking, then sprinkle it with pine nuts before serving.  And of course in our family I slip tomato wedges between the meat before cooking, and some of us like to top the cooked dish with corn kernels and plain yogurt.  In short I suppose each family has it’s own version on how to cook and eat Maqluba.  But one thing is certain, it’s delicious!

Here’s how we make it at our house, but first here’s a quick tip.  When making Maqluba use a deeper pot with no handles (a maqluba pot is the best, but hard to find in the US, you may find one at a middle eastern grocery store) and a lid, or a pot with removable handles or handles that aren’t too close to the pot lip.  This will make flipping it over easier as handles can block the tray you flip it on to from laying flat on top of the pot.  The pot has to be deep enough to layer the ingredients and still have enough space for the rice to expand as it cooks.

Maqcluba

Ingrdients:

4-5 Cups Long Grain Rice

1 Tbs. Turmeric Powder

1/8 Cup Olive Oil

8-10 pieces of meat (lamb, beef, or bone in chicken thighs)

1 Large Onion, cut in chunks

1 Tbs. Garlic, crushed

1 Tbs. + 1 Tsp. Ground Cumin

1 Tsp. + 1 Tsp. Ground Nutmeg

1 Tsp. Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Box Stock (beef or chicken depending on the meat you use)

1 Large Cauliflower, cut into chunks

1 Large Eggplant, cut into rounds

3 Potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds

Oil for frying

Cooking spray

2 Tomatoes cut in wedges

6 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

Vermicelli (Optional)

1 Can Garbanzo Beans, drained (Optional)

1/2 Cup Pine Nuts (Optional)

Butter (Optional)

1 Can Corn Kernels (Optional)

1 Cup Fresh Plain Greek Yogurt (Optional)

Directions:

Place rice in a big bowl and cover with water.

Add Turmeric to water and stir until it is evenly distributed and water turns yellow.  Set aside for at least 2 hours. Check periodically as the rice will absorb the water.  If all the water is absorbed add more and stir.

Heat olive oil in a stock pot.

Saute onions in hot oil until it starts to turn translucent.

Add crushed garlic and cook another minute, stir to keep from burning.

Add meat, 1 Tbs. Cumin, 1 Tsp. Nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Cook until meat starts to brown.

Add stock and then add water to completely cover the meat.

Let simmer until meat is tender and fully cooked.  About 2 hours.  Set aside when done.

Meanwhile place about 1″ oil in frying pan.

Fry your veggies until cooked and drain on paper towels.  Set aside.

If using Vermicelli and/or Pine Nuts:  Melt about 1 tbs. butter in a small frying pan.  Add vermicelli and cook until it starts to turn brown, stir constantly to keep from burning.  Remove from pan and set aside.  Repeat this procedure with Pine Nuts.

When ready to stack meat in the pot:

Spray bottom and sides of pot with cooking spray.

Drain rice then stir in vermicelli noodles and/or garbanzo beans if using.

Starting with the meat, remove meat from pot it was cooked it, reserve the broth do not discard.

Arrange meat at the bottom of the pot.

Slip garlic cloves and tomato wedges between the meat.

Sprinkle meat with 1 tsp. cumin and 1 tsp. nutmeg.

Arrange veggies on top of meat.

Pour rice mixture over the veggies and smooth out to make the top flat.

Gently pour reserved broth over the rice.  Fill until the broth just covers the rice, if you don’t have enough broth add water.

Cover with lid and simmer over medium heat until rice is cooked.  Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure the liquid has not all evaporated before the rice is cooked.  If you need to add more liquid, either broth or water.  This takes about 30 minutes.

If the rice is cooked and you still have liquid remove lid and raise the heat for about 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid evaporates.  Be careful not to burn the bottom.  Or you can carefully drain extra liquid before flipping.

When rice is cooked and there is no more liquid remove pot from lid.  Let rest about 5 minutes.

Flip over onto a large tray.

Garnish with cooked Pine Nuts on the meat if desired.

Serve with bowls of corn kernels and plain yogurt.

 

 

Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
Print Recipe
Maqluba an Upside Down Arabic Dish
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Cashew Chicken

Cashew Chicken

Looking for something quick, easy, and delicious for dinner?  Well nothing’s easier than a stir fry.  Try this Cashew Chicken.  It takes a bit more time than your average stir fry, but it’s so worth it!  Served over a bed of steamed rice or noodles it’s simply delicious.

This was a family favorite which I haven’t made if a very long time.   I don’t know why it was forgotten, but I recently re-discovered this delicious dish and will definitely be making it more often.

This time I used fresh asparagus simply because I had a big bunch of it in the fridge, but it can be made with broccoli, green beans, or any type of fresh veggies you have on hand.  I fry the chicken and cashews separately before adding them to the stir fry, that’s the extra step the recipe requires.  It gives the chicken a bit of crunch which goes great with the crunch from the cashews, baby corn, and water chestnuts, you can find canned baby corn and water chestnuts at any Asian market.   I also don’t over cook the fresh veggies, I like to keep them green and crisp.

Here’s the recipe!  Again it goes great with noodles or steamed rice!

Cashew Chicken

Ingredients:

4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, cut into bite size cubes

3/4 Cup Corn Starch

1 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1 Tsp. Salt

1/2 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1/2 Cup Whole Cashews

Oil for frying

1/4 Cup Sesame Oil

1 Large Onion Sliced

1 Tbs. Fresh Garlic Minced

1 Can Baby Corn, drained and cut each ear in half

1 Can Sliced Water Chestnuts

1 Cup Fresh Asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces (you can use any type of green veggie you have on hand)

1/2 Cup Soy Sauce

1/4 Cup Oyster Sauce

1 Tsp. Cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 Cup of water

Directions:

Heat about 1″ oil in a frying pan.

Combine cornstarch, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a shallow dish.

Dredge chicken cubes in cornstarch mixture and drop into hot oil.

Fry chicken until done and all sides are browned.

Drain on paper towel and set aside.

Heat about 1 Tbs. oil in a small frying pan and saute cashews until golden brown.

Keep stirring cashews while cooking so they don’t burn.

Place cashews in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat sesame oil in a wok or large skillet.

Cook onions in wok until slices start to soften and become translucent.

Add garlic and cook another minute.

Add asparagus and cook until they are bright green.

Add baby corn and water chestnuts and cook another minute or two.

Add soy and oyster sauces and stir until combined.

Stir in dissolved cornstarch and stir until sauce starts to thicken.

Add in fried chicken and stir to cover in sauce.

Sprinkle cashews over top and slightly stir.

Serve right away.

 

 

Cashew Chicken
Print Recipe
Cashew Chicken
Print Recipe
Ingredients
1 Cup Fresh Asparagus, cut into 2″ pieces (you can use any type of green veggie you have on hand)
Servings:
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Tendon – Shrimp Tempura Rice Bowl

Tendon – Shrimp Tempura Rice Bowl

 

Rice Bowls have gotten very popular and come in endless types.  But I’ve loved rice bowls long before they became all the rage.  If you’re not familiar with rice bowls they’re basically a bowl of rice topped with pretty much anything you want.  My favorite ones are Japanese Donburis.

Donburi is a rice bowl dish served in a bowl which in Japan are also called “donburi”.  There are many different types of Donburi but the most popular ones are Tempura Donburi or better known as Tendon if it’s made with shrimp, Chicken or Pork Katsu Donburi also called Katsudon.  You’ll also find Tempura Donburi with fish and vegetable tempuras, Teriyaki, and other types of popular Japanese dishes. Another basic ingredient of most Donburi dishes is egg meaning veggies and other ingredients are scrambled with eggs and a donburi sauce which is then placed on a bed of rice and topped with a desired tempura, katsu, or a preferred protein including teriyaki beef or chicken.

My long time favorite is Tendon or Shrimp Tempura Donburi.  I’ve been enjoying this rice bowl since I first discovered it while I was in high school.  I also like the Katsudon!

I’ve always been able to get my Tendon from most Japanese restaurants in my area, and since I live in Hawaii my neighborhood grocery store.  But when the pandemic locked us down for a month I decided to try and make it at home, after all it’s just shrimp tempura, eggs, Kamaboko (fish cake) and veggies over a bed of rice.  How hard could that be?

Making Tendon is actually pretty easy but it does require making Shrimp Tempura.  Since I must make the tempura batter for the shrimp I also make vegetable tempura with zucchini, green beans, and pretty much what I have on hand.

Another important part of this or any Donburi is the sauce.  The sauce is made with Mirin (a Japanese rice wine used for cooking), soy sauce, dashi (fish stock) and sugar.  This give the dish it’s sweet salty taste that make it delicious!  You can find all the ingredients at an Asian market.  The Dashi usually is in powder form like boullion so you’ll have to mix it as directed to get the liquid stock.

Of course the “star” of this dish is the Shrimp Tempura.  You can either use a tempura mix also found at the Asian market, or you can make your own batter.  Either way the most important things to remember to make perfect tempura batter is to use ice cold water and to not over stir the batter, it needs to have some lumps in it.  In fact the best way to stir this batter is with chopsticks, so leave your whisk or electric mixers out of it.

So here’s the recipe for both Shrimp Tempura (it’s the same batter for fish or vegetable tempura) and the Donburi itself.  This recipe makes 2 bowls.

Tendon

Ingredients for the Tempura

1 Cup Flour, shifted

1 Egg

1 Cup water

Ice cubes for chilling water

4 Large Shrimp – shelled and deveined but leave the tail on, pat dry with paper towel

Cut vegetables – zucchini, green beans, etc. (optional)

1/8 Cup flour

Oil for frying

Ingredients for Sauce:

6 Tbs. Mirin

2 Tbs. Soy Sauce

3 Tbs. Liquid Dashi – mix Dashi powder as directed on the box

2 Tbs. Sugar

Ingredients for Donburi:

2 Eggs, beaten

1/2 Onion, sliced

1/2 Cup Shitake Mushrooms (optional)

1/2 Kamaboko, cut into thin strips (optional)

1/3 Cup Green Onions, chopped (optional)

1 Tbs. Oil

Donburi Sauce

2 Cups Cooked White Rice

Seaweed flakes (optional)

Directions to make Tempura:

Place about 2″ of oil in a pot and start to heat while you prepare the batter.

Place shifted flower in a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl slightly beat egg – beat until yolk and white is just combined.

Add ice to water until the water is chilled.

Remove ice and pour water in the bowl with the beaten egg.

Mix gently together.

Stir in flour, do not over mix there should be lumps in the batter.  Use right away, if for some reason you can’t use it immediately place in the refrigerator for a few minutes until you’re ready to fry.

Place 1/8 cup of flour in a dish.

Test the oil temperature by dropping a small bit of batter in oil, if oil bubbles around the batter the oil is ready.

Roll shrimp or vegetable in the dish of flour, shake off excess.

Dip in batter, let excess batter drip off before adding into hot oil.

Place battered shrimp and veggies in hot oil to fry.  Do not over crowd the pot, cook in batches if you have to.

Turn as needed to cook all sides. Tempura is done when the shrimp or vegetable starts to float.

Drain on rack and set aside.

Directions for the sauce:

Mix all sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside until needed.

Directions for the Donburi:

Heat oil in a skillet.

Saute onions in skillet until it starts to go limp and clear

Add in Kamoboko, mushrooms, and green onions (reserve some as garnish if desired)

Cook about 3-4 minutes.

Add in Donburi Sauce and simmer for 1 minute.

Pour beaten egg over all and cook until egg is done.

Place 1 Cup of rice in each bowl.

Cute the Egg mixture in half and place a half over each bowl of rice.

Top with Shrimp and Vegetable (if you made some) Tempura and garnish with green onions and seaweed flakes

Serve hot!

 

Tendon - Shrimp Tempura Rice Bowl
Print Recipe
Servings
2 Bowls
Servings
2 Bowls
Tendon - Shrimp Tempura Rice Bowl
Print Recipe
Servings
2 Bowls
Servings
2 Bowls
Ingredients
Shrimp & Veggie Tempura
Sauce
Donburi
Servings: Bowls
Instructions
Tempura
  1. Place shifted flower in a bowl and set aside.
  2. In another bowl slightly beat egg - beat until yolk and white is just combined.
  3. Add ice to water until the water is chilled.
  4. Remove ice and pour water in the bowl with the beaten egg. Mix gently together.
  5. Stir in flour, do not over mix there should be lumps in the batter.  Use right away, if for some reason you can't use it immediately place in the refrigerator for a few minutes until you're ready to fry.
  6. Place 1/8 cup of flour in a dish.
  7. Test the oil temperature by dropping a small bit of batter in oil, if oil bubbles around the batter the oil is ready.
  8. Roll shrimp or vegetable in the dish of flour, shake off excess.
  9. Dip in batter, let excess batter drip off before adding into hot oil. Place battered shrimp and veggies in hot oil to fry.  Do not over crowd the pot, cook in batches if you have to.
  10. Turn as needed to cook all sides. Tempura is done when the shrimp or vegetable starts to float. Drain on rack and set aside.
Sauce
  1. Mix all ingredients together and set aside until needed
Donburi
  1. Heat oil in a skillet.
  2. Saute onions in skillet until it starts to go limp and clear
  3. Add in Kamoboko, mushrooms, and green onions (reserve some as garnish if desired) Cook about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add in Donburi Sauce and simmer for 1 minute.
  5. Pour beaten egg over all and cook until egg is done.
  6. Divide cooked egg mixture in half and place one half on top of each bowl of rice.
  7. Place 2 Shrimp Tempura & pieces of veggie tempura (if you made some) on top of egg.
  8. Garnish with green onions and seafood flakes if desired.
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe
Homemade Falafels

Homemade Falafels

Falafels are traditional Middle Eastern deep fried patties or balls made from chickpeas, fava beans, or both.  They’re usually found stuffed in Pita bread or rolled in a flatbread along with fresh and pickled veggies and topped with a tahini sauce, that’s a Falafel Sandwich.  They are also eaten with fried eggs, hummus, babaganouj, and pickles for breakfast or served as mezzes and snacks.

My first encounter with falafels was at a kiosk in New York city where I grew up.  Buying a falafel sandwich from this kiosk was a treat when we spent the day at the near by park.  Then my family moved to Hawaii in the mid-70’s where there were no kiosks selling “ethnic” foods and so I didn’t have falafels again until I married my husband who is of Palestinian decent.  Imagine his surprise when I told him I actually knew what falafels were!

As newlyweds in Hawaii we had to figure out how to make falafels at home; as I new bride I had no clue!  Remember back in the 80’s there was no google, no pinterest, no instagram, or any kind of internet that would find a recipe in seconds.  I had to rely on cookbooks from the library, not really helpful.

Then we found a box of falafel mix at a local health food store.  Just add water and fry.  It wasn’t the best, but we made do.  I started experimenting with the boxed mix and found that adding finely chopped fresh parsley improved the taste.  Started adding more spices and pretty soon I figured I may as well by pass the mix and make it from scratch.   That didn’t go so well until I managed to buy a food processor, now I was in business!

As I was exploring the makings for falafel from scratch we started traveling all over the world.  Of course travel opens up your life to different places, foods, and cultures and our travels in the Middle East definitely helped my falafel making.  We loved the falafel sandwiches at Mr. Falfala in Cairo and the ones found on the streets of Diera in Dubai.  But nothing beats the fresh falafels served at Hashem’s and Abu Jbarra in Jordan!  On our last trip to Dubai this year we discovered that Abu Jbarra opened a place by the Dubai Mall, we ate brunch there almost everyday!

Anyway those trips to Egypt, Dubai, and Jordan whetted my desire to make falafels at home that would be close to the ones served in the places we loved.  I say close because I doubt I’ll ever figure out the exact match to Hashem’s falafels served in this little alley in downtown Amman.

I make large batches of falafels so that I have enough to freeze for future use.  Raw falafel paste freezes beautifully!  This way I don’t have to haul out the food processor every time I want to fry falafels and I always have some handy when  I have a yen for a falafel sandwich.

I’ve found that using fresh ingredients makes the difference between decent falafels and amazing ones!  So I use fresh cilantro, parsley, and dill as my primary seasonings; they will turn your mixture green, but the greener the falafel is the better it tastes in my opinion.  I also use dry chickpeas never canned.

It takes a bit of planning to make really great falafels, but believe me it’s so worth the effort!

Fresh Falafel

Ingredients:

8 oz. Dried Chickpeas (1/2 a bag)

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

1 Large bunch of Fresh Cilantro, rinsed and dried on paper towel

1 Large Bunch of Fresh American Parsley, rinsed and dried on paper towel

1 Small Bunch of Fresh Dill, rinsed and dried on paper towel

2 Tbs. Fresh Garlic, minced

1 Tbs. Cumin Powder

1 Tbs. Ground Coriander

1 Tbs. Sea Salt

1 Tsp. Ground Black Pepper

1 Tsp. Baking Soda

Oil for frying

Pita or Flat Bread

Optional Condiments: Fresh lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, pickles, pickled beets, tahini sauce, thousand island dressing, or what ever you want to add in the sandwich

Directions:

Pour dried chickpeas into a bowl and mix in baking soda.

Cover with water and soak overnight.

Rinse chickpeas in cool water and drain in a colander.

In a food processor load in this order:

Cilantro leaves and stems (you don’t have to use all the stems but do use the leaves), Parsley, Dill (prepare and use Parsley and Dill the same way as Cilantro).

Drained chickpeas and garlic

Dried spices (cumin, coriander, salt, pepper)

Turn on processor and grind until it is a paste

If freezing place paste into freezer safe containers and freeze.  Thaw before cooking.

If using immediately:

Heat about 2″ of oil in a small pot.

Add baking soda to falafel paste and combine well.

Test that oil is hot enough by dropping a small amount of falafel paste in; if oil starts bubbling around the paste your oil is ready for frying.

Form paste into small 1″ balls or patties and drop into hot oil.

Fry until all sides are brown, cooked falafel will float.

Drain on paper towels and serve as a sandwich filling or by itself for breakfast or as mezzes.


Homemade Falafels
Print Recipe
Homemade Falafels
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings:
Share this Recipe
Powered byWP Ultimate Recipe