From chicken kara-age to tonkatsu, let's fry up a deliciously sophisticated storm with these Japanese-inspired crunch items!
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20 Jun 2017 - 9:14 AM  UPDATED 20 Jun 2017 - 11:53 AM

1. Prawn and pork pancake with caramelised onions and crispy noodles (okonomiyaki)

Arguably one of the best snacks to accompany a cold beer, okonomiyaki is a time-honoured favourite in Japan. This recipe combines prawn and pork, crispy noodles, caramelised onions and Japanese barbecue sauce – need we say more?

2. Candied sweet potato (daigaku imo)

Deep-fried sweet potato is tossed in a sticky, sweetened soy glaze and sprinkled with black sesame seeds. This is sweet potato at its very sweetest! 

3. Deep-fried skewers with dipping sauce (kushi katsu)

Kushi katsu is so popular in Osaka that the locals will line up for over an hour to get a seat. For this recipe, all manner of ingredients are skewered, crumbed and fried, and served with a communal dipping sauce. Double-dipping is frowned upon – instead use the cabbage like a spoon to ferry extra sauce to your fried skewer.

4. Triple-fried chicken (kara-age)

Kara-age is one of Adam Liaw's favourite Japanese recipes, and it can be found on izakaya menus everywhere. A light but flavourful soy-based marinade sits underneath a very light flour coating, which gives the dish its name. Kara-age means “empty fry” or “naked fry”, which refers to the chicken being fried without a thick batter. Frying the chicken three times at high heat, and with resting time in between, produces a crispy skin.

5. Curried chicken katsu udon (tori katsu kare udon)

Making this curry sauce a day ahead will definitely maximise your flavour. Divide among shallow bowls, top with chicken katsu and pour over hot curry sauce. Scatter with spring onions and serve with pickles and rakkyo.

6. Mixed kushiage

The only problem with these deep-fried crumbed morsels is that they'll disappear as fast as you can make them. With "kushi" meaning skewer in Japanese and "age" meaning deep-fried, you can pretty much crumb and skewer whatever meat, fish or vegetable takes your fancy.

7. Fried crumbed pork cutlets (tonkatsu)

This is one of the most satisfying dishes to eat in the middle of winter – dressed with a sharp, sweetish brown sauce, every mouthful sings the kind of harmony that keeps you going back for more. 

8. Panko crusted tofu with bacon dashi 

A modernised version of that much-loved classic, agedashi tofu, this recipe layers new textures and bacon-infused dashi with a zingy hit from pickled spring onions.

 

9. Crab-stuffed capsicum tempura

#TheChefsLine winner! These are two-bite and they're sensational! A mix of crab and feta is used to stuff capsicum and served with salmon tartare on top.

Crab-stuffed capsicum tempura

10. Octopus balls (takoyaki)

A common street food, these little octopus-filled balls hail from Osaka, but are a crowd favourite all over Japan. Varying the fillings and toppings can be great fun for the whole family.

11. Crab croquette sandwiches (kani korokke sando)

An ultimate sanga! Spread bread with butter and mayonnaise. Top half the slices with lettuce and a crab and potato croquette, and sandwich with remaining bread. Cut in half and serve and enjoy.

12. Saké’s popcorn shrimp

These mouth-popping deep-fried prawn morsels are addictive, especially when dressed with mayonnaise and a citrus-y vinaigrette.

13. Prawn fritters with shiso and salted plum (prawn shinjo-age)

This Adam Liaw recipe is for little fried prawn balls encased in a net of fried shiso. The secret is to get the oil just right, to brown the balls and cook them all the way through, but not to burn the shiso on the outside. 

14. Okinawan black sugar doughnuts

Of course there's dessert! These dense, cakey fried doughnut balls are a great way to showcase the complex, molasses flavours of Okinawa’s famed black sugar. They are ideal with a morning cup of coffee. Traditionally, these would be made with sata andagi dough mix, but Adam Liaw uses pancake mix for these doughnuts.

 

Like what you see? Check out our fried food collection here.

Have we got your attention and your tastebuds? It’s Japanese week on The Chefs' Line airing 6pm weeknights on SBS. Check out the program page for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more.

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