- 4 chicken breasts, tenderloins removed, trimmed
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 16 umeboshi (sour plums) (see Note)
- 4 spring onions, trimmed to 10 cm lengths
- 1 tbsp baby shiso leaves (see Note) or basil leaves
- 75 g (½ cup) plain flour
- 2 eggs beaten with 3 tsp water
- 185 g (2½ cups) panko breadcrumbs
- vegetable oil, to deep-fry
- butter lettuce and lemon wedges, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 50 minutes
Place chicken between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and, using a meat mallet, pound until 5 mm thick. Place chicken on a work surface with the long side facing you, and spread one-quarter of the garlic horizontally along the centre of each breast. Divide umeboshi, spring onions and shiso leaves among the chicken breasts, leaving a 2 cm border at the sides. Fold up the bottom edge to cover the filling, then fold in the sides and roll up into a log to enclose the filling. Secure with toothpicks, then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Place flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in separate shallow bowls. Dust chicken rolls with flour, shake off excess, then dip in egg and coat in breadcrumbs. Place on a plate, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes to firm.
Fill a deep-fryer or large saucepan one-third full with vegetable oil and heat over medium heat to 170°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds). Working in 2 batches, gently drop chicken rolls into the oil and fry, turning halfway, for 6 minutes or until crisp, golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Cut into 5 slices and serve at room temperature on butter lettuce leaves with lemon wedges.
• Umeboshi, from Japanese food shops, are Japanese pickled plums.
• Baby shiso leaves, also known as lamb’s lettuce, are available from selected greengrocers.
Also written by Kirrily La Rosa and Wendy Quisumbing. Photography by Chris Chen.