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Read related articles in our Asian Cuisine-themed issue of Country Home Kitchen.
Tempura & Panko
A while back I was in the store and a customer came up to me asking about how to use tempura and panko. Our tempura and panko mixes are delicious, and easy to make. They would be good with just about anything.
But that customer’s question was one of the inspirations of this issue. We talked about doing tempura and panko for an article and ended up with a magazine issue full of Asian-inspired recipes, tips and tricks.
Enjoy the recipes that follow. They are perfect when you have a craving for a little tempura or panko.
Lemon chicken can be made the same way as orange chicken only tossed in a lemon sauce but we’ll make it in the more traditional fashion as found in many of the best restaurants. Chicken breasts are pounded thin, battered and breaded, and then deep fried. Panko bread crumbs are used to make the cutlets crispy. The fried cutlets are cut into strips and served with a lemon sauce.
What you’ll need
You’ll have most items, tools and ingredients, in your kitchen or find them readily in your grocery store.
3-4 chicken breasts
2 Tablespoons water
2 cups panko
vegetable oil for frying
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 garlic clove, minced
1-2 drops yellow food colouring (optional)
1 Tablespoon corn starch
1 Tablespoon water
1.Make an egg wash by slightly beating two eggs with one Tablespoon of water. In a separate flat-bottomed dish, place the two cups of panko.
2.With a meat mallet, pound each chicken breast to 1/4 inch thick. Dip each chicken breast in egg then panko, and again in egg then panko. This double-dipping process is crucial to create an extra-crispy crust for each chicken piece that will not rub off.
3.Fry each chicken piece in 350 vegetable oil until crust is crispy and golden brown. Place the fried chicken pieces onto a plate with a paper towel allowing the excess oil to drain and set aside.
4.In a wok, on medium heat, heat 1/4 cup sugar, 1/3 cup chicken broth, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 3 Tablespoons lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, one garlic clove, and one or two drops yellow food coloring (if desired). In a separate small bowl, combine one Tablespoon cornstarch with one Tablespoon water to make the slurry. Add the slurry to the sauce and continue to heat and stir until sauce is thickened.
5.Place the fried chicken on a plate and cut into strips. Pour the sauce over the top and serve warm.
Japanese Panko are sharp-side, extra-crispy crumbs that are wonderful for most fried foods. They are also used as toppings on casseroles and desserts.
A meat hammer quickly thins chicken, steak, or pork cutlets for quick cooking and is indispensable in the cook’s kitchen.
Lemon Yellow Food Coloring:
Your lemon sauce is the focus of the dish. Food coloring is essential to make the sauce an appealing deep lemon color. We sell an inexpensive professional lemon color that is perfect.
1.Using a garlic peeler, peel your garlic. Using a very fine grater, grate your garlic (or use a garlic press) and your lemon zest. Set both aside.
2.In a wok or stir fry pan, on medium heat, mix the sugar, chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, rice vinegar, salt, garlic, and one or two drops lemon yellow food coloring.
3.Make a paste of the cornstarch by stirring it in a small bowl with1/2 Tablespoon of the water until smooth. Then add the rest of the water and continue stirring with a whisk. Cook the sauce mixture until it is bubbly and thickens.
4.Place the fried chicken on a plate over a bed of rice, noodles, or shredded lettuce. Cut the chicken cutlet into one-inch wide strips using a serrated knife.
5.Pour the sauce over the top and serve immediately.
How to Make Orange Chicken
This is the orange chicken that you are familiar with and find in most Chinese restaurants. It’s crispy and coated with a sweet orange sauce. This is one of the most popular Chinese dishes in the US. Though there are variations, we’ll make it just like it is served in popular restaurants. Chicken breasts are cubed, battered, and deep-fried. They are then tossed in an orange sauce to make the chicken moist and orange flavored.
What You’ll Need
You’ll have most items, tools and ingredients, in your kitchen or find them readily in your grocery store. There are a few unusual items or items that you may not be familiar with.
You’ll need a good orange sauce to coat the chicken. Our orange sauce is perfect for orange chicken, the best that we have found. We have a selection of excellent Asian sauces for cooking and dipping.
Tempura Batter Mix:
Tempura batter is used with seafood and vegetables. It gives food a thick or a thin smooth coating depending on the application. You’ll use this with your orange chicken.
It is important to cook the chicken at the right temperature. If it is too hot, the chicken burns. If not hot enough, it is greasy. We use a simple candy thermometer that clips to the side of the pan.
A Wok, Stir Fry Pan, or Deep Fryer:
Any of these will work for your orange chicken.
Woks and stir fry pans are shaped for stir frying and disperse heat up the sides of the pans and heat the food quickly and evenly. We love our stir fry pan.
For the chicken:
3-4 cups of chicken breast cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large eggs
2 Tablespoons water
2 cups tempura batter mix
vegetable oil for frying
1.Make an egg wash by whisking the two eggs with two Tablespoons of water.
2.Pour into a large dish.
3.Add the tempura batter mix to another flat-bottomed dish. Separate any clumps.
4.Dip each chicken cube in the egg mixture and then in the dry tempura mix.
5.Repeat the process, dipping the coated chicken again in egg and then the tempura mix. This double-dipping process is important to create extra-crispy chicken.
6.Pour three to four inches of vegetable oil in a deep, heavy pan. Heat the oil until it reaches 350 using a deep frying thermometer. Fry the chicken pieces until they are crispy and golden brown. Remove with a stainless steel strainer. Place the fried chicken onto a plate lined with a paper towel to absorb excess oil. Set aside.
For the sauce:
1 cup Iron Chef Orange Sauce or equal
1 cup water
1 Tablespoon corn starch
1 Tablespoon water, divided
1.Thin the dipping sauce by mixing the orange sauce and water in a wok or deep skillet.
2.Make a paste of the cornstarch by stirring it in a small bowl with1/2 Tablespoon of the water until smooth. Then add the rest of the water and continue stirring using a whisk. Cook the sauce mixture until it is bubbly and thickens.
3.To assemble and serve your orange chicken, add the fried chicken to the sauce in the pan and stir until the chicken is coated and heated through. Serve immediately.
How do you make vegetables unhealthy? Probably the same way you get your kids to eat them. Battered and fried, but oh, so good. We made tempura vegetables and shrimp in our test kitchen for the first time recently. I wasn’t sure how well they would turn out, but I knew how delicious The Prepared Pantry tempura batter is, so I was confident it would work out. I wasn’t disappointed.
I am a shrimp maniac, so of course I knew I would love those the best. You can either use pre-cooked or raw shrimp, just make sure they turn pink when you take them out if you are choose to purchase them raw.
The battered broccoli was my favorite-it had a delicious flavor and just enough crunch to be satisfying. The sweet potatoes were also delicious, probably because I am just as much a sweet potato fanatic as I am a shrimp maniac.
1 package The Prepared Pantry Tempura Batter Mix
8 cups of vegetables, chopped in bite-size pieces
2 cups raw or cooked shrimp, with tails attached
1.Mix tempura batter as per instructions.
2.Thicker veggies like broccoli, potatoes or carrots should be steamed until slightly softened, but still crisp.
3.Mix chopped veggies in bowl with batter.
4.Drop into hot vegetable oil. The oil doesn’t have to be deep, only about 2 inches. Or use a deep fryer.
5.If shallow, make sure you flip the veggies so they cook on all sides.
6.Drain fried veggies and shrimp on paper towels (repeat above process with shrimp using leftover batter).
7.Use Thai Sweet Chili sauce for dipping.
Top of FormDennis Weaver has burnt food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking, available free in an e-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon for $10.
He loves to help people bake and is giving away Free Digital Cookbooks and Magazines. There is no cost or obligation. To sign up for the FREE subscription of “Country Home Kitchen” and other great E-books and giveaways, click here.
Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children.
To learn more about The Prepared Pantry, visit our website at www.preparedpantry.com.
Read more articles by this author by visiting the Meridian Library.