Sunday, June 19, 2016

Korean Fried Chicken in sticky, sweet, spicy Sauce

I love fried chicken. FF doesn't . Fo some reasons, he's not overly keen to have things greasy and deep-fried. He doesn't  like  eating chicken skin or chicken wings or  gnawing on its bones. You know, the good stuff.  So I tend to deep fry stuff less often than  I wish.  One of our secrets to our harmonious marriage.

Anyway, while staying a week in Sydney, we passed by Chinatown's Korean street everyday on the way to the hotel. Posters of bibimbap, Korean grilled meat, kimchi  and stews adorned most of  the restaurants'  facade. What stop me on my tract most of the time are the pictures perfectly golden brown fried chicken, drench in seductive red sauce. It looks sooooo good it must be illegal in some countries. I could almost see myself licking that sauce off my finger.

So I dragged a reluctant  FF in one of those Korean restaurant for dinner. We haven't had Korean food before and now is perfect time to try it.  We ordered a large portion of Korean Fired chicken asa KFC to many. The skin was super crispy , the meat succulent and tasty, the sauce , oh the sauce! It was sticky, sweet and spicy. It's exactly what our doctor doesn't  advice. Luckily,  he's on the other side of the world , probably nibbling on some carrot sticks. Meanwhile,  watching my non-finger linking husband polish his own digits is the best compliment that Korean cook could get that night. It was so good, we ate a lot of Korean Fried chickens after that and  left a trail of chicken carcass all over Australia.

When we got home, making my own  KFC became a life mission. Fortunately, recipes on the internet are plentiful and for free. A little tampering here and there and the first batch of chicken was  our dinner table.

 Few days after that, the second batch followed. Haven't heard any complain from FF yet, on the contrary, he was raving how good it was!

I served a bucket full of this to my friends last weekend. They literally butchered the fried chicken, agian. Yup, it was THAT good!


1.5 kg Chicken , preferably wings or legs,  cut into pieces
1 tbsp. grated ginger
3 cloves of minced garlic
salt and pepper
1 cup corn or potato starch
 Grape seed oil for deep frying

Sweet and Spicy Sauce:
5-6 cloves garlic
a handful of dried chili, seeds removed, chop roughly
6 tbsp. light soy sauce
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp. rice/corn syrup
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. ketchup
2 stalks of spring onions, white and green part separated
1 tbsp. toasted sesame seed

Wash chicken pieces under cold running water. Drain well.

In a large bowl, add chicken, garlic and ginger . Season with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

 Roll each piece of chicken in potato or corn starch until well coated. Heat oil in pan until temp. reaches 170-180 °C.

Deep fry chicken, in batches if necessary. If using wings, fry for about 10 minutes. If using drumstick and thigh, about 15minutes, depending on the size of the chicken.

 Put chicken in a strainer and let excess oil drip. Nope, you're not done yet! If using frying pan, remove the starch sediments that has settled at the bottom of the pan. Crack up the heat and put the chicken back into the hot oil! Yup, the Koreans went all out when it comes to their KFC. Apparently , double frying them chicken makes it extra, extra crispy. Cook for 10-12 more minutes  . 

 While chicken is cooking for the second time. Put  chopped garlic, dried chili, onion ( green part, set aside as garnish) and all the liquid in a pan.
Cook under medium low heat until sauce thickens .

Once the chicken is cooked and drained the second time, put fried chicken into the pan containing the sauce. Toss until  each chicken piece  is coated in sauce. 

Garnish with green onion and toasted sesame seed. Serve hot and with pickled radish. Now  watch how fast the contents of that plate vanish! It's like magic!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Bangkok Food Trip: 10 Euro experiment

After a 3- week holiday in Australia, which was as  fantastic but as expensive as I expected,  Thailand's   general expenses  is like a breath of fresh air. I can almost feel my wallet sigh in relief. Don't get me wrong, eating out in some restaurants in Bangkok can be pricey too! But if you want to get eat cheap but not necessarily bad, go out in the street  and be adventurous!  Just be careful what food you put in you mouth though, sushi which was lying in 35°c temp. might the risk not worth taking. Trust be, nothings worst than  spending days   making out with a toilet seat during a holiday. So eat well but eat smart.

Since making a 10 dollar experiment in Australia is close to impossible, a bottle of water cost 5 dollars in some convenient stores! I decided to take my 10 euro to Thailand with me.
Let me show you what you can get and how far can you stretch a 10 euro/ 520 Phil. Pesos/ 11 US Dollars  which is about 390 Baht  in Bangkok.

Bangkok is truly a foodies' paradise, there are foods prepared and for the taking literally everywhere!

Grilled Sweet Bread: 10 Baht/ .25 EUR/ 13 PhP/ .28 USD

Just few minutes walk from our hotel, are arrays of street food vendors , each selling something different. It's like walking on a buffet spread. This very friendly auntie, sells grilled white bread. The sweet toasty smell is so inviting, I ate from her stall many times.   The grilled toast are topped with either chocolate, sugar of condense milk. Yum!

 Kanop Krop/ Coconut Pudding: 30 Baht/ .75 EUR/39 PhP/ .85 USD

Most Thai Sweets are coconut based and this pudding is just as addicting as the others.

Traditional Thai snacks:  20 Baht a pack/ . 50 EUR/ 26 PhP/. 56 USD
We bought 2 packs. One was a pack of  fried sesame balls with custard filling and other pack of taro, pandan and rice flour  dumplings with caramelised coconut filling. 

Satay: 10 Bath/piece/ .25 EUR/ 13 PhP/
Chicken, pork, beef satays are being grilled all over Bangkok. They come in different sizes and shape.  We ate 3 of these babies. It was addicting. 

Thai Fruit sorbet: 15 Baht per scone/.37 EUR/ 19 PhP/.42 USD

Ice creams and sorbets to cool you down is all over the place. This one is packed with corn kernels, strips of coconut and panda jelly.

Steamed/Fried chicken rice set: 50 Baht/ 1.26 EUR/ 65 Php/1.4 USD
My lunch! Chicken cooked 2 ways, steamed and fried served with strips of cooked coagulated blood ( yup, blood as in type B!  It was yummy so get over it already. ) It also comes with a bowl of tasty clear chicken soup. 

Rice Crispy with Green Chicken Curry lunch set: 60 Baht/ 1.50 EUR/ 78 PhP/ 1.6 USD

When the heat  and humidity is getting to much, FF and I often seek shelter in air-conditioned food halls and cafeterias. This  small food court is located in Siam Area. The cool air provided some much appreciated relief against the harsh heat, plus its filled with locals which means food is be good and cheap.

Spicy stir fried Pork on rice 40 Baht/ 1 EUR/ 52 PhP/1.1 USD
Fish dish  30 Baht/.75 EUR/ 39 PhP/ .85 USD

 Sometimes, we buy something and have it  packed and bring it with us to the hotel. There is a stall right beside our small hotel that cook freshly Thai dishes .

Fried siomai in skewer: 20 Baht/. 50 EUR/26 PhP/. 56 USD

Meat, bugs, fish, poultry, fruits, vegetable on a stick. A perfect grab and go nosh.

Kick Ass Crepe: 20 Baht/. 50 EUR/26 PhP/. 56 USD

I saw this auntie making some crepe for a relatively long queue of anticipating costumers. I don't intend to be a snob so I joined  the line. Choices of filling is abundant, from savoury to sweet. I went for the classic. First,she smeared enough margarine on the cooking crepe, spread nutella over it, then add thinly sliced banana and lastly drizzle it with thick chocolate sauce.

She let the crepe browned and cook til it's crunchy! I can eat this every day for breakfast, snack or midnight snack! So delicious!

Coconut water/ Thai soft drink: 20 Baht each /. 50 EUR/26 PhP/. 56 USD

The  heat and humidity can get unforgiving and uncomfortable. In most days,  we were  probably sweating like the devils in hell. Fortunately, convenient stores are all over the place and a bottle of water cost less than 15 baht. We spent the rest of our money hydrating ourselves with cheap coconut water. Just a reminder, 1 coconut husk of coconut water cost 120 bath or more in some restaurants, so drink it up straight from the street!

After a week in Bangkok, FF and I still felt that we  barely scratch its food scene surface. There's still a lot of delicious and cheap treats we've missed and left untried. On the positive side, this just another reason to comeback here again one day.  Thank you Bangkok for expanding our girth!

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