ZANGI (Hokkaido Style Fried Chicken)

Regional Specialties

Zangi first appeared in 1960 in a harbor city called Kushiro located in the East Hokkaido. The city has been one of the Chicken farming centres on the island and a chef at a small local Chinese restaurant started this dish, making use of the local chicken. The difference between the typical Japanese fried chicken (Karaage) and Zangi is that Zangi is usually larger in size and the ingredients for coating are marinated along with the chicken, which results in well-seasoned flavourful batter. It also tends to have more seasonings and spices than Karaage.

-INGREDIENTS-
1kg Chicken thighs with skin (boned)
40g Grated ginger
4 Cloves of grated garlic
3 Tbsp Sake
4 Tbsp Soy sauce
2 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Ground white pepper
1 tsp Ground black pepper
2 Eggs
4 Tbsp Plain flour
10 Tbsp Katakuriko (potato starch)

-METHOD-
1. Clean the thighs by trimming off the fat and connective tissues as they affect the flavour and texture of the final product.

2. Lightly pound the meat using a knife. This enables the meat to absorb the marinade better and more quickly. Cut each thigh evenly into six chunks.

3. Put the chicken pieces into a bowl and add the grated garlic, grated ginger, salt, black pepper and white pepper. Rub them into the chicken using a hand.

4. Add the Sake, soy sauce, and sugar and rub again till the liquids are absorbed into the chicken.

5. Add the eggs, flour and Katakuriko. Mix well with a hand till they become battery and coat the surface of the chicken pieces. Cover it with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours.

6. The key to crunchy fried chicken is “double frying”. Heat up the oil in a deep frying pot or a wok to 160℃(320℉).

7. Give the marinated chicken pieces a good stir to separate and put them into the oil one piece at a time. Fry them for minutes. Pay attention not to over crowd your pot. The amount of chicken per batch should be up to half the amount of the oil. After 3 minutes as passed, take the chicken out and move onto the next batch.

8. Rest the chicken at least for 3 minutes on a wire rack, by which the residual heat cooks the meat through the centre while keeping the juice inside.

9. Increase the oil temperature to 180℃(356℉). Put the chicken back in to the oil and fry until the batter gets crunchy. Here is the trick–while frying, stir and lift them up out of the oil frequently. This will make the Zangi batter extra crunchy.

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