Asian food has so much variety. Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, Thai, Malaysian, and Korean…. all different from each other yet so alike. We have tried all of them but just with seafood. I know it gets difficult to be a Muslim and practice the basics of eating only halal food. I have friends who seem to be comfortable with consuming non-halal Chicken and meat as well, but not us. I feel that when there are ways and options for us to follow these basics then we should.
Well, that doesn’t stop us from trying things we would love to. I believe that’s the best part about having strong taste buds and enjoy cooking. So, here I am with another mouthwatering recipe of a similar dish that I tried with scallops and loved them. I modified the recipe slightly. The scallops that I tried were not marinated or batter-fried, which to me was a little bland and all the flavor only came in through the sauce. The sauce was nice, not too spicy, just with a little kick. So, when I decided to make something similar using Chicken, I decided to add a little crunch and flavor. I, therefore, marinated the chicken, since Chicken has no flavor by itself and absorbs the flavors you add so adding little spice to Chicken is always mandatory. Even if you are adding chicken to noodles, always cook it with a little salt if nothing else.
This Chicken marination is with Buttermilk, chili flakes, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper powder, white pepper powder, oregano, and salt. Leave it to marinate for at least an hour if not longer. Further roll the Chicken pieces in a mix of flour, salt, and corn starch powder and fry them. The sauce has crushed Garlic and Ginger, soya sauce, sesame oil, gochujang sauce [a sweet and spicy Korean sauce available easily in all Asian food markets], Honey, Brown sugar, vegetable oil, and Red chili flakes. I used scallions and sesame seeds for garnishing, but you can always add them to the sauce. I feel the scallions lose their crunch if mixed in the sauce.
Substitute for Buttermilk?
Take equal quantity of milk as of the Buttermilk required and add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to it. Mix well and add chicken to it.
The flavor of this Chicken is sweet and spicy which makes it an excellent choice for all taste buds of all ages unless someone cannot tolerate any spice at all. I find them a great choice for playdates and small get-together parties.
Cooking in advance
You can fry the chicken bites and keep them in the oven too. The oven needs to be preheated. Keep it on warm or at 200F. Anything above it would overcook the chicken making it chewy or burning it.