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Taste-Testing Kikkoman’s Kara-Age Soy-Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix

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Have you ever wondered how to recreate that tasty Japanese-style fried chicken, more commonly known as chicken kara-age, in your own kitchen? Well, Kikkoman recently introduced a new product that makes it super easy to incorporate that kara-age taste to your menu. As part of a Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with Kikkoman, I recently received a package of Kikkoman’s new Kara-Age Soy-Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix for me to try and share my cooking experience. Although the box says it’s perfect for chicken and fish, I decided to try something different and prepared dishes with tofu and shrimp instead.

Kara-Age is popular cooking technique used in the Japanese cuisine that involves coating ingredients (usually chicken) in a seasoned potato starch/wheat flour mix and deep frying them. It’s similar in preparation to tempura, but different in that a batter is used for making tempura and there’s no batter for kara-age. The Kikkoman Kara-Age Coating Mix is seasoned with soy sauce and ginger and ready to use. Each box comes with two 3oz packages. Simply toss moistened pieces of chicken (or any other ingredient you’d like to use) in the coating mix, and then deep-fry or pan-fry until nicely browned.

I opened one of the packages and I noticed the fragrant smell of ginger. It was a pleasant smell and not overwhelming at all. I divided the coating mix into two parts, one for the tofu and one for the shrimp. The box suggests using a plastic bag-shake method for a no mess prep. Alternatively, you can just use plate or bowl for tossing if you don’t want the extra waste.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package Kikkoman Kara-Age Soy-Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix
  • 12 oz extra firm tofu, pressed and drained, cut into 2″ pieces
  • 12 pieces medium sized shrimp, peeled
  • Vegetable oil for pan frying

Directions:

  1. Pour the kara-age mix into a plastic bag.
  2. Add the tofu into a plastic bag and shake well so that each piece is covered. Place aside.
  3. Heat some oil in a large pan. I suggest a cast iron skillet.
  4. Pan fry the tofu for about 2 minutes, flipping the pieces over as needed, until nicely browned.
  5. Remove the pieces from the pan and put it on a paper towel to remove excess oil. Blot with paper towel if necessary.
  6. Repeat with the shrimp pieces.

Once you’re done pan frying, they are ready to serve.

I found this cute plate at the store the other day and I’ve been wanting to use it, so I decided to put together a neat appetizer. I shredded some leafy green lettuce, made a bedding for the fried tofu, and arranged them on the plate.

I placed the shrimp into a separate plate and added some mint leaves to the dish. The combination of mint and ginger goes really well together.

To accompany the tofu, I also made a light  cucumber salad with a fish sauce dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • a few sprigs of mint leaves

Dressing*:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • ~1/2 cup water
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • piece of chili (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large salad bowl, combine the cucumber, onion, and mint leaves.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the lime juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, sugar, and water.
  3. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the minced garlic.
  5. Taste and adjust the ingredients as needed, depending on how sweet, salty, or sour you’d like the dressing to me.
  6. Add a piece of chili if you want to give it a spicy.

*I used the measurements above as a starting point and play around with it until it tasted right to me.

I was definitely pleased with how the tofu and shrimp came out. What I liked best about the coating mix was that it was not too salty or overpowering in flavor, which is a common issue I found in pre-made mixes. The coating mix was seasoned just right and smells great too!

There’s so many ways to incorporate the kara-age into any meal, e.g. serve as an appetizer or side dish, add it to your bento/lunch box, serve it over rice, or as a topping for your salad. And theoretically, you can coat and fry almost any ingredient. I still have one package left. Wonder what I should try next.

For more information on the product and recipe ideas, check out the Kikkoman’s website. They also post promotions, offers, and giveaways on their Facebook page. Right now they have a printable coupon for $1 off any Kikkoman product. Here’s your chance to give it a try too!

Disclaimer: The product was provided to me as part of the Foodbuzz Tastemakers Program. No other compensation was received for this post. The post was written by LookyTasty and all opinions expressed are solely mine.

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1 Comment

  1. IronStomach

    November 5, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Shrimp is very easy to fry and season. I’d like to know how chicken and pork cutlets come out. What sauce do they recommend?

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