If I tilt my head a little, I can almost hear my tastebuds singing praise. MOCHIKOOOOOO CHICKEENNNNNN!
Someone is writing an article about me in a magazine coming out soon. We interviewed about my childhood on the island of Kauai and what it was like moving halfway across the world to the Middle East. Most of the conversation involved me blurting out random memories of coconut-hacking in the sun and fresh ahi poke on the beach, before I remembered something else that came before or something that might not have been appropriate and I had to nervously giggle and say- “maybe don’t put that in”. And then apologizing for having such a crazy life and honestly wondering how this woman was going to make any sense out of what I had given her…. and thinking that I wouldn’t take the job of writing out my own life story if I had been paid.
At the end of the article, which I hope will be somewhat coherent and not set me off as a crazy, sunburnt, change-obsessed foodie, my interviewer wants some recipes. Of course, the recipes have to have something to do with the article, and I obviously thought Hawaiian food. Needless to say, this last week has been actually fabulous and filled with all the best local kine-grinds coming out of my Israeli kitchen. Try: Shoyu Chicken.
ONO is the Hawaiian way of saying delicious, and our dinners lately have been preeeeety ono. We’ve been following the holy triangle of:
(and seaweed, I’ve been using so much seaweed!!!!).
The special ingredient in this dish here is Mochiko rice flour.
It’s not readily available in Israel(though I do plan to check out the Thai shuk in Tel Aviv). What IS available is short grain glutinous rice from my previous workplace, the Thai restaurant of Kapao. I pass there every other day to visit my favorite co-workers and pop downstairs to the supermarket. This time, I made one of my friends go to the storeroom and steal me some rice.
Just kidding, I asked permission!
Mochiko flour is made from sweet rice, which is extra starchy and also used to make sticky rice and mochi(very, very sticky). It cannot be substituted with normal rice flour, or so I’ve read. As the actual flour wasn’t available to me, I decided to make my own, and I will tell you- it was pretty easy, and came out great! I simply soaked the glutinous rice for an hour, let it dry(30 min.) almost completely, and while still a tad wet, ground it out in my coffee grinder. The recipe only needs 1/4 cup, but I made extra and put it in the freezer.
Almost immediately after turning on the grinder, the rice began to turn into flour and give off a sweet smell identical to Mochi. That’s when I knew this was going to work!
That’s also when my baby woke up. (note to self: no blender after 8PM).
If you can get Mochiko flour itself, that’s much less of a hassle, but I would advise this method if you don’t have any other option- it is so, so worth it.
This sweet flour goes into a bowl with cornstarch, Shoyu, sriracha, green onions, and sesame seeds.
Then we add the chicken into this marinade and let it sit overnight- it will look pretty watery at first but don’t be tempted to add more flour, it will thicken up by the morning.
When you are ready to prepare the BEST LUNCH EVER, wrap each piece of chicken in a strip of Nori(seaweed), and fry.
You can make little bite-sized pieces for an appetizer, or tenders for a less time-consuming meal. Either way, the chicken will be packed with flavor, crunchy, and wonderful.
I had my husband come in to the kitchen to wrap the nori while I fried em up, and it was loads of fun.
If you make this Mochiko Chicken, be sure to leave a comment, a rating, and tell us all how it was! I absolutely love seeing your photos, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!
Nori-Wrapped Mochiko Chicken
- 1.5 kilo chicken pieces cleaned and cut into small tenders
- 1/4 cup Mochiko- sweet rice flour
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup green onion thinly sliced
- 1 tsp sriracha hot sauce
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp fresh ginger grated or minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 package dried seaweed sheets
- Cut chicken into desired size. Whisk all marinade ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Add chicken and mix to coat. Place in the fridge to marinate overnight, or for a minimum of two hours.
- When chicken is done marinating.... Cut seaweed into long strips, each about 3 inches in length and 1 inch width. Working one at a time, wrap a strip of nori around the center of each chicken piece. The ends of the nori should overlap and you can dab a little marinade so they stick. Place on a baking sheet and heat oil for frying. When oil is hot, gently place chicken pieces in to fry, without crowding the oil. When the first side is a lovely golden color, flip and fry the second side. I like to use chopsticks for this part! Good practice and they don't scrape the bottom of the pan like metal tongs. Place fried chicken on paper towels to drain, and enjoy hot or cold! To serve- garnish with spring onion and serve alongside white rice.