We've all had versionsof products using Koji, like soy sauce,miso, sake.
All of those goodsare started with Koji.
For example, if I mixed Koji withcooked soybeans and like left that in a clay potin my house somewhere, in a year, that wouldjust turn into miso.
How-To Make Koji FriedChicken With Angela Dimayuga, AngelaDimayuga Exec.
Chef, Mission Chinese.
My name'sAngela Dimayuga.
I'm the Executive Chef atMission Chinese Food in New York City.
I'm gonna makeKoji Fried Chicken today.
Koji Fried Chicken isa dish that we serve at Mission Chinese Food.
The chicken is, justmarinated with, ginger, scallion and garlic,and then some Koji.
And then Koji is thiswhite culture that, Japanese people use for traditional fermentationprojects.
This is kind of likea quick use of Koji.
I, I just pick it up atlike any Japanese market.
It just looks likedry rice grains.
And the culture is justin the, the rice grains.
And you just inoculateit by cooking the Koji, adding it to likewhite rice and water, and you justmake like a slurry.
It looks like porridge.
And then you just leavethat out for a week.
And just agitateit every few days.
What you get is just likethis sweet-smelling like race, that smellssort of like sake.
That's what we use tostart the base marinades.
It also caramelizes theoutside of the chicken really well whenyou deep fry it, so that we don't need to useany starches or batters.
The Koji itself willturn the protein molecules intomore of sugars.
So, that's why it alsoaids in like the color and caramelization andthe flavor.
So, the first partof this dish is just marinating the chickenwith the Koji rub.
I just take some ginger,like an, a one inch piece.
Just about like twocloves of garlic.
One scallion, and then just cut itreally nice and thin.
I like to usea microplane with ginger just because it also justleaves the tough fibers that you don'treally need in this.
And then, this ginger orgarlic now, so, these are just thethree like aromatics that you're gonna use toseason your chicken.
Then, you're gonnaadd your Koji to it, which I have here.
It's totally likethis active culture.
It's really bubbly.
This one is likeabout a month old, so, the rice grainshave broken down.
Add like fourtablespoons there to it.
Tablespoon of salt.
And then, just mixthis all together.
So, I havea whole chicken that I just broke downinto two pieces here.
I just butcher thechicken off of the rib cage cuz that's alsohow you, you typically get your chicken servedwith style over rice.
So, at this point youwant to cover your chicken in this mixture,and you really just wanna get into like all thegroves here, so that it, it totally, it justlike penetrates all the parts of the chicken.
It ages it sort of ina way that like you age like dry aged beef,like ribeye, and with, the chicken I feellike it's a little bit uncommon to see likean aged, chicken.
Just age it inyour refrigerator.
I'm just gonna put iton just a sheet pan but with a rack on it so theair can get right under the chicken as well.
And you always want toleave it skin side up so that the skingets really dry.
So, it just friesreally nicely and gets really crisp.
So, at this point yeah, you could just leaveit in your fridge.
You don't evenhave to like deal with it forthree days.
And this chicken hasbeen air dried for three days now, you'lljust notice that the skin just looks a lot moretranslucent, which is, that means that Kojiis really working and aging the chicken.
At this point,it's just ready to fry.
If you're frying this athome, you just wanna have a pot that's justhalfway filled with oil.
That's just to be safefrom like splattering, you just want to makesure the temperature is at anywhere betweenlike 360 to 375.
I'm using a candythermometer to check out the temperature, or,for me at, at home, I just usea chopstick and see if it has likea nice, mellow bubble that's coming outof the chopstick.
It just needs about4 to 6 minutes and you can flip it overto make sure all the sides are immersedin the oil.
And then, I usually,I just use a, neutral oil like soybeanoil or anyone could just use like canola oil orgrape seed oil.
I'm just looking tomake sure that it's not sticking tothe bottom and then, just also making sureit's totally immersed.
It's just gonna turninto an even brown.
Like I said the Kojijust like allows that to happen a lot faster thanif this was just salt, like salted chicken.
So, you could seethat caramelization already happening there.
I'm taking a cake tester.
And I always like tokeep this in my kitchen at home too, because ifyou're cooking protein, you can feel whattemperature the internal temperature is,by body heat.
So, I usually just pokeit in the thickest part of the meat, and then just press itagainst my lip.
What you're looking for is a little bit abovebody temperature, and then you can pull it andrest it.
It's about readyto come out.
Season it while it's hot,so the salt just sticksright to the chicken.
It looks good, whilethat's resting, I'm just gonna get a couple otheringredients ready.
I'm serving today, myKoji chicken with a hot sauce that we make inhouse using preserved chilis andpreserved lemons.
If you're making it athome, like, feel free to just use anythinglike Frank's Red Hot or Sriracha or whatever youhave in your cupboard.
All I do is just cut upsome chili just like in one-inch chunks,and then, cover it in a fair amountof, salt just to cover.
You just, you justtoss that together and then you just leave thisin a air tight container.
But I would just keepthis somewhere warm like maybe near my oven andthen what happens is it breaks down andgets really juicy.
You wanna just check itevery day and just like, give it a good shake so that you make sure thatthe salt's incorporated, in all the piecesof the pepper.
And as soon asit looks like, it's maybe been likeblanched or boiled, where they look,it looks really like.
It's flattened out.
The, the color willchange to like a lighter green.
It's pretty muchready to use and I would just put itin my refrigerator.
If you see like blackmold or green mold, it's, you just have tothrow it away.
So, there should neverbe any mold on it.
I also makepreserved lemons, and it's pretty much thesame process to preserve lemons except you have tocover it, in some juice, so, these are somelemons that I preserved.
You just cover it ina lot of salt as well, it takes about atminimum, like 3 weeks to get to this stage whereit's nice and it's, it's like kind of itturns like clear.
It's, it also feels likeit had been blanched.
So, at this point, you could usethe entire lemon.
But, I, I prefer to just use the,the flesh itself.
Like it's nice andbitter but I don't want it tobe too bitter, so, you would just throwthat, the pith away, the white pith.
I have my, just my lemonsthat are just cleaned up.
And then, this is justsome of, the fermented chili product afterit's been fermented for about a week.
What we do isjust blend it in your food processor.
You just get thesenice chunks.
So, now, I'm gonna just, I'm just gonnablend this up, I'm also gonnause some of the, preserved lemon juiceto get this started.
And then at this point, I just add a littleolive oil to just balanceout that heat.
And then this isjust the end result.
The oil makes itlike nice and bright, gives it a niceyellow hue to it.
So, yeah, so,there's the hot sauce.
And then, like to serve it withjust like a lemon wedge.
You know, it's like soup, kind of fatty cuzit's just deep fried.
And then, I always like to justmake a little salad.
Just like thinly slicedcucumbers, and daikon.
I have a,a green daikon here.
You don't haveto have daikon.
I think cucumberwould be fine too but I just like the spicinessof radishes and the crunch.
Season these witha little bit of salt.
And then your chickenshould just be nice and rested at this point,ready to slice.
I also like to just pokeat it to see like how firm the meat is.
It should havea little bit of give.
If it's, if it feelsreally hard when you press it, that meansyou over cooked it, so, it should bounceback a little bit.
So, I just splitit at the breast.
Pick up my drumstick.
The wing, which is my favorite partcuz it's super crispy.
I just sliced my chickenbreast into about four or five pieces.
And then, usually whenI'm cooking at home, even though, you know, say I made this KojiChicken at home and like all these fermentationprojects take super long.
I get really im, impatient aboutmaking rice at home, so, I'm really lazy and Iwould just go downstairs and get like a dollarbox from the takeout.
But, so,here's my take out rice.
Just put a little onthe bottom basically just to collect a lotof juices.
At this point, I'm gonna put my chickenright over my rice.
And then a little salad.
I always take all the,the bones from the, from butchering chickensand then just make it into a really likesimple like, broth.
I always like to justhave some, like chicken broth in my freezer if Ihave anything leftover from, makinga chicken dish.
So, I have some of that,reduced.
Then I just use thatas a sauce too.
So, has ginger andscallion in it.
And then a littlecilantro on top, that's it.
I'm gonna go for my wing, cuz that's the bestpart to me.