Usually, on a gloomy day like today, I’d go to the closest restaurant serving hot soon dubu and have a feast to make myself feel a bit better. Oddly enough, though, I couldn’t wait to get home to make myself a nice, home-cooked meal.
The process of cooking makes me really happy, actually. It’s methodical, you can do whatever the hell you want, and you get to eat the results of your labor. Maybe I just like knowing I can take care of myself, in this small but very important way.
Tonight, I made stir-fried bok choy and pan-fried luciable-style chicken katsu with a fried egg on top. I was able to cook everything and wash the dishes in the time it took the rice to cook. Keep in mind, I’m an eater, not a photographer. >.<
Chicken katsu = what every chicken nugget aspires to be.
The night before, I beat the chicken to a pulp and marinated it in soy sauce, mirin, sesame seed oil (smelled really good!), oyster sauce, white pepper (couldn’t taste), freshly ground pepper (couldn’t taste), paprika (couldn’t taste), garlic powder (MMMM!!) and corn starch (to make it sticky so the bread crumbs would stick on later). (Traditionally, I think you can just flour the chicken, dip it in egg, and then press it in panko crumbs to achieve a crispy katsu crust, but I felt like throwing all the seasonings in my pantry together, so that’s what I did.) When I got home today, all I had to do was panko crumb and pan-fry it.
Panko crumbing was probably the best part of the process. If the crumbs aren’t sticking, all you have to do is mash the meat harder and pretend it’s the face of whoever annoys you. Before you know it, your chicken breast will be perfectly coated in panko goodness. Then, all you have to do is put it in the pan.
The frying part of any recipe seems to be the part where I always screw up. I can boil the shit out of spaghetti and stew the hell out of a tomato, but for some reason the only thing I can fry well is an egg. Oh well. I do love my food crispy, so it’s all good. To check whether or not the chicken’s done, make a fist and poke the fleshy part of your hand between your thumb and curled index finger. If the chicken is as firm as that part of your hand feels, it means the chicken’s done! I always let it rest for a bit on the plate, too, so that the residual heat can finish everything off, just in case.
Why does my fist look like a manly cinnamon roll without the frosting?
And then your meal is done! As much fun as cooking is, eating food is so much better. Although, this post by Marginal Revolution says sandwiches taste better when someone else makes them. Does it only apply to sandwiches, I wonder?
At any rate, what I made tonight put a light finish on my not-so-fun day. I fried up a second katsu egg combo as well, so I can have it in a katsu egg tomato cheese tonkatsu sauce sandwich for lunch tomorrow.
May all of your nights be filled with katsu happiness!