Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Thai Chicken Karaage

[Photographs: Robyn Lee]

When choosing recipe for this week's Cook the Book cookbook, Food Trucks by Heather Shouse I tapped our resident street food aficionado Erin Zimmer for some insider favorites. She was ready and willing with tons of great suggestions including East Side King, a cart parked in the backyard of an Austin dive bar.

She visited on a Serious Eats book research trip with AHT editor Robyn Lee. Read Erin's review for more on this imaginative Asian-inspired drinking food done right by talented chefs from the Austin's well-known Uchi. The bottom line: Erin and Robyn left a little obsessed after late-night fried beets, fried brussel sprouts, and this Thai Chicken Karaage.

The chicken is genius drinking food, the sort of crunchy, fried, salty, spicy stuff that was born to be paired with cold beers. It's a riff on Japanese karaage enlivened with the sweet, sour, salty, spicy components of southeast Asian cooking—sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, and plenty of chiles.

The recipe begins a day in advance with chunks of boneless chicken thighs marinated in a pungent brine. The following day it's just a matter of dredging the chicken pieces in cornstarch, frying them, and dressing them in the reserved brine mixed with chile sauce and a mix of basil, mint, thin sliced onions and jalapeños. And of course, it's advisable to have many cold beers on hand for optimal karaage enjoyment.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Food Trucks to give away this week.

Adapted from Food Trucks by Heather Shouse. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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