Incredible Japanese Fried Teriyaki Tartar Chicken (若鶏南蛮)
There is an amazing fried chicken dish that needs to find it's way overseas because once you taste it, you'll see why it's become so popular in Japan.
A chicken filet is an fried extra crispy and after cooking it, the oil is drained off. Then the boneless filet is chopped into bit size pieces. It's then lightly coated with teriyaki sauce and a rich flavored tartar sauce. The flavors and textures all need to be balanced. And when it's done correctly, it's a flavor sensation.
The dish is called Wakatori Namban (若鶏南蛮) in Japan but it's not easy to translate directly because it's young chicken of the barbarian. It was created in the south of Japan in Miyazaki prefecture but it's not clear exactly who gets the credit. But it's funny that it was created at a restaurant called London with the idea of making a western type dish.
I really think it's time for this dish to spread outside Japan, but it would need a better name. I was thinking the name Teri-Tartar fried chicken might be good name for a style of cooking chicken.
Trying it in Japan - where to go?
This dish can be found in a number of restaurants through out Japan but one of the best places I've found is the quick food chain called S Gusto. The taste is great and it's really a good deal for the volume of food (comes with rice and a lot shaved cabbage which is like the salad) Eat in or take out is fine too.
They have a lot of dishes but the Teri-tartar chicken is number 63 on the menu below. At just costs 590 yen which is just 5.25 USD. It beats going for a Big mac set which is around 680 yen. It's a better option and cheaper - especially in Tokyo.
Cooking ideas and tips
If you want to try to make it from a recipe. Here are some key points:
Coat the chicken filet with a lot of coating because you want the crunch. And you can fry for a sort period and drain to then fry again to increase the crispiness.
Don't over coat with sweet teriyaki sauce. It will throw off the balance and makes the chicken soggy.
Make or get a tartar that has a very rich robust flavor and not super tart.
I hope you get try this Teri-tartar chicken. If you hit the combination of flavors and crispy goodness, you will know taste something that is new and unique I think for most people.
Reference (translate using Google Chrome):
S Gusto: http://www.skylark.co.jp/s_gusto/menu/take-out.html