Mochiko Fried Chicken is a Hawaiian favorite with Japanese-American roots. Pieces of chicken are marinated in a mochiko cornstarch mixture and fried until crisp and tender.
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I found this recipe for Mochiko Fried Chicken in The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook: Home Cooking from Asian American Kitchens. The cookbook centralizes around the life and cooking of Asian grandmothers, the focal point of the family, with over 130 recipes from Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, China, the Philippines, Korea, and Japan.
This mochiko soy-coated chicken is a Japanese-American dish from Hawaii. One of my favorite things about the recipe is how easy it is to get that light, crisp coating. The chicken is marinated in a combination of soy sauce, mochiko (sweet rice flour), cornstarch, sugar, green onions, and garlic for 4 hours to overnight before being fried. This marinade creates that crisp exterior without having to dip and coat each individual piece of chicken.
We were busy with getting Evan ready for bed while I was cooking dinner, so I followed Pat’s advice to slightly under-cook the chicken while frying, then baking when ready in a 375 degrees Fahrenheit oven for about 5 minutes. This way, I was actually able to enjoy hot food after Evan was asleep. For even more flavor, add about 1 teaspoon of grated ginger to the marinade.
Serve the chicken on its own as a finger food/appetizer or with rice and vegetables to create a meal.
Mochiko is a sweet rice flour used in Japanese cuisine. This starchy, gluten-free flour, also known as galapong in the Philippines, is made from sticky sweet rice. The most common use for mochiko is mochi (Japanese rice cake). I have been able to find Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour in the international section of larger grocery stores and in the Asian food market.
Mochiko Fried Chicken Recipe
Mochiko Fried Chicken
Adapted from The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons mochiko flour
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
4 (1/4 cup) chopped green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon grated ginger (optional)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
vegetable oil for frying
Thinly sliced green onions for garnish
In a large bowl, combine beaten eggs, soy sauce, flour, cornstarch, sugar, chopped green onions, garlic, and ginger.
Use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to gently flatten the chicken. Slice the chicken into about 2 inch pieces. Add the pieces to the marinade and toss to thoroughly coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours to overnight. Remove from the refrigerator 15-30 minutes before frying.
In a large wok, bring 1 inch of vegetable oil to high heat. Once heated and shimmering, reduce to medium heat. Gently place 7-9 pieces of chicken into the oil. Be careful not to overcrowd the chicken. Fry for 2 1/2-3 minutes per side. Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken and drain on paper towel-lined plate. Remove any pieces of batter between batches of chicken.
Top with green onions and serve on its own as an appetizer or paired with rice and vegetables for a meal.