This recipe is an example of pretty Japanese cooking. These deep-fried chicken rolls are both elegant and delicious. The chicken is rolled around a colorful filling, then coated with cut mung bean noodles. When the noodles hit the hot oil they puff up dramatically and turn pure white, then golden. Then the rolls are sliced to reveal pretty pinwheels of color. It’s truly food for a special occasion.
Chicken Breast Fillets in a Crust of Mung-Bean Noodles
Tori Sasami Harusame-age
serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer
Preparing the Chicken:
- 8 large chicken breast tenders (breast fillets are called sasami in Japanese)
Remove the tough white string-like tendon from each fillet. Make a lengthwise cut in each fillet and open like a book to a thin wider sheet. Or place each fillet between sheets of plastic wrap and pound gently to make them thin and wide. Lightly salt both sides of the fillets, let stand for 10 minutes, then wipe away the exuded juice with paper towels.
Flavoring for the Filling:
- 2 Tablespoons mamemiso
- 1 Tablespoon water
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
In a small bowl, combine the above ingredients. Mix until smooth.
- 16 large shiso leaves,
or 1/2 sheet nori cut into 3 squares and 8 small shiso leaves
- 4 green beans cut in half crosswise
- 1 two-inch piece of carrot, cut into 8 sticks
- 3 ounces artificial crab sticks, cut into similar size to the vegetables
- 8 toothpicks
- 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
- 5 ounces (?) ryokuto harusame (mung bean noodles), cut into 1/2″ lengths with scissors
Place the chicken fillets cut side up. Use a pastry brush to dust each one with flour. Cover each fillet with a shiso leaf, or a square of nori and small shiso leaf. Brush with the miso mixture. Place a bean, a carrot stick, and a crab stick near the broad end of each fillet. Roll each fillet over the filling ingredients. Secure with a toothpick. One at a time, dust the prepared rolls with flour. Dip each into the egg whites and shake off excess. Coat the rolls with the mung bean noodles.
Note: I think if you are making this for a dinner party, you could wrap and refrigerate the chicken rolls. Shortly before your guests arrive, coat with the noodles and deep-fry. They are great hot and fresh, quite good at room temperature, and greasy in the fridge if you have leftovers.
- Oil for deep-frying
Heat 3″ of oil to 340°F. (this is a little hotter than the original recipe) Fry the chicken, 2 at a time, until the noodles puff up and turn golden—about 4 minutes. Drain on a rack and sprinkle with a little salt. Twist the toothpicks to remove them. Slice each roll into quarters to reveal the spiral of colorful filling.
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