I saw a version of this recipe on Pinterest, and of course once you look at something, you start seeing it everywhere. Apparently there are a lot of Japanese recipes for shallow-fried chicken marinated in mayonnaise with various seasonings.
Garlic scapes were what I used here, and I have to say much as I usually like them, this year’s batch seems unusually tough. I suspect it was all that heat and drought while they were forming. Pretty sure you can use whatever green garlicky stuff that’s easily mince-able that you like, and if that fails green onions would do. I will likely make this throughout the year replacing each tablespoon of green garlic with a clove or two of regular garlic when it is not available. This was very good and we ate ridiculous amounts.
If your garlic scapes are tender enough, I suggest serving it with Roasted Garlic Scapes.
I get to like potato starch more and more. It’s a resistant starch (yay! – doesn’t raise blood sugar) and it gave these a delicate crispness without being at all heavy. The chicken should just be barely coated in it; don’t use too much.
One of the versions of this that I saw was quite clear that low-fat mayo does not work for this; I’m inclined to take their word for it.
15 minutes prep time
1 to 2 hours marinating time
12 to 15 minutes cook time
Make the Marinade:
2 tablespoons finely minced/puréed green garlic OR garlic scapes
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise (light is NOT okay)
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon potato starch
Mince or purée the garlic. I used the Vitamix and puréed the garlic scapes, previously finely chopped, with the soy sauce, then swished out the bowl with the vinegar. Put the paste in a coverable non-reactive container that will hold the chicken. Add the mayonnaise, sesame oil, and potato starch and mix until smooth.
Marinate & Cook the Chicken:
500 grams (1 pound) skinless boneless chicken pieces
1/3 cup (about) potato starch
1/4 cup (about) mild vegetable oil
Cut the chicken into large bite-sized pieces. Put them in the marinade, and mix until they are evenly coated in it. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours before cooking.
Put the potato starch in a shallow bowl. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. There should be enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan generously, maybe up to 1/4″ deep.
Toss each piece of chicken, with any clinging marinade, in the potato starch until just barely covered. Put them into the pan of hot oil as they are done, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes on each side, until crisp and browned. Don’t over-crowd them. If they are browning too fast, reduce the heat a little, but it’s good to get them started at a reasonably high heat. Shake the pan every so often to keep them from sticking.
When they are brown and crisp all over, and the chicken is cooked, blot them briefly on paper towel (or drain on a rack) and serve.
Last year at this time I made Chinese Style Pork & Tofu Meatballs.