When I bought an air fryer, the first thing I wanted to make was this “Kara-age”.
Kara-age is a Japanese-style friend chicken.
Chicken is marinated first, and then coated with thin flour, and deep-fried.
This was one of my favorite things to find in my lunch box.
Of course, now I make this with tofu, but I do a little trick when I make Kara-age.
I first freeze my extra-firm tofu overnight.
And then thaw it, remove all the liquid from the tofu; at this point the tofu has the sponge-like texture, ready to absorb the marinade.
Tear the tofu into bite-sized pieces.
Marinade tofu in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, garlic powder, and ginger powder; you don’t have to wait too long, because the tofu soaks up the marinade quickly.
Coat each piece with flour.
The first time I air-fried it, I didn’t use any oil, and it turned out powdery from the flour (although it tasted good).
So I went ahead and bought this oil sprayer.
This time I sprayed the oil at the bottom and over the tofu.
It turned out perfect!!
I tried to make this with my convection oven, but I was never able to get the outside this crunchy.
So happy with my air fryer.
I didn’t think much about the size, but this is a great size (7qurart) for our household of two.
Another highlight of this lunch was the rice balls.
I bought these rice seasonings at Mitsuwa when we visited Chicago last weekend.
So I was excited to try this in my rice balls.
The left one is Wakana herb, Japanese plum, Shiso.
The right one is braised Gobo burdock root.
They were both super tasty!
A few other things that were served together…
Japanese potato salad “sans” mayo.
They usually add some veggies to the potato salad.
I added cucumber, radish, and onion this time (my mother’s potato salad always had carrot, if I remember it right).
I went back and forth, but at the end I decided against mayo this time.
I wanted to keep it light, so I simply seasoned it with salt, pepper, sugar, and white vinegar.
It turned out great!
And no fat!
Here is a super nutritious side dish, braised Hijiki seaweed, lentils, and fried soy curd.
Yep, very Japanese.
I’m super lucky that my American husband enjoys this type of meal as much as I do.