Mochiko Chicken Tacos With a Sriracha Pumpkin Salsa are the perfect way to kick off the fall season and celebrate Taco Tuesday at once! #PumpkinEverything.
Brace yourselves. Pumpkin is coming. It’s almost fall guys, and sadly, that means saying goodbye to beaches, BBQs, and bonfires and hello to brisk nights, blazers, and bright red leaves. And of course, pumpkin everything. Honestly it feels kind of depressing writing a pumpkin themed post in August, but whatevs…PUMPKIN IS COMING!
So, you dudes may remember a post I did a little while back with the Fuckin’ Fab Food Bloggers? If you don’t, here’s a link to my Gluten Free Lemon Cake Donuts with a Blueberry Bourbon Basil Glaze. This time we decided to do something a little different, instead of sending each other random ingredients we picked one ingredient and made it the theme. Guess what it was! If you guessed apples, well, that was a pretty dumb guess.
So Who Made What?
Best buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, cuz Kansas is going bye bye.
Actually, we’re gettin’ the fuck out of Kansas. In fact, we are getting out of the continental US to the distant foreign land of Hawaii. That’s right say aloha to the Aloha State. Hawaiian food is an interesting animal. It’s kind of a mixture of Japanese, Filipino, and other Asian tastes mixed with American foods. In Hawaii they have something called Spam Musubi which is basically spam sashimi.
Cooked spam on a rice ball wrapped in seaweed and basted with a soy based sauce
So, we’ve established that Hawaiian cuisine has some…interesting…food. Actually spam musubi isn’t all that bad.
OK, So What Is Mochiko Chicken?
Mochiko (pronounced Mo-Chee-Ko) is glutinous rice flour made from Japanese sticky short grain rice. When I say glutinous, it in fact, has no wheat gluten and can be used in gluten free cooking. It’s a great flour to use because the sticky proteins in the rice help bind baked goods and result in a less dry product.
Go with Blue Star Brand, it’s the good stuff.
So mochiko chicken is fried chicken battered in mochiko flour.
Interesting. Well how do I make it?
Good question. Let’s get cookin!
Start with boneless skinless chicken thighs. Why thighs? Because they’re tender and delicious. I suppose when it comes to chicken, I’m a leg man.
First thing to do is lightly pound the chicken with a meat tenderizer. Just make it an even thickness so it cooks evenly. Meat tenderizers have spiked ends, so I suggest being gentle and using the flat side. Once everything is even, cut each piece into 2-3 inch chunks.
In a large glass bowl, lightly beat 2 eggs. Then add in the soy sauce, mochiko, corn starch, sugar, scallions, garlic, ginger, and furikake and mix well.
Furry Caca?! Man What Are You Feeding Me?
No no no. Furikake (pronounced Foo-Ree-Kah-Kay) is a Japanese rice topping. You sprinkle it on top of white rice to jazz it up and usually consists of toasted seaweed, sesame seeds, maybe sugar, wasabi powder and other flavors. You can get it on amazon or at any Asian store.
Otona No Furikake
Flavored with soy, sugar, nori, and bonito (dried fish). I prefer the stuff in the blue package.
Throw the chicken in the bowl and toss to coat, let it marinate in the fridge overnight.
Whoa! What Happened? I Blinked And The Calendar Skipped A Day!
Well guess what? It’s tomorrow! (time warp) And it’s about time to start cooking dinner. First we should make the pumpkin salsa. It’s simple, mix ¾ cup pumpkin puree (you can use canned or homemade) with sriracha and stir well. Mix in a teaspoon of fish sauce as a flavor enhancer.
Now prep the fixins. Grate half a head of cabbage and Parmesan cheese, separately. Now thinly julienne the white part of a bunch of scallions. They should look like super thin matchsticks. Now place them in an ice water bath for at least 15 minutes. The ice water helps cut the oils out of the onions and crisps them up. When you’re ready to serve, pat the scallions dry with a paper towel.
DIY Pumpkin Puree
Did you know it’s really easy to make your own pumpkin puree? You can do it in an hour and this recipe uses a secret ingredient.
Preheat a large cast iron or other heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, and preheat an oven to 225ºF. Add about an inch of oil to the pan and let it heat through. Test the hotness by flicking a few drops of water into the oil. It’s ready when it instantly sizzles. Reduce heat to medium and cook the chickens in batches, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. Cook until golden brown (about 3 minutes per side) Use a slotted spoon to remove the chicken to a plate lined with paper towels.
When you are ready to serve, wrap about 10-20 tortillas (depends on how many your serving) in aluminum foil and put them in the preheated oven. Warm them for about 5-10 minutes.
Serve by spooning some salsa into a tortilla, add the chicken, and other fixins. Bam! You’ve just made mochiko chicken tacos with a sriracha pumpkin salsa.
Currently Jamming To
I still love you, Shirley Manson
This recipe requires a little something special. Here’s a list of what you will need: