Chicken breast is one of the foods I would never order in a restaurant, and the only time I am certain that I can eat it without wishing for something else is when I cook it myself, which I rarely do.
People tend to overcook chicken, because they are afraid of getting salmonella or another food-born illness that usually comes from the way the meat is processed. Overcooked dark meat is still edible, but overcooked chicken breast is dry and stringy.
Brining chicken breast not only adds flavour, it also changes the texture so that it’s less stringy. It’s essential to weigh the meat, so you know the correct amount of salt to add.
Shichimi togarashi (often shortened to just shichimi) is Japanese seven spice powder that contains, among other ingredients, chilli powder, which will give a hint of heat to the chicken nuggets (if you like more heat, add more shichimi). Shichimi is sold in small containers because the colour fades when exposed to air.
Furikake (or rice sprinkles) is dusted over cooked rice to add colour and a salty, umami flavour. Furikake is available in an enormous range of mixes: common ingredients include sesame seeds, small pieces of shredded nori or shiso leaves, crumbled dried egg or mentaiko (salted fish roe), dried fish such as salmon or katsuo (fermented skipjack tuna), wasabi, and spring onion. Use whichever type you like for this recipe.
As always with fried foods, I double fry. The first frying, which can be done up to an hour before you serve the food, cooks the meat. The second crisps up the coating and should be done right before serving.
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