Chicken katsu and potato salad
My sister and her most adorable son just left Jamaica to return to Belgium. I miss them so much and can't wait to visit them soon.
While they were here, my sister and I did a lot of cooking together. We cooked Japanese, African, French, Italian, and some Jamaican dishes. Both my sister and I have a great passion for food, which I believe was passed on by our mother.
Despite her busy schedule as a professional, our mother always made sure there was a lot of food at home. She introduced us to some good food and fed us mostly organically grown local produce. Thanks to her effort, food had become a centre point of our family and helped us to develop an appetite for life itself. It also cultivated our interests in other cultures as well as our own.
We also learnt to cook at an early age. Today, I would like to introduce two of the comfort-food recipes we love. When we are feeling lazy, katsu and potato salad always work. Katsu is breaded meat or fish. It is not only easy to cook, but it can be prepped in advance and kept in the freezer. And Japanese potato salad goes really well with katsu and is also very easy to cook.
Ai and her husband operate a Jamaican/Japanese food takeout restaurant. She is also a founder of Epiphany Media Solutions, ACI International, Kingston Rock and Recovery Japan.
4 medium local potatoes
1tsp finely chopped onion
1tsp good-quality sesame oil
1tsp of apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt and pepper
Local potatoes go better with this recipe as they are more moist and flavourful. Wash them really well and boil with skin on until soft.
Meanwhile, peel the carrot, cut into half and slice. Then boil them in hot water until soft and drain.
Cut cucumber into two and remove seeds using teaspoon. Slice them very thin and squeeze excess water with hands.
When the potatoes are soft, take them out and peel under cold water and mash them. You can leave some lumps for texture. Then mix mashed potatoes with carrots, cucumber, onions, mayonnaise, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
2 boneless chicken breasts, pork chops or white fillet fish
6tbs Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
Pinch of salt and pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
As I mentioned above, katsu can be made with meat or fish of your choice. If it is chicken, thigh will be a good choice. However, if you wish to save on some calories, breasts are recommended.
Season meat with salt and pepper. Cover both sides with flour and shake off the excess. Whisk egg in a bowl to dip meat. Take them out of egg quickly and seal with Panko. You can use standard breadcrumbs here, but I recommend Panko as it will give the dish a more authentic Japanese flavour.
Fry two to three minutes each side on medium fire in hot oil. Make sure they are golden and not burnt.
You can sprinkle lemon or lime juice over katsu. You can also dip them in soy sauce or Japanese Tonkatsu Sauce if you wish.