The Austin Food Blog

Your source for delicious food with a twist of weird

Korean Fried Chicken

Like I mentioned a few posts ago, I am really into Asian food.  So, when my dad shared this recipe with me a few months back I had to try it. And, let me tell you, it is good.

It also happens to be really easy to make.  The Asian ingredients are actually very easy to find (check the international aisle at your local HEB or Fiesta, or just go to Chinatown if you’re in the area).

Korean Fried Chicken – serves 2-4, cook time 30 mins + 1 hr marinating

Ingredients:

  • 1 small yellow onion, coarsely grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more for coating
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for coating
  • 8 to 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, quartered, or 24 wings
  • 3 tablespoons Korean chili paste (gojuchang) [Ed note: To make this, you can use 1.5 tablespoons of Sambal Oelek and 1.5 tablespoons of Chili Garlic Sauce. Both are readily available in your local grocery store.]
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, more for garnish
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch

Directions:

  1. In a medium-size bowl, combine grated onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat well. Cover and set aside to marinate for about 1 hour.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together chili paste, ketchup, sugar, sesame seeds and lemon juice. Taste and adjust flavors to get a spicy-sweet-tangy finish. Set aside.
  3. Pour oil into a large heavy pot to a depth of 1 1/2 inches. Heat to 350 degrees. Combine flour and cornstarch in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Working in batches to avoid crowding, lift chicken from marinade, dredge lightly in seasoned flour and cornstarch, gently drop into oil and fry for 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken, checking oil temperature between batches.
  5. For wings only, when all pieces are done, increase oil temperature to 375 degrees and refry in batches for 30 to 60 seconds, until very crisp. Drain once more on paper towels. While chicken is still hot, brush thickly with chili sauce. Serve hot, sprinkled with sesame seeds.

I also like to cook rice and Chinese broccoli to help round out this meal. Happy eating!

Ed note: If you are interested in eating Korean food in Austin, check out Shilla near Highland Mall. A word to the wise, however, it might be beneficial to bring someone along who knows something about the language and Korean Food since the menu is mostly not in English.

Coffee.

It is possibly my most favorite food next to melted cheese.  In fact, I’m sipping my favorite drink in the world – a double dirty soy chai – as I write this.

Since I pretty much consider coffee to be it’s own separate food group, I figured I’d do a run down of my favorite coffee places around town.

Emerald City Press

Located on 9th and Lamar, Emerald City Press is a locally owned and operated coffee shop near the heart of downtown.  They have wonderful baked goods as well as gifts of the day — which are often roses. My pick? Soy chai.  They’re soy lattes are pretty great, too, though.

Thunderbird Coffee

They have two locations – one on Manor which used to be called Clementine, and one on Koenig Lane off north Lamar.  I prefer the Koenig Lane location mostly because it’s closest to where I live and just a skip and a jump over from another local favorite – Tamale House. The interior is cool, the people nice and there’s even an outdoor area.  My favorite thing? Their soy honey nut latte.

Spiderhouse

Perfect whether you want to get drinks with friends, coffee on the go or even a breakfast taco.  Make sure to sit outside and enjoy this amazing weather! My choice? Their black bean quesadillas and soy chai.  They also have wonderful “Sunsets,” non-alcoholic drinks that are definitely very pretty.

Grandmother’s fruit salad

Ingredients:

  • 6 navel oranges
  • 4 texas ruby red grapefruit
  • 1/2 a small jar of maraschino cherries (and some of the syrup)
  • Tablespoon or two of sugar

Directions:

  1. Peel all fruit well – don’t include skin and try to keep the sections whole
  2. Squeeze scraps to get all the juice out.
  3. Add cherries and syrup.
  4. Mix and taste.
  5. Add sugar to taste.

I made this for a dinner party a few weeks ago. Pure bliss – especially now that we’re approaching summer.

Spring

Spring is quickly upon us, but before the nights turn hot, take time to make this great recipe for shepherd’s pie.  After a long day, it’ll refuel you and warm the still slightly cool nights.

Shepherd’s Pie – serves 8, 45 mins cook time

Ingredients:

For the potatoes:

  • 1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes
  • 1/4 cup half-and-half
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg yolk

For the meat filling:

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced small
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen English peas

Directions:

  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into 1/2-inch dice. Place in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Set over high heat, cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, uncover, decrease the heat to maintain a simmer and cook until tender and easily crushed with tongs, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Place the half-and-half and butter into a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave until warmed through, about 35 seconds.
  3. Drain the potatoes in a colander and then return to the saucepan. Mash the potatoes and then add the half and half, butter, salt and pepper and continue to mash until smooth.
  4. Stir in the yolk until well combined.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Place the canola oil into a 12-inch saute pan and set over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and carrots and saute just until they begin to take on color, approximately 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Add the lamb, salt and pepper and cook until browned and cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle the meat with the flour and toss to coat, continuing to cook for another minute. Add the tomato paste, chicken broth, Worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, and stir to combine.
  9. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer slowly 10 to 12 minutes or until the sauce is thickened slightly.
  10. Add the corn and peas to the lamb mixture and spread evenly into an 11 by 7-inch glass baking dish. Top with the mashed potatoes, starting around the edges to create a seal to prevent the mixture from bubbling up and smooth with a rubber spatula.
  11. Place on a parchment lined half sheet pan on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 25 minutes or just until the potatoes begin to brown. Remove to a cooling rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Anthony Bourdain

I recently finished reading The Nasty Bits by legendary chef, author and tv personality, Anthony Bourdain.

Whether you love him or hate him, chances are that if you’re a foodie, you probably know the name very well.  The book, I thought, was fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable – filled with bits that made my mouth water one second and made me laugh out loud the next.

Now it seems Austin is finally getting it’s ticket into Bourdain’s popular television show, No Reservations. With Bourdain’s show at The Paramount, An Evening with Anthony Bourdain, scheduled for Thursday the first, rumor has it Mr. Bourdain’s crew will be hitting up local hot spot, East Side Showroom on March 30th. Who wants to bet they’ll be doing a little scouting?

And where, do you think, would Mr. Bourdain deign to eat for lunch?

Whataburger > Taco Bell

For those of us who’ve been around this fair campus for a number of years, the Taco Bell on 28th and Guad. has oft been a late-night, post-downtown staple — but, sadly, not much more than that.  Now it seems that as most of my friends are graduating and closing a chapter in their lives, Taco Bell is following suit.

Yep, that’s right.

Taco Bell will say goodbye to it’s prime location in the UT community on March 25th.  They will also be offering .49 tacos all day as their official farewell.  So make sure you stock up, UT kids.  At least until the day you make it 3.2 miles away and down to 1925 Airport Blvd.

As for you, Whataburger, I cannot WAIT.  You are SO much better than Taco C.

must be the Asian in me

I am perpetually on a quest for good asian food.  Chinese, Korean, you name it, I’ll probably eat it — at least, if it’s good. It should not come as that big of a surprise, then, that my best friend and I have a friday night tradition that we uphold approximately twice a month:

Din Ho.

Run by groups of older Asian men and women, all hustling around the sprawling dining room, Din Ho needs to be your source of large-portioned, legit chinese food. With no-frills, speedy service and delicious food, I don’t mind making the drive up North 183.

I personally recommend the Hunan Shrimp, although I have also had and enjoyed:

  • Orange chicken
  • Shrimp and asparagus egg drop soup (also great)
  • Sesame beef AND chicken
  • BBQ pork fried rice
  • Beef fried rice
  • Garlic shrimp

Oh, and as if this place could get any better – here’s one other amazing detail: They’re open late!