These juicy chicken sliders with a hint of ginger can be topped with any combination of the toppings, depending on whether you’re in the mood for spicy, savory, creamy or tangy. There’s something for everyone, and the small size means you don’t have to decide which is your favorite until you’ve tried them all!
Japanese Chicken Sliders
Makes 12 sliders
12 small buns (dinner rolls work great)
1 lb. ground chicken
2 egg yolks
2 t. (10g) sugar
2 t. (10ml) soy sauce
1 t. (5 ml) fresh grated ginger
2 t. (10g) flour
2 c. (150g) dry breadcrumbs (I use Japanese panko, which is crispier)
Mix ground chicken and egg yolks until thoroughly combined. Add everything but the breadcrumbs and mix well. Add breadcrumbs and mix until they are evenly distributed. Mixture should be fairly stiff and easy to shape.
Pat the mixture into a large rectangle roughly the thickness of a patty and cut into 12 portions…
Roughly pat them into burger shapes to fit your buns. Heat a generous amount of cooking oil over medium heat and when it’s shimmering, fry burgers 2-3 minutes on each side (until they’re not pink in the middle).
You can look at the side of the burger to see if it still looks pink inside. They’re best when they have a crunchy brown crust on them (much browner than the tops of these look).
2 T. mirin
2 T. sake
2 T. sugar
4 T. miso (half red and half white)
Halve onion and slice, then cut crosswise into the half moons, so the strips are shorter.
Saute onion in olive oil until soft, but not brown. Set aside.
Stir the rest of the ingredients together in a small saucepan and bring to bubbling, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Cook for 2-3 minutes over low-med flame, until sauce thickens.mStir in cooked onions and serve.
Spicy Melted Leeks
3 leeks (or you can substitute 1 bunch of green onions for each leek)
3 T. (45ml) olive oil
1/2 t. (3g) yuzu koshō*
Salt and pepper to taste
Clean and strip off outer layer of leeks. Slice thin.
Heat oil in frying pan until it shimmers, then add leeks, stirring to coat with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in yuzu koshō paste and mix until it’s evenly distributed. Cook, stirring, until leeks are melty soft.
Pink Pickled Onions and Spicy Mayo
1/4 c. mayonnaise
About 1/2 t. yuzu koshō* or prepared wasabi paste
Adjust the spiciness by starting with less than 1/2 teaspoon and adding more until it tastes right to you. Whip together until well combined.
*Yuzu koshō is a spicy Japanese condiment made from grated yuzu citrus peel and togarashi peppers. You can buy it in any Asian market or online. Get the green kind, not the red kind.
Fresh Pickled Red Onions
These pickles can be eaten fresh after one hour, but are best if you let them sit in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving
1 purple onion
1/2 c. (118ml) rice vinegar (unseasoned)
1/2 c. (118ml) water
2 t. (10g) sugar
1-1/2 t. (7g) salt
Cut onion in half and slice thin.
Separate onion rings and tightly pack into a glass jar with a lid. Mix vinegar and water in a sauce pan (or a microwavable container) and stir in salt and sugar. Bring to a boil. Make sure all the salt and sugar are dissolved before pouring into the jar with the onions. Make sure all onions are covered with the brine and poke with a chopstick to release any air bubble trapped in the onions. Screw the lid on tightly and put in refrigerator. You can eat these as fresh pickles, but they are best if left for 24 hours, until the onions are a uniform pink and the pickling juice has become a nice magenta.
Dry vegetables with a towel and put them in a bowl, then add spoonfuls of dressing, tossing until coated.
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Jonelle Patrick writes novels set in Japan, produces the monthly Japanagram newsletter, and blogs at Only In Japan and The Tokyo Guide I Wish I’d Had