These vegan alternative to prawn crackers taste delicious! They require a bit of effort to make, but are well worth it for the knowledge they contain no colours or preservatives.
The addition of shio koji means that these vegan crackers are just as delicious as the prawn version.
Vegan alternative to prawn crackers
- 200 g chestnut mushroom
- 150 ml shio koji approx 7% salt content
- 75 g red onion
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 400 g Tapioca Flour
- 100 ml water
A twist on the Korean, Kkaennip Jorim – which normally uses perilla leaves. This version uses wild garlic, but you could use other similar leaves – like spinach, chard or the original perilla leaves.
I also used strained shio koji instead of soy sauce – creating a gluten free, soy free side dish. Strained shio koji is obtained by filtering out the rice solids from shio koji. This can be done with a strainer or filter, to produce a clear liquid. You could use a light soy sauce instead.
The finished product is a delicious side dish. Perfect simply served with plain boiled rice, or with a range of other Korean dishes.
Wild Garlic Preserved in Simmered Shio Koji
A twist of the Korean side dish Kkaennip Jorim, this side dish uses wild garlic instead of perilla leaves.
- 150 ml strained shio koji Remove the rice solids from shio koji with a filter/strainer to create a clear liquid. Or use a light soy sauce.
- 3 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 2 cm ginger peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 spring onions chopped
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp Korean chilli flakes
- 200 g wild garlic
Add all the ingredients, except the wild garlic to a sauce pan and simmer for 15 minutes
Leave to cool
Transfer to a jar and then add the wild garlic
Add a weight, to ensure nothing floats above the surface
Leave for at least two days, then enjoy as a side dish
More Tender, More Delicious, More Juicy
Shio koji has the ability to tenderise meat, whilst at the same time adding a depth of flavour. This means if you use it to marinade chicken you can create the tastiest chicken nuggets you’ve ever eaten!
The fantastic thing about shio koji is that it doesn’t alter the taste of the chicken – it just makes it taste more “chickeny!” It adds a depth of savoury flavour (umami) that is irresistible.
The salt in the shio koji has the added benefit of brining the chicken at the same time – making the meat juicier.
The Science Behind It
Koji has the ability to break down the proteins in the chicken, converting them into a range of amino acids which are especially delicious. This breaking down of the proteins also makes the meat more tender.
First Make Shio Koji
To make shio koji, just mix:
Blend to form a smooth paste.
It can then be used immediately, or left to ferment for one week to improve the flavour.
Adapt the Recipe to Your Taste
The nuggets are delicious without adding herbs and spices to the breadcrumbs, but you can adapt this recipe to use your favourite blends. It works equally well with the KFC blend of spices as it does with a Japanese karaage chicken.
You can’t really go wrong with fried chicken – it tastes delicious whichever spices you decide to use!
Shio Koji Fried Chicken
Chicken marinated in shio koji and then breadcrumbed and deep fried for a succulent fried chicken,
- 500 g Chicken, cut into bite sized pieces For best results we recommend chicken thigh, but wings, or even breast meat can be used.
- 100 ml Shio Koji
- 1 egg beaten
- 100 g breadcrumbs You can use gluten free bread, if required
- 100 g plain flour
Mix the chicken pieces with the shio koji until they are evenly coated.
Cover and leave to marinade in a fridge for at least 8 hours
Remove the chicken from the shio koji and dip each piece in the flour, then the egg, then finally the breadcrumbs
Fry the chicken pieces in a deep fat fryer until golden on the outside and cooked through.