the off season: game 4

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NBA playoffs are in full swing and I’m into it!  Of all the sports Mike watches, basketball is the only one I’ve played and the only one that really interests me.  Sure I’ll watch my fair share of whichever games Mike is watching, but I am 100% paying full attention to the Eastern Conference; the Raptors are in the playoffs!  It’s hard not to be a fan when you live in Toronto and when they are the only Canadian team in the NBA.  My patriotic side can’t help but surface and fully buzz in all the excitement.

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Over the years, I’ve passively + actively, watched the Raps during the Carter reign, the Bosh period, the Bargnani block, the purple logo, the red logo, and now the UPRISING of the young guns [+Drake and his Lint Roller].  Today was game 4 in the Raptors vs Nets series in Brooklyn and since Kial missed out on the Japanese soul food last week, we had a Raptors re-do this week.  In this Raptors Game 4 Playoff edition of The Off Season, Mike + Kial made ramen along with the ultimate east meets west dish – karaage tacos!

Raps_06[soy + sake + mirin + rice wine vinegar marinated pork]

Raps_04[shoyu -soy based broth- ramen]

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The ramen was a 20 hour labour of love.  From slow cooked pork bones + layered flavours of chilli and soy, Mike made quite the flavour filled ramen broth.  YUM!  Now to the tacos.

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kara-age [pronounced kara-ageh]
from Japanese Soul Cooking

…ingredients…
4 chicken lets [about albs] | boned + cut into 2″ pieces
2 cloves garlic | peeled + grated
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp grated ginger
1/4 c sake
1/4 c soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
1 c katakuriko [potato starch]
vegetable oil for deep frying
steamed rice for serving [optional]
1 lemon cut into wedges [optional]

mix together chicken + garlic + salt + ginger + sake + soy sauce + mirin in a bowl | combine well
marinate chicken for 15 minutes

in another bowl add the potato starch
squeeze excess marinade from chicken | dredge each piece with starch | shake off excess
place dredged chicken pieces on a plate

pour vegetable oil to a height of at least 1″ in a pot oh high heat
heat oil to 340°F
when temp is reached, add chicken | depending on the chicken size this may need to be done in batches
be careful not to overfill the skillet | use at most 1/2 the surface area of the oil to cook
while the chicken is frying check the oil thermometer to regulate + maintain the 340°F temp
if too high chicken will burn, if too low chicken will get soggy + greasy

fry chicken for about 5 mins until golden brown
when ready transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain
squeeze lemon juice to taste

serve as is or with rice…or do like Mike + Kial and toss them in a Koeran hot sauce then jimmy them up in a taco with miso mayo and an asian style guacamole.

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For the perfect cocktail pairing Mike made up a YUZU SOUR

…ingredients…
3 oz bourbon or whisky
1.5 oz yuzu juice
0.75 oz maple syrup
1 oz egg white
aromatic bitters
orange peel

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combine the bourbon/whisky + yuzu juice + maple syrup + egg white + in a shaker
shake
pour over ice
garnish with an orange peel
add several dashes of aromatic bitters

bring on the #NorthernUprising!
looking forward to game 5 in Toronto!

-LET’S GO RAPTORS

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