20 Aug 2012
For this week’s Build a Food Allergy Cookbook Collection featured cookbook, we’re excited to have Laura B. Russell share her recipe for Chicken Tonkatsu, a popular Japanese entree. Russell’s cookbook “The Gluten Free Asian Kitchen” is a seminal cookbook showing ways to enjoy Asian cuisine gluten-free. Read on for her gluten free dinner recipe of Chicken Tonkatsu and what inspired Laura to write “The Gluten Free Asian Kitchen” cookbook.
When I first stopped eating gluten, I realized pretty quickly that many of the essential ingredients in Asian cooking are wheat-based. Dumplings, pancakes, and many types of noodles are blatant offenders, and the sauces—soy sauce, teriyaki, and bean sauces, plus many brands of peanut, hoisin, and oyster sauces—are even harder to avoid. It was endlessly frustrating for me to cut some of our family’s favorite Asian dishes from the dinner rotation.
Never one to leave a problem unsolved, this frustration led me to write The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen, Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More (Celestial Arts, 2011). In the book, I offer recipes for dishes that need tweaking or minor substitutions (using wheat-free tamari or oyster sauce, for instance), and also those that required a major overhaul, like creating a gluten-free dough for the Pork Pot Stickers and rethinking the panko breadcrumb coating on Japanese tonkatsu. I think you’ll find my solution—using crushed brown rice cereal and cornflakes instead of bread—to be a tasty and clever solution. Enjoy! ~Laura B. Russell
Gluten Free Chicken Tonkatsu
Recipe by: Laura B. Russell
The Japanese dish tonkatsu normally gets its crisp coating from panko, a wheat-based breadcrumb. A combination of crushed gluten-free brown rice cereal and cornflakes makes a great substitute. Crush the cereal by pulsing it into fine crumbs in a food processor or put it in a resealable plastic bag and pound gently with a meat mallet. Combining the two types of cereal yields the tastiest crust, but you can use all cornflakes (1 1/2 cups) if you prefer.
1/3 cup gluten-free ketchup
4 teaspoons gluten-free tamari
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
Pinch of ground allspice
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice Gluten Free cereal, crushed into crumbs
3/4 cup Erewhon Corn Flakes, crushed into crumbs
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, each cut in half and pounded to a 1/2-inch thickness
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly round black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more if needed
Shredded cabbage, for serving (optional)
Lemon wedges, for serving
To make the dipping sauce, combine the ketchup, tamari, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, ginger, and allspice in a small bowl. Stir to combine. The sauce can be made up to 1 week ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator.
Set three wide bowls or rimmed plates on the counter. (They should be wide enough to hold the chicken.) Pour the cornstarch into one bowl. Beat the eggs in another, and pour the crushed cereal crumbs into the last bowl. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. One at a time, coat the chicken pieces with the cornstarch, shaking any excess back into the bowl. Dip the chicken into the egg and then coat it with cereal crumbs. As you finish, transfer the chicken to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken. The chicken can be coated a few hours ahead of time. Keep it on the wire rack set over a baking sheet, refrigerated, until ready to cook.
In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add as many pieces of chicken as will fit in the pan and cook, turning once, until the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side for 1/2-inch thick pieces. Repeat with the remaining chicken and oil. Serve with the dipping sauce, cabbage, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
About Laura B. Russell
Laura Russell is the “Gluten Freedom” columnist for the Oregonian and the author of The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen (Celestial Arts 2011). Visit her blog, Notes from a Gluten-Free Kitchen. Laura contributes articles and recipes to many magazines as well, including Prevention, Living Without, Easy Eats, NW Palate, and Portland’s MIX magazine. She is the former associate editor of Food & Wine’s cookbook division. Laura lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and two children, where she’s been gluten-free since 2007. Visit her on Twitter @laurabrussell or Facebook at Notes from a Gluten-Free Kitchen by Laura B. Russell.
Giveaway details: The giveaway for “The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen” cookbook will be open from Monday, August 20 at 8 a.m. EST to Sunday, August 26 at midnight EST. We will select the winner randomly and announce it during our weekly #attune twitter chat on Wednesday at 9a PST / noon EST.