In Osaka‘s street food culture, kushikatsu refers to pieces of skewered meat, seafood and vegetables coated with panko and deep fried. A skewer can contain anywhere from one to four pieces of breaded food depending on the size and variety.
Cooking kushikatsu requires a pan large and deep enough to make sure that the skewered food is completely submerged in hot oil. A deep fryer is ideal.
This is our home version, cooked by my daughter, Alex, which requires neither a deep fryer nor a gallon of cooking oil.
Either ditch the skewers or have only one piece of food per skewer. Alex ditched the skewers to shorten the prep time.
Granted that, if you ditch the skewers, you will not get visually authentic kushikatsu. But the crunch of the panko coating, the creaminess of the vegetables and quail eggs, and the flavor of the dipping sauce are delightfully authentic Japanese.
Kushikatsu-style Deep Fried Breaded Vegetables and Quail Eggs
- cooking oil for frying
- 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into two-inch cubes or wedges
- 2 to 3 eggplants cut into rings about an inch thick (see notes after the recipe)
- 12 quail eggs boiled and peeled
- ⅓ cup flour
- 1 cup panko (you may need more)
- 2 large eggs
- ½ teaspoon salt
- tonkatsu sauce to serve
- Start heating enough cooking oil in a wide pan to reach a depth of at least two inches. The ideal temperature is 350F.
- Dump the flour and panko in two shallow bowls.
- Lightly beat the eggs and salt in another shallow bowl.
- Dredge each piece of vegetable and quail egg in flour; shake off the excess.
- Dip the floured vegetables and eggs in egg then roll in panko.
- Fry the breaded vegetables and quail eggs in hot oil until the panko coating is golden and crisp.
- Drain the fried vegetables and quail eggs on a stack of paper towels before transferring to a serving plate with the tonkatsu sauce on the side for dipping.