In the vein of Thomas Keller, I have always enjoyed taking classic dishes and either adding a spin on them, or going with a whimsy interpretation.
Popcorn chicken is a dish that I attribute to as one of the leading causes of my obesity. In my high school cafeteria, there was popcorn chicken and curly fries perpetually available and I would often throw my home packed lunch away to grab them. So, I think this was a fitting dish to try and give a new interpretation to.
Lamb Sweetbreads in the Japanese Karage style
Cleaning the Sweetbreads – soaking the sweetbreads in acidulated water for an hour helps to clean the membrane (looses collagen fibers) and any remaining blood. I used lemon for the soaking. Remove the outer membrane as much as possible. From now on we more or less treat the sweetbreads as we would for chicken karage.
Karage Marinade – ginger, garlic, soy, mirin, vinegar, brown/palm sugar. Toss with sweetbreads and let marinate at room temperature for an hour.
Frying – cover the pieces in potato starch and fry using a high smoke point/neutral oil such as grapeseed or rice bran. We are using a dry batter in this case so no need for eggs or baking powder. An alternative preparation would be to use a 3:1 potato starch and corn flour batter with eggs, carbonated water, and baking powder to get a thicker, crispier batter.
Duck Egg Gochujang Mayo
First take two yolks and blend in about two teaspoons of rice vinegar and a touch of mirin. Then blend in a neutral oil to the extent that the yolks will take it but not break (roughly a cup). Lastly, add a spoon of gochujang and salt if needed.
Alternatively, you can use a bottle of Kewpie Mayo for a sweater dip.
Quick Pickled Peppers and Sides
Sliced, and placed in a sugar+salt brine for as long as possible before serving. Also served with lemon wedges and grilled green onions.