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Chicken katsu, weeknight rescue

by белый

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Kay Chun’s recipe cleverly shallow-fries the cutlets so they emerge golden and crispy, ready for rice, tonkatsu sauce and a shaggy mound of shredded cabbage.

Of all the crispy fried cutlet variations that have tantalized me over the years, Kay Chun’s chicken katsu might be the most weeknight friendly. Instead of turning to the usual messy deep-fry, Kay shallow-fries the cutlets by using just enough oil to submerge them halfway. The thin disks of meat emerge golden, crunchy and juicy inside, ready for their customary accompaniments of steamed white rice and a shaggy mound of shredded green cabbage. Kay provides a recipe for tonkatsu sauce (a tangy Japanese barbecue condiment with Worcestershire and ginger), but it’s easy to buy a bottle if you want to save a step.

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Chicken Katsu

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Pounding meat into thin cutlets is one age-old path to speedier cooking; using ground meat to make meatballs is another. For a lighter, brighter take on the usual meatballs in tomato sauce, I have a gingery, cumin-scented version that calls for fresh tomatoes rather than canned. I created this recipe to use up all those overripe summer beauties that usually congregate on my countertop, threatening to leak their sweet juice if they soften faster than I can eat them. But this dish works well with firmer fresh tomatoes, too, or even with the stalwart cherry or grape tomatoes that I buy all year long. A finishing squeeze of lime juice and a scattering of cilantro take this far from spaghetti-sauce territory, in the very best way.

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For a midweek meal without meat, Hetty Lui McKinnon’s mushroom pasta stir-fry shows how versatile stir-frying can be, brilliantly using the technique to make a simple but deeply flavored pasta sauce out of mushrooms seared with fragrant Chinese five-spice powder and drizzled with a mix of maple syrup, soy sauce, and chile and sesame oils. The broccolini introduced near the end stays bright green and crisp, adding texture and freshness to this earthy, hearty dish.

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