Food & Drink

How to make the winning fried chicken recipe from the Fortnum & Mason Awards

Emiko Davies has scooped Cookery Book of the Year at the Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards.

Emiko Davies has won Cookery Book of the Year for Gohan, which includes a classic fried chicken recipe
Emiko Davies has won Cookery Book of the Year for Gohan, which includes a classic fried chicken recipe

Emiko Davies took home the gong for Cookery Book of the Year from the Fortnum & Mason Awards.

The Australian-born food writer and photographer won the award for Gohan, her first book about Japanese cuisine.

Based in Florence, Davies’ previous cookbooks have centred around Italian food.

Emiko Davies has won Cookery Book of the Year
Emiko Davies has won Cookery Book of the Year

On her website, Davies wrote that Gohan was “a book I have been longing to write for many years, made up of a collection of my most favourite ever, nostalgic recipes of the Japanese home cooking that I grew up with”.

She continued: “This is my soul food. This is the food I was born to crave. I may not speak Japanese fluently, but the food is the food I love most in the world. Being the first born of a Japanese mother, newly arrived in Australia as a young 20 year old, I am hardwired with a preference for Japanese flavours and textures.”

Recipes in the book range from matcha tiramisu and miso soup, to karaage (fried chicken) and Japanese milk bread.

Davies wasn’t the only winner of the night. Presented by chefs Andi Oliver and Angela Hartnett at The Royal Exchange in London, one of the more emotional awards went to the Hairy Bikers. Si King and Dave Myers were named Personalities of the Year, following Myers’ death in February.

Writer Fuchsia Dunlop won Food Book of the Year for Invitation To A Banquet, which explores China’s culinary heritage, while the award for Debut Food Book went to Chris van Tulleken’s Ultra-Processed People, looking into the science and economics of ultra-processed food.

The Fortnum & Mason Special Award went to chef and broadcaster Rick Stein, saluting his 50-year career in food.

To get on the action, you can make Davies’ recipe for fried chicken yourself…

Karaage (fried chicken)

Ingredients:


(Serves 4)

500g boneless chicken thighs


3cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated


2tsp soy sauce


2tsp sake


2tsp mirin (or 1tsp sugar)


100g potato starch


Vegetable oil, for frying

Emiko Davies has won Cookery Book of the Year for Gohan, which includes a classic fried chicken recipe
Emiko Davies has won Cookery Book of the Year for Gohan, which includes a classic fried chicken recipe

Method:

1. You can leave the skin on the chicken, as it adds flavour and tenderness, but if you prefer not to, remove it, then cut into four to five centimetre pieces – not too small, as these shrink when fried. Place in a container and coat the chicken with the ginger, soy sauce, sake and mirin. Leave to marinate for 15 minutes. I personally prefer karaage that is not too strongly flavoured, but you can leave it for longer if you do.

2. Sift the potato starch into a shallow bowl. Dip the marinated chicken pieces in it to coat entirely. Spread them out on a tray or wire rack as you go and let them ‘dry out’ slightly.

3. Pour enough vegetable oil for the chicken pieces to float into a small-medium saucepan (a depth of about seven centimetres). Heat to 180C – a chopstick inserted into the oil should be immediately surrounded by energetic little bubbles when ready. Carefully lower the karaage into the oil in batches, filling the pan about halfway or two-thirds of the way, so you don’t crowd the pan. Fry for two to two-and-a-half minutes in total, or until deep golden brown.

4. Lift out with a slotted spoon or with cooking chopsticks and transfer to a wire rack lined with kitchen paper.

Gohan by Emiko Davies has been announced as the Cookery Book of the Year in the Fortnum & Mason Food & Drink Awards 2024. Published by Smith Street Books.