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Japanese Fried Chicken With Pickled Radishes & Rice

Chardonnay may have copped some flack over the years, but it remains one of the most food-friendly grape varieties going around.

All but gone is the heavy-handed use of oak, the super-sized fruit and the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to winemaking that put so many of us off to begin with. The new face of chardonnay is leaner and more focused, and as a result, far better suited to food.

Unlike poor old Chardonnay, fried chicken couldn’t be any more popular if it tried, and this Japanese-inspired recipe, with its fragrant marinade, crispy exterior and sweet juicy meat is nothing short of spectacular. Take a bottle of 2015 Seville Estate ‘The Barber’ Chardonnay, put the two together and watch sparks fly. Kanpai!


– Serves 4 –

700 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into quarters
20 g plain flour
2 tbsp. finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp. finely chopped ginger
2 tbsp. soy sauce
2 tbsp. cooking sake (or white wine)
1 tbsp. ground white pepper
1 tbsp. sea salt, plus extra
20 g cornflour
750 ml canola oil
finely sliced spring onion, to serve
steamed rice, to serve
kewpie mayonnaise, to serve

Pickled radishes
¾ cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. chilli flakes (optional)
1 bunch of radishes, trimmed



Pour yourself a glass of 2015 Seville Estate ‘The Barber’ Chardonnay.

Add the chicken, plain flour, garlic, ginger, soy, sake, pepper and 1 tablespoon of salt to a bowl and combine well. Cover with cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

For the pickled radishes, add the vinegar, maple syrup and chilli flakes (if using) to a small saucepan and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile, finely slice the radishes and place in a non-reactive bowl. Pour the boiling liquid over the sliced radish and refrigerate until cool.

Add the cornflour to the chilled chicken and coat well.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan until it starts to shimmer.

Working in batches, carefully add the chicken pieces to the oil and fry until lightly golden, 2–3 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon or tongs and drain on a tray lined with paper towel. Reduce the heat if the oil starts to spit, or if the chicken looks as though it’s cooking too quickly. Once all the chicken has been cooked, repeat the frying process twice more – this will create the most incredibly crispy exterior, while keeping the meat juicy.

To serve, season the chicken with salt and garnish with spring onion. Serve with the pickled radishes, rice and kewpie mayo on the side.