This "Tori to Yasai No Kurozu An" recipe is based on a vibrant dish that you can find at a well known chain restaurant in Japan called "Ootoya". It's their most popular dish, and for good reason! Delicious fried chicken with crunchy vegetables in a sweet and sour black vinegar sauce, it's SO good!
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Tori no Kurozuann
What is "tori to yasai no kurozu ann"?
It's a long name, but "Tori to Yasai no Kurozuankake" (鶏と野菜の黒酢あん) can be translated literally as "Sweet and Sour Chicken and Vegetables".
Kurozuankake is a Japanese style of sweet and sour sauce made with black vinegar called "kurozu".
It's a kind of aged rice vinegar that is dark in colour and quite subtle in flavour. It's not too sour and some compare it to balsamic vinegar, but a little less sweet. If you need a substitute, you can mix 1 tsp of balsamic vinegar with 1 tsp of rice vinegar.
You can buy Japanese Kurozu black vinegar on Amazon here.
"Ankake" means thick, sweet sauce. This refers to the thick, syrup like texture of the sauce that helps it stick to the meat and vegetables.
This sauce can be bought pre-made in Japanese supermarkets, but I'm going to show you how to make it from scratch! It's a nicely balanced sweet and sour sauce that is perfect for stir fries!
Kurozuankake contains a variety of different vegetables.
- White onion
- Aubergine (eggplant)
- Green pepper (bell pepper/piman)
- Renkon (lotus root)
Although we will use chicken in our recipe, Kurozu Ankake also works well with…
- White fish
- Vegetables only
See How to make Ootoya Style Sweet and Sour Chicken "Tori no Kurozu An"
The main cooking method used for this dish is shallow frying. The vegetables are fried first and then the chicken is coated in starch and fried too. Frying at a high temperature is what gives the vegetables a nice crunch and the chicken a crispy outside.
Frying is the technique that Ootoya uses, so for this recreation recipe I will be following the same technique. But there are some other options for if you don't want to shallow fry.
- Stir frying the vegetables
- Blanching or boiling the vegetables for a short time
- Baking the chicken
- Use store-bought battered chicken
So there are other ways to prepare the meat and vegetables, but the texture won't be so close to Ootoya's version.
The final step is to add everything to a frying pan with the sauce and let it thicken up!
Ootoya is a popular chain restaurant in Japan that serves "teishoku" style meals.
If you visit Japan, I definitely recommend going there! They have a great range of typical Japanese dishes on the menu, their ingredients are fresh and everything is made on site (no frozen stuff). Some stores even have a touch screen menu with language options in English, it's very convenient! I go there whenever I feel like something filling and comforting.
They state on their website that kurozuan is the most popular item on their menu and basically their signature dish. The official recipe is even posted online! (Japanese)
My version is simplified and uses more accessible ingredients, but when it comes to taste, I honestly don't think you'll be able to tell the difference!
You might be wondering what a "teishoku" meal is. Teishoku is a kind of Japanese set meal. It's a set price and everything comes together on one tray.
Teishoku usually consists of:
- A main side dish (meat, fish, etc)
- Miso soup
- Second side (extra vegetables, salad, etc)
Kurozuan would be the main side dish in a teishoku set.
Teishoku is comforting, filling and visually appealing, so why not try making it at home?