I thought I was going mad…I went to the local Japanese Grocery Store – apparently a good one – and there was no kombu!! I wasn’t sure if it was my pronunciation, the language barrier, or the fact that they just didn’t have any – but when I got home and googled it, apparently the Australian Quarantine Service has put a ban on the importation of kombu, apparently because of the iodine levels in it. So, I wasn’t going (that) mad…
Luckily, you can use wakame as a substitute, and I was able to get that at the local gourmet supermarket. It came in a bag (see picture) and was referred to as spiral sea vegetable, which is wakame. It was around $10 for the bag – which was 50 grams – and I only used about a fifth of what was in the packet – if that. It should keep pretty well in a tupperware container.
I also had a little trouble tracking down brown rice vinegar, but ended up finding it at the local gourmet supermarket – not with the other dozens of vinegars, but in the Asian Food Section.
Anyway, with the winter weather setting in in Melbourne, I wanted to cook something that looked healthy and warming, so Kombu Broth with Fried Chicken was my choice of the day. It was great – so great that I have decided that is is going to be my new comfort food of choice – just perfect for sitting on the couch and eating up.
The broth is lovely, and it had been an age since I had eaten anything as naughty as fried chicken – and even longer since I had cooked with chicken wings. I had forgotten how good they are, I love chewing on chicken wings – but some people just aren’t up for it – as was made plain to me by my other diner…hmphhh! Some people just don’t know when to be gracious when a lovely meal is presented to them.
The broth takes a while to make, but is worth it in the end! I added some extra tamari at the end as I think it helped the flavours a little. Whilst I made the broth earlier in the day and reheated it at dinner time, I think next time I’ll time it so that I don’t have to reheat. My recollection is that the broth looked more beautiful when it was freshly strained into the bowl.
I pan fried the chicken wings in the leek flavoured oil from frying off the matchsticked leeks – and they tasted lovely, The skin was crunchy – which I love, and the salt over them as drain them makes an amazing difference to their taste. The fried leeks are lovely, and I’ve carefully put away the ones I didn’t use for a garnish on something within the next few days!
I served this with brown rice (also cooked in the thermomix) and it was a really satisfying, wholesome meal.