Mrs. Iwai’s Amazing Lemon Bars

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I am really not a fan of lemon desserts.  Never have been and I don’t think I ever will be.  But these- these are just too good for any lemon-dessert-hater not to just LOOOOOOVE.  These lemon bars were actually my inspiration to start this blog to begin with.  Mrs. Iwai’s lemon bars are elegant, sweet, rich and also evokes feelings of nostalgia.

One of my many aunts, Aunty Amy, always holds 4th of July BBQs and family get-togethers where we get to meet all of her friends and pig out on amazing food.  A lot of it is  Hawaiian or Japanese (including my all time favorite SPAM MUSUBI) and also includes several different types of desserts.  Mrs. Iwai is a dear friend of my Aunt’s who introduced me to the wonderfulness that is her lemon bars.  Mrs. Iwai is one of those women who has a natural talent for cooking food that just makes you feel good because of how awesome it tastes..do you catch my drift?

Ermahgerd.  These are ridiculously delicious.  I dare any lemon-hater to try this and not fall in love.

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Ingredients

Crust:

2 cups all purpose flour

½ cup powdered sugar

1 cup butter at room temperature

Filling:

4 eggs

2 cups sugar

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (juice of 2 large lemons usually)

¼ cup flour

1 teaspoon baking POWDER

Powdered sugar to sprinkle on top of bars

Instructions

Crust:

Combine flour & powdered sugar, then add butter.  Beat with electric mixer until dough forms a ball.  Press into 9X13 baking pan – Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes (light brown edges).  Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Filling:

Beat eggs until they begin to thicken.  Add sugar & lemon juice, then beat until smooth.  Stir in flour & baking POWDER.  Pour filling mixture over baked crust and bake at 350 for additional 25 minutes.  Should be brown on top and filling should be set.

Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into square.  Mrs. Iwai recommends refrigerating before serving.

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xx

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Korean-Style Fried Chicken Wings

I love sauce.  And lots of it.  In high school, I was teased all the time because of how many sauces I used at lunch.  Even at work, I always bring hot sauce and am known to use at least three or four different types of sauces with my lunch.  That being said- I think my affinity for sauces comes from me being a non-taster and absolutely LOVING vibrant flavor combinations.  Case-in-point: Bonchon Chicken.  If you’ve never had BonChon Chicken, do yourself a favor and go out and get some.  Not available in your area?  Make them!

BonChon chicken is a famous Korean restaurant known for their signature double-fried chicken coated in their irresistible sauces.  They have both “Soy Garlic” and “BonChon”.  I always go for their “BonChon”.  It is a delectably sweet and spicy sauce that coats their crispy and juicy fried chicken…mmmmm!  The first time I ever ate BonChon was in Boston and ever since moving to the South Bay I’ve been craving Korean fried chicken.  My friend was having a BBQ for his birthday so I thought, why not try making it myself??

I did my research and looked at several different recipes including Japanese ones (hoping they would be more similar to the authentic Korean version) and the BEST recipe I found was one by Marc of No Recipes.  Chef Marc offers plenty of global recipes accompanied by beautiful food photography.  Being a huge fan of Chef Marc’s, I decided to choose his recipe for BonChon chicken and it definitely did not let me (or anyone else at the BBQ) down!  It was crispy, sweet, spicy and addicting.  If you’re in the mood for something flavorful and down right delicious, try making these wings- I promise you won’t regret it.

Recipe adapted from No Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 Pounds Chicken Wings
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of Okinawan Kokutou (Or dark brown sugar)
  • 1 Tablespoon of Gochujang (Korean Sweet Chili Paste)
  • 1/3 Cup Sake (Japanese Rice Wine)
  • 3 Large Garlic Cloves (grated)
  • 2 Teaspoons of Ginger (grated)
  • 1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Honey
  • Shichimi Tougarashi (Japanese 7 spice) to taste
  • 5 Tablespoons of Katakuriko (Potato Starch)

Instructions

1.  Sprinkle the chicken with salt, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours

2.  In a small saucepan, combine the Okinawan Kokutou (or dark brown sugar), gochujang, sake, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and honey.**  Over medium heat, keep stirring the sauce until it slightly thickens to a syrupy texture (don’t over reduce the sauce).  Add the Japanese 7 spice until it reaches the level of spiciness that you prefer.  Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve.  (According to Chef Marc, this is an important step to keep the chicken from getting soggy.  If the sauce is not strained, the bits of garlic and ginger will stick to the chicken and cause it to lose its crispiness)

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**Since I love sauce, I tripled the recipe for just the sauce part.  The ingredients shown above represents 1 serving.  If you want a saucier wing, double or triple the recipe.

3.  Heat about 3″ of oil in a heavy bottomed pot.  Heat to 320 degrees.

4.  Remove excess moisture from the chicken with paper towels and toss the chicken in the potato starch.

bonchon25. Fry the chicken in 2 batches for the first fry-sesh (I did the top layer first and then the second layer).  Fry each batch for 10 minutes at 320 degrees.  After they have been removed from the oil, increase the oil temperature to 375 degrees and place all of the chicken in the pot and deep fry for 2-3 minutes until they are golden brown.

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6. Transfer the chicken directly from the fryer to the bowl of sauce and coat with the sauce.  Immediately transfer the coated chicken to a serving platter and serve hot.

bonchon7Mashisoyo!

Bonchon1These wings went fast.  I’m definitely planning on making them again but will probably tweak the recipe to make them even spicier 😉

xx