If you’ve never been, Izakayas are the Japanese equivalent of a tapas bar or pub. They serve alcohol, but they also make a variety of regional small plates to go with the booze. If you like having a lot of variety without spending a ton of money, these are the places to go.
A typical izakaya meal starts off with various otsumami (snacks) followed perhaps by some sashimi, or a salad. Next you’d get something a bit more substantial like kushiyaki or nabemono then finish off with a rice or noodle dish like ochazuke or ramen. This dish is a fairly typical otsumami you might have with some beer or sake and combines crisp deep fried chicken skins with some spicy grated daikon and a citrusy ponzu sauce.
It might sound counter intuitive, but with all the moisture gone and most of the fat rendered out, they turn out light and crisp with the wonderful flavor of browned chicken. A great way to use up a part of the chicken that might otherwise get thrown out.
- Grate the daikon using a fine zester such as a Microplane. Combine with a bit of powdered chili pepper to give it a pink color and set aside.
- Thoroughly dry the the chicken chicken skins using paper towels then cut them into 1/4" wide strips.
- Heat 1/2" of oil in a heavy bottomed pan to 350 degrees F. Carefully lower individual strips of skin into the oil and fry until they are golden brown and aren't bubbling any more (the bubbles indicate there is still moisture escaping). As they finish frying, transfer them to a paper towel lined plate.
- To plate, just put down some fried cracklin's and top with a pinch of grated daikon and some scallions. Drizzle a bit of ponzu on top and serve immediately with some beer or sake.