NY Food Truck Lunch: Japanese Fried Chicken From Okadaman
Perry, the voice behind New York Street Food, brings you his latest review on New York City food trucks.
One of the newer food trucks in the city is Okadaman. If you’re not acquainted with them, Chef Okada, who’s visage graces the side of the truck, has created delicious recipes for okonomiyaki and takoyaki.
However, if you want something more familiar to an American palate, their Japanese fried chicken (kara-age) is a good choice. It costs $7.75.
Opening the container, there were 7 large pieces of fried chicken, even though the menu said you only get six pieces. Nice little bonus.
Each piece of chicken was 2-3 bites, depending upon how big your mouth is. This was plenty of chicken for a filling lunch, especially on a bed of shredded cabbage, with white rice underneath it all.
As we found out during our sneak peek a few days before the truck opened, Okadaman imports a special flour from Japan called katakuriko. They don’t use breading, just flour, which helps account for the lightness. Even though the flour is made from potato starch, it’s lighter than flour and bread crumbs, which is what’s usually used to make fried chicken.
While the breading was light, it held in all the moisture and heat. Each bite of chicken was tender, moist and flavorful. Delicious!
I had a few bites of cabbage, which was fine, but really enjoyed the white rice. The white rice was good by itself, but was even better with some of the sauce on it.
Speaking of sauces, the menu said there was a choice of sweet & sour sauce or radish & ponzu sauce. I asked for one of each, but was told they didn’t have the second one because fresh radish wasn’t available today. Oh well, sweet & sour it is.
This wasn’t what I would call sweet & sour sauce, which we usually identify as a thick, fruity sauce. This was more of a soy sauce with ginger and scallions. It was a bit salty, but the chicken stood up to it just fine, and added a nice flavor to the fried chicken.
Okadaman has been parking every day on 48th St just east of Park Ave, but one of the guys told me they may be checking out some other areas soon. I wouldn’t be surprised, because it was pretty quiet for 1:15 when I was there.
If you’re not sure what to get, or want to try something new without getting a whole lunch of it, they also have several half and half combo dishes that let you sample two different items. That’s one method of working your way around the menu.