Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Karaage Japanese Fried ChickenFried chicken has always been a favorite of mine. My early memories of Fried chicken go back to when I was about 8 years old, my Mom would make her version of Southern Fried Chicken for us a couple times a month. I always looked forward to her juicy and perfectly fried chicken. Mom is not from the South, she wasn’t even born in this country, but Mom can cook anything and everything and she puts her own delicious twist on every dish she prepares. I can still remember her frying chicken in her cast iron pan when I was a kid. Mom doesn’t like to fry chicken anymore though, now she wants me to make my Karaage for her!

I have to admit, I have always been a little intimidated to make fried chicken at home. I thought it would be too much trouble, too much mess and a big pot of hot oil used to scare me. But then I fell in love with Karaage (Japanese fried chicken) after tasting it in Japan and thought I needed to get over my fear real quick. Karaage is very different from Southern fried chicken. First of all, there is very little prep time needed and the chicken is cut into small pieces so it’s quick and easy to deep fry for a home cook like me. Another reason I had to get over my fear of deep frying was I moved back to the United States and I couldn’t just go to the corner restaurant and order Karaage like I used to when I lived in Tokyo. I couldn’t live without this delicious chicken dish, no way! You won’t be able to either after you take that first juicy bite, believe me.

There are many variations of Karaage and I have a few different ways I prepare it myself. This recipe I’m sharing with you is one of my favorite ways to make Karaage, the ingredients are easy to get and it’s a quick dish to pull together last minute. Please try and use the Japanese potato starch (katakuriko) if you can find it. It’s usually available at most Asian grocery stores or online. I think the potato starch makes the Karaage more crispy and gives it a better texture. In Japan Karaage is served with shredded green cabbage or a simple green salad and rice. It is really great cold the next day in Bento or on a sandwich too. Try the quick dipping sauce, you can leave out the curry powder if you wish, still yummy!

Tori no Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)Ingredients:

1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts/chicken thighs (cut into small pieces/cubes)
3 teaspoons grated ginger
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sake
3 tablespoons mirin
Japanese potato starch (katakuriko) or cornstarch to coat the chicken
Canola or Vegetable Oil for deep frying
Coarse sea salt
Lemon wedges (optional)
Quick Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup tonkatsu sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)

Tori no Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)Preparation:

Using paper towels, pat chicken pieces dry and transfer to a medium sized bowl. Add sake, mirin, grated ginger, soy sauce and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature (can marinate up to overnight in refrigerator if you wish to make the next day). Transfer the chicken pieces out of the marinate and coat them evenly with the potato starch (or corn starch). Shake off excess.

Fill large, heavy bottom pot half way with oil. When the cooking oil is hot enough for frying, drop the chicken pieces into the oil and fry, turning over once, do not crowd the pot, fry in 2-3 batches. When chicken is cooked through and is golden brown, transfer onto a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle evenly with coarse sea salt immediately. Serve with the dipping sauce or just a squeeze of lemon.

Tori no Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
 
Ingredients
  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts/chicken thighs (cut into small pieces/cubes)
  • 3 teaspoons grated ginger
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sake
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • Japanese potato starch (katakuriko) or cornstarch to coat the chicken
  • Canola or Vegetable Oil for deep frying
  • Coarse sea salt
  • Lemon wedges (optional)
  • Quick Dipping Sauce:
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • ¼ cup tonkatsu sauce
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
Instructions
  1. Using paper towels, pat chicken pieces dry and transfer to a medium sized bowl.
  2. Add sake, mirin, grated ginger, soy sauce and marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature (can marinate up to overnight in refrigerator if you wish to make the next day).
  3. Transfer the chicken pieces out of the marinate and coat them evenly with the potato starch (or corn starch). Shake off excess.
  4. Fill large, heavy bottom pot half way with oil. When the cooking oil is hot enough for frying, drop the chicken pieces into the oil and fry, turning over once, do not crowd the pot, fry in 2-3 batches.
  5. When chicken is cooked through and is golden brown, transfer onto a plate lined with paper towels and sprinkle evenly with coarse sea salt immediately.
  6. Serve with the dipping sauce or just a squeeze of lemon

 

Comments

  1. I rarely fry chicken anymore and yet I love it and this is so appealing in so many ways. Love the unique spice characteristics but more than that I like the idea of chicken pieces, our own nuggets, but tasty and healthy ones!

  2. Crazy delicious and simple and dummy proof even for me! We’ve got to try this at home… S’got to be better than chicken croquettes.. Also, you’re right, I think the corn starch gives a lighter coating than plain powder. My mom used to season the corn starch too. Yum!

  3. Brian (blew1) says:

    I need to try this when
    I get back home! Can you do a pan fry instead of a deep fry to not use so much oil?

    • Yes you can definitely pan fry the chicken but it will not turn out as crispy. I recommend deep frying, since the pieces are small you really don’t need that much oil. Thank you for your comment!

  4. Those look amazing! Please save some for me! 🙂

  5. Of course I will!! You can come over any time 🙂 thank you for the sweet comment

  6. Wow, I just might have to try this. Do you think a Le Creuset Dutch oven-type pan/pot would work? It’s deep. YUM!

  7. Yes, I always use my Le Creuset Dutch Oven to deep-fry, it’s perfect. I hope you enjoy the recipe.

  8. These sound really good. Can’t wait to try them!

  9. Japanese Fried Chicken (Karaage) is a great recipe and one you will make again and again. Hope you enjoy this dish.

  10. Hey there! I am trying this tonight. Question? Is Mirin different than Sake? The Mirin I bought at Uwajimaya says Shirakiku Original Miran and it says Sweet Seasoning Cooking Sake on it. So do I need both? Which Mirin do you recommend? Which Sake do you recommend? Also how long can the Mirin last once opened? Thanks so much! Can’t wait to try it!

  11. Shirley says:

    Thank you for your comment. Yes Mirin & Sake are different so yes you need both. Mirin adds the sweetness to the dish. I use Mizkan or Kikkoman brand Mirin and Sake but Shirakiku is fine too. I store mine in the refrigerator and it keeps for awhile. I usually use it up pretty fast though since I cook Japanese food often 🙂 I hope you enjoy the Karaage, it’s one of my favorite dishes.

Leave a Reply to Brian (blew1) Cancel reply

*

Rate this recipe:  

css.php