Chicken Karaage is a classic Japanese fried chicken dish. It’s so popular in Japan that you can find it in all izakaya, depachika, supermarkets and street food stalls. In fact, we had quite a bit of Karaage during our Japanese holiday. One of my most vivid memories of our trip is eating Karaage under the cherry trees in Kanazawa. The best Karaage we had though, was in Tokyo, near the Sensoji temple. The stall that sells it is at the corner of Nakamise-dori and the Hozonom Gate (opposite the Ningyoyaki shop – on your right-hand side if you are facing the Sensoji)…
Well, I am happy to say that after a few attempts, I managed to nail the recipe and to make Karaage that tastes exactly like the one from the Sensoji’s stall! But what is Chicken Karaage? It is chicken marinated in a mix of soy sauce, sake, sugar, garlic and ginger, lightly coated with potato starch and then deep fried. Yes, it is as good as it sounds! One of the secrets of making fantastic Karaage at home is to actually fry it 3 times for short periods of time and to give it some resting time in between. This results in a very crispy outside and a moist, succulent, perfectly cooked chicken. It has become my go-to fried chicken recipe. Try it and let me know what you think!
Chicken Karaage - scrumptious Japanese style fried chicken, crispy on the outside and succulent and juicy on the inside.
- 700 gms – 1 ½ lbs. chicken thigh fillets
- 1 ½ tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 ½ tbsp garlic pressed
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 ½ tbsp sake
- 3 tsp sugar
- ½ cup potato starch
Cut the chicken thigh fillets into 5 cm – 2 inch pieces and keep aside.
In a bowl, mix together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sake and sugar.
Right before the oil is ready, add the potato starch to the chicken. You do not need to mix it evenly. The uneven coating gives each piece its unique texture.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 190°C – 375°F and add the chicken to the oil, in batches. Deep fry for 1 minute. Transfer the chicken to a rack and let it rest for 30 seconds.
Return the chicken to the oil and fry for 30 seconds, and then rest on a rack for another 30 seconds.
Return the chicken to the oil and fry for 30 seconds, and then rest for 1-2 minutes in a warm place.
Serve the chicken karaage with a sprinkle of salt, lemon wedges and some Japanese mayo on the side.