Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

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Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) have earned its spot as one of the tastiest fried chicken out there! Ultra crispy and tender juicy boneless chicken thighs that you can’t get enough of. Enjoy these delicious golden fried chicken at home with just some simple steps.

fried poultry in a bowl

Karaage is a staple of Japanese cuisine and an ever present item included in bento boxes. One can also find these Japanese fried chicken in restaurants and food stalls lining the streets of Japan.

My daughter loves chicken anyway you cook it! Whether it’s tinola (Filipino chicken soup) or chicken teriyaki, it’s her absolute favorite. But, above all the chicken dishes I make, fried chicken is her true love. Then she had a taste of karaage (Japanese fried chicken), and I kid you not, she can finish a bowl of these bite-sized fried chicken in a blink of an eye.

fried poultry with cabbage

Karaage vs Katsu

Katsu means fried cutlets of meat or seafood made with panko breadcrumbs. Chicken katsu uses sliced chicken breast breaded in flour, eggs and Japanese breadcrumbs. Deep frying the breaded chicken until golden then slicing diagonally is how to serve it.

Karaage on the other hand is done differently. De-boned chicken thigh is the usual choice for the dish. Marinating the meat in soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger ensures moist and flavorful chicken. Instead of panko breadcrumbs, it is lightly dredge in potato starch giving you a thin yet crispy golden shell.

fried poultry in a bowl on top of table

Should I double fry?

We commonly hear that the “secret” to crispier chicken is by double fry cooking. Double frying involves frying the battered chicken once then turning up the heat and fry it again for 2-3 minutes. This method is great especially with my salt and pepper wings to really enjoy crisp skin. But for karaage, it’s all about keeping the meat juicy and flavorful. The thin coating of potato starch will ensure a super crisp exterior anyway.

Additional tips to keep in mind

Cut the chicken in uniform or same size for an even cooking.

Shake off excess flour to give a better texture and to avoid making the cooking oil murky.

30 minutes is all it takes to marinate the chicken for it to soak in all those wonderful flavors.

fried poultry in a bowl with cabbage and lemon

The secret ingredient is always LOVE

Other chicken recipes you may like:

Garlic Parmesan Chicken wings – Crispy chicken wings slathered with thick and creamy garlic parmesan sauce.

Chicken Satay with peanut sauce grilled perfectly is a must Asian food experience!

Spicy General Tso’s Chicken  is an amazing and take-away chicken recipe with sticky, savory and sweet taste.

Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) have earned its spot as one of the tastiest fried chicken out there! Ultra crispy and tender juicy boneless chicken thighs that you can't get enough of. Enjoy these delicious golden fried chicken at home with just some simple steps.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Marinating Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: japanese fried chicken recipe, karaage
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Mia

Ingredients

  • ½ kilo or 500 grams chicken thigh de-boned
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar or sake
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic peeled and grated
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger peeled and grated
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp flour or cornstarch
  • 1 cup potato starch or cornstarch for coating
  • 3 cups cooking oil for frying

Instructions

  • Remove bones from chicken thigh by gently running kitchen knife down either side to loosen the flesh and any tiny tendons. Wash thoroughly and cut thighs in roughly 2 inches slices.
  • Transfer chicken in a bowl then add salt, pepper, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar and mirin. Mix well and marinate for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to cook, heat oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat.
  • While waiting for the oil to heat up, add egg and flour into the bowl with the chicken and marinade. Mix until all chicken pieces are coated with flour.
  • Place potato starch in a bowl and dredge chicken into the potato starch. Shake off any excess flour and transfer in a baking tray or rack.
  • When the oil is ready, fry the coated chicken in batches but do not over crowd. When the karaage hits an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (71 C) or golden brown, transfer them in a baking tray lined with paper towels.
  • Let rest for a couple of minutes then serve and enjoy. Bon appetit!

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