Chicken Karaage (pronounced approximately: kada ahgE) is basically Fried Chicken, Japanese style. It’s often found in dinner “sets” in restaurants along with miso and salad, and in bento lunches in Hawaii and Japan.
I had never made Chicken Karaage until last week when my mom was in town celebrating her 83rd birthday.
We had planned to grill chicken our favorite way — and make Huli Huli Chicken. But alas, Mother Nature wasn’t be cooperative. I had already marinated 5 pounds of chicken thighs and I wasn’t about to not cook it for my mom’s celebration. I remembered that the nice guy, Eric, who had given me the Huli Huli Chicken recipe, had told me he cooks it by dredging in corn starch or flour and frying it. So I decided to give it a try. I skinned the marinated chicken and cut into 1-inch pieces. I tossed it in flour because I was out of corn starch. The traditional way is to use potato starch if you have it. I then fried it in a skillet in about 1/2-inch to 1-inch of oil. You could also easily deep fry it.
The chicken was superb! You would think that marinating for 24 hours would be overkill, but it is perfect. The lightly fried chicken was tasty and had a thin delicate crust. I served it with hot white rice and Miso Green Beans. My mom loves when I cook for her rather than going out, so I was happy to be able to pull it together even though it wasn’t exactly what we had planned.
Have you ever had Chicken Karaage in a Japanese restaurant? Try it out — or better yet — make it yourself! 🙂
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sake
10 slices ginger
5 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
4-5 lbs. chicken thighs, de-boned, skin on
About 1 cup of flour, corn starch, or potato flour
1. Mix soy, sugar, vinegar, sake, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil together until sugar dissolves. Marinate chicken in mixture for 24 hours in refrigerator, turning once or twice.
2. When ready to cook, skin chicken thighs and chop into 1-inch pieces. Toss in flour until completely coated.
3. Heat about 1 inch oil in skillet (or more if deep frying). Fry chicken on each side for about 2 minutes each or until golden brown. Drain on a rack over a baking sheet. Serve immediately.