Monday, January 31, 2011

Japanese recipe: Karaage(Japanese fried chicken)

Sometimes people ask me what is my favorite dish my mother used to make.
I always say "Karaage"(Japanese fried chicken).

I remember I always requested Karaage to my mother on my birthday and other special days.
I love her simple soy source taste Karaage with a hint of Garlic and ginger. I always wanted to make Karaage like hers and used to ask her how to make.

How much soy sauce and sake do I have to add?
How big do I have to cut chicken?
How long do I have to deep-fry?

My mother always said...


I never understood how it is possible to make something without exactly knowing how much to add stuff when I was a kid. Only way I could learn was watching her to make over and over until I understand her "Some".

Now I grew up and started cooking everyday. Her answer makes lots of sense.
I answer the same thing to my husband when he asks me something about cooking.

Recently though I started measuring ingredients more precisely since I thought it is a good idea to keep records of my own recipes.

I have made Karaage in several ways before. I would like to introduce the simplest karaage recipe that I often make, and I think this is very close to my mother's taste. You can use breast meats instead of thigh meats but, thigh meats turn out a lot juicer than breast meats.

Japanese recipe:
Karaage(Japanese fried chicken)

* 2 Servings


  • 2 Chiken thigh meats
  • 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese sake (you can substitute with white wine)
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic (paste)
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger (paste)
  • Potato starch or Corn starch
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)


  1. Remove Chicken skin (optional) and bone and cut into about 2 bite sizes. (yield about 4 out of 1 thigh meat) *Chicken skin in the US seems thicker compared to the ones in Japan so, I usually remove it.
  2. In a Ziploc bag or container, Put chicken, soy sauce, Japanese sake, garlic, and ginger and marinate for about 1 hour. *You can marinate overnight too. It just gets a little bit saltier but it still tastes good!
  3. Take chicken out from the bag and coat the chicken with starch. Remove any excess starch by gently tapping chicken with hands.
  4. In a pan, add oil (the amount to cover chicken), turn the heat to medium or medium-high, and wait until it warms up. *It is ready to fry If it starts to make small bubbles when sticking a chopstick with a little bit of starch in a pan.
  5. Add chicken in a pan and deep-fry them for 2 to 3 mins. Remove chicken from a pan and wait for couple of mins.
  6. Heat the pan to high and return the chicken in a pan and deep-fry them another 2 mins or so. (until chicken gets cooked and have a golden brown color.) *If you deep-fry chicken with bone or other parts of chicken or bigger size chicken, you will need more time to cook.

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