Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

chicken karaage

Do you, fried chicken…? I do. I DO. Yes, I love my fried chicken. Karaage (Japanese fried chicken pieces) ranks very close to the top of my fav fried chicken list. Yes, there are my top 10 foods, and there are my top 10 fried chicken too. I like fried chicken so that much I can rattle off 10 different ways of frying them. But this is easily the one I cook most often. Mostly because it uses the least oil (less oil to throw out) and it only requires a very simple flour breading. Potato starch ranks at the top of the crispy flour list, followed by tapioca starch, plain flour and corn flour. Out of the fryer, all of them taste good, but potato starch retains its crispiness for longest, based on my testing. You can sub if you refuse to drive 30 min to your nearest Asian grocer for potato starch as plain flour/ corn starch works too if you are desperate.


  • 2 chicken thigh fillets 400g
  • 1/2 cup of potato starch (or tapioca flour, or 50/50 corn and plain flour mixture, or 100% plain flour if you have none of the previous flours)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup of oil for deep frying
  • Kewpie mayonnaise and Shichimi Togarashi (a japanese spice mix) for serving

Marinade for chicken

  • 2 tbsp soy
  • 1 tbsp mirin (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sake or vodka
  • 1 clove garlic grated (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder or ground paprika


  1. Cut chicken thigh fillets into smaller pieces and marinade with ingredients for 2 hrs minimum to overnight (in refrigerator).
  2. When ready to fry, place flour and salt in a shallow bowl and coat chicken pieces 3-4 pieces at time. Place on a wire rack or tray.
  3. The chicken must be rested on a wire rack or baking tray for 10 mins before frying. This allows the flour to hydrate slightly and gets you those extra crunchy corners in the karaage.
  4. Heat the oil in a small to medium saucepan. The oil should come up to at least 1 inch in pot or pan, else add more oil.
  5. Heat on medium heat. I heat to 175C/ 350F or insert a wooden chopstick into oil. Once it starts bubbling rapidly, it’s ready for use.
  6. Insert a few pieces of chicken into oil and fry for 3-4 mins. The frying temperature is maintained at 165C/330F).
  7. Remove chicken and drain on some paper towels on a wire rack and repeat with remaining chicken.
  8. Serve with Kewpie mayonnaise and Shichimi Togarashi (a japanese spice mix). I didn’t have any, so I used a mix of ground paprika and old bay seasoning. It works a treat!

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