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Authentic Chicken Karaage (Crispy Japanese Fried Chicken)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 portions


How to make authentic chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken). Serves 2-3.


  • 350g skin-on chicken thigh
  • 1/2 tsp coast sea salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp grated garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp grated apple
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 tsp Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp shiro dashi (alternative: light soy sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese chicken stock powder (I use Yuki Garasupu)
  • 1/8 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch (or potato starch/corn starch) to mix with marinade
  • 2 tbsp starch + 1 tsp water to make hailstone effect (optional) 


  1. Wash the chicken thigh under cold running water and dry it with a paper towel.
  2. Use a fork to pierce the chicken on both sides.
  3. Cut the chicken into 40-50g pieces and place it in a bowl.
  4. Add 1/2 tsp salt to the bowl and massage the chicken until all the pieces are evenly seasoned.
  5. Add the grated ginger, grated garlic, grated apple, sake, Japanese mayonnaise, sesame oil, shiro dashi, Chinese chicken stock powder and white pepper to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  6. Next, add 1 tbsp all purpose flour to the bowl and 1 tbsp starch of your choice, mix until the chicken is evenly coated.
  7. Cover the bowl and rest the chicken in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, preferably 1 hour. 
  8. Once the chicken has rested, preheat the oil to 160°C (320°F).
  9. In a separate bowl add 2 tbsp of starch and sprinkle 1 tsp of water. Mix with chopsticks or fork to make clumps of starch for the hailstone effect.
  10. Remove the chicken from the fridge and lightly coat each piece with the clumpy starch mixture.
  11. Deep fry the chicken for 3 minutes.
  12. Remove the chicken from the oil and rest on a wire rack for 3 minutes. (It will continue to cook in the residual heat.)
  13. While the chicken is resting, increase the heat of the oil to 180°C (355°F).
  14. Once 3 minutes of resting time is up, deep fry the chicken again for 30 seconds or until golden brown.
  15. Serve up and enjoy with a slice of lemon!


Freeze leftovers for 1-2 months or refrigerate and consume within 2-3 days. Reheat before eating.

If you decide to shallow fry then fry the chicken at the lower temperature for 3 minutes on each side and then 30 seconds on each side at the higher temperature.

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Marinating Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Deep-fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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