Kaarage aka Japanese Fried Chicken is one of the under-celebrated dishes of Japanese cuisine overseas – it’s a popular dish in izakayas (pubs) and small casual restaurants across Japan but it’s over-shadowed by dishes such as ramen, sushi, tempura, teriyaki and tonkatsu when it comes to Japanese food available in the UK.
This classic kaarage recipe from Aya Nishimura’s Japanese Food Made Easy is fragrant with garlic and ginger, and a perfect recipe to enjoy as a snack, or as part of a meal.
Read our full review of Japanese Food Made Easy as well as Aya’s recipe for Homemade Atsuage (Fried Tofu) with Cherry Tomatoes.
Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
Who doesn’t love fried chicken? This garlicky and gingery Japanese version is tasty as it is, but also great served with grated daikon radish, Japanese-style potato salad and ponzu dipping sauce.
- 1 egg white
- 2 garlic cloves grated
- 3 cm (1 1/4 inch) piece of fresh ginger (about 50 g/13/4 oz), peeled and grated
- 600 g (1 lb 5 oz) boneless chicken thighs with skin on, cut into 4–5 cm (1½–2 inch) pieces
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sake
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 750 ml (3 cups) sunflower oil, for deep-frying
- 100 g (3½ oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
Mix the soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, egg white, garlic and ginger together. Pour the mixture over the chicken in a bowl and mix well. Place in the fridge to marinate for 30 minutes.
Heat the sunflower oil in a deep saucepan over medium–high heat until it reaches 180°C (350°F).
Place the cornflour in a shallow dish, drop in the marinated chicken and toss to coat.
Slide one-third of the chicken pieces into the oil and cook for a few minutes until they just turn golden brown. Remove from the oil and leave to drain on paper towel while you cook the rest of the chicken.
Heat the sunflower oil to 190°C (375°F) and fry the chicken for a second time for 1–2 minutes, until golden all over.
If you decide to buy this book after reading our content, please consider clicking through our affiliate link, located within the post and in the footnote at the end.
Aya Nishimura’s Japanese Food Made Easy is published by Murdoch Books. Photography by Lisa Linder.