Karaage: Japanese Fried Chicken

The crispiest chicken bites.

4-6 servings

Time: 45 mins

Ethan ChlebowskiBy Ethan Chlebowski

Japanese fried chicken uses potato starch in the breading, and then a double or triple fry for an extra crispy crust.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Marinated chicken

    • chicken thighs
      , boneless
      6900 g / 2 lb
    • garlic
      , grated
      3 cloves
    • fresh ginger
      , grated
      1” knob
    • eggs
      , beaten
    • potato starch
      20 g
    • sake
      30 g
    • soy sauce
      15 g
    • sugar
      10 g
    • salt
      10 g
  • Breading

    • potato starch
      150 g5 parts
    • flour
      30 g1 part
    • neutral oil
      for frying
  • Dipping sauce & toppings

    • soy sauce
      50 g3 parts
    • rice vinegar
      30 g2 parts
    • mirin
      15 g1 part
    • sugar
      15 g1 part
    • sriracha
      15 g1 part
    • sesame oil
      5 ga splash
    • fresh ginger
      , grated
      1” knob
    • scallions
      , thinly sliced
      a handful
    • lemons
      , sliced
      for serving
    • kewpie mayo
      for serving


Step 1: Prep & marinate the chicken

To start, cut across the length of the chicken thighs, into roughly 1.5 inches (40mm) strips. You should get 3-4 pieces per chicken thigh. Set aside.

Get out a large mixing bowl and grate in the garlic cloves and knob of ginger. Crack in the egg and whisk together.

Set the bowl over a scale and add the chicken pieces, starch, sake, soy sauce, sugar, and salt. Mix the marinade and chicken together until coated.

  • Place a lid over the bowl and for at least 15 minutes or overnight.

Step 2: Dredge the chicken pieces

Add the potato or cornstarch and flour to a large tray or bowl. Remove the chicken pieces one by one from the marinade and toss them with the starch to evenly coat each piece, no need to shake off the extra cornstarch. You can just keep all of the coated chicken in the bowl until you’re ready to fry.

  • Set up the fry station with the coated chicken on one side of the stove, and a wire rack over a baking sheet on the other.

Step 3: Preheat the frying oil & make the sauce

When ready to , place a wok or Dutch oven over medium heat and add enough peanut oil to go about 2 inches up the side of the pan. Using a thermometer, bring the oil to 350°F/176°C.

While that heats up, make the sauce. Slice the scallions and grate the ginger into a bowl. Set the bowl over a scale and add all remaining sauce ingredients (the kewpie mayo and the lemon wedges are not for the sauce, those are for serving).

Step 4: First fry

Once the oil is at 350 F, working in batches, gently lower the chicken pieces into the hot oil for the first .

Keep the chicken moving with a slotted spoon or straining and fry until just lightly golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. It will not be fully cooked but set the chicken on the wire rack to let drain and rest.

Meanwhile, add the next batch of raw breaded chicken from the tray and repeat until all the batches have been once.

Step 5: Second fry & serve

Skim the oil for loose starch before adding the chicken in batches for a second . This time, cook the chicken pieces until they are a deeper golden brown and crispy all over, another 2-3 minutes.

  • If you want the pieces super crispy, optionally pass through the oil for another 45 seconds for a third fry.

To serve, add the fried chicken to a platter with the dipping sauce, Japanese kewpie mayo, and a couple of lemon slices. Enjoy.



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