Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

The bf had his usual craving for Japanese food this past weekend and in order to cook up a dish that minimizes the need for us to leave the house to purchase the necessary ingredients, we decided to make Karaage, commonly known as Japanese fried chicken.


The first time I had good Karaage was in Tokyo, Japan and it was kinda by accident as well. We were supposed to go to the Tsukiji fish market right when it opened to get good sushi for breakfast but unfortunately due to Golden Week, the market was closed. Hungry, tired, and extremely disappointed, we stumbled across this 24 hour noodle restaurant where I ordered Udon with Karaage.

Though we were nowhere close to replicating the same taste and texture that we experienced while we were in Japan, I say we made a pretty good effort!

First, we cut the 4 boneless chicken thighs (with skin) into small pieces and marinated it for an hour in the fridge. We would’ve marinated it a bit longer (overnight preferably) but since this dish was a last minute decision and I was getting pretty hungry, we settled for only an hour.


After the chicken was done marinating, we quickly dredged it in potato starch that was seasoned with five spice powder. We did a taste test without the five spice powder and found that it lacked a bit in taste. Once we added it, we found that it really enhanced the flavour of the karaage!


Next came the deep frying process. This is where we struggled the most to keep the oil temperature consistent. We were aiming to keep the oil at 360F but the oil either got too hot or it wasn’t hot enough. This resulted in us adjusting the cooking time accordingly to ensure that the chicken was thoroughly cooked and that it obtained that nice golden brown colour we were looking for, all without burning it.

Deep Fry

Once it was a nice golden brown, we placed it on a cooling rack lined with paper towel to absorb the extra oil. After most of the oil has been absorbed, we plated and served!

The end result was a crispy exterior with a juicy interior. You gotta eat them while they’re hot though! They’re kinda like McDonalds French Fries, once they get cold, they don’t taste as good (a bit of an exaggeration but you get my point).


Yield: Serves 3 – 4

Prep time: 1 hr (minimum – for marinating)

Cook time: 10 mins


  • 4 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 1 tbsp of grated ginger
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
  • 1/2 tsp five spice powder
  • Canola/vegetable oil
  • Wedge of Lemon
  1. Cut boneless chicken thighs into bite size pieces. In a large bowl, mix together soy sauce, grated garlic, grated ginger, sugar, and sake until well combined. Toss the boneless chicken thigh pieces in mixture until everything is evenly coated and let it marinade for at least an hour.
  2. Meanwhile, add the five spice powder to the potato starch and whisk everything together so that everything is evenly mixed.
  3. Once the chicken thighs are done marinating, heat up your pot of choice and fill it up with approximately 1.5 inch of vegetable or canola oil. Using a kitchen thermometer, test the temperature of the oil until it reaches 360F.
  4. Once it reaches that temperature, quickly dredge your chicken thighs in the seasoned potato starch and drop it into the hot oil. Flip the chicken thighs once the underside starts developing a nice golden brown color and take it out once both sides are evenly browned. Place them on a cooling rack lined with paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  5. Do a quick test to ensure that your chicken is thoroughly cooked through. This will help you gauge how long you should cook the rest of your chicken thighs for.
  6. When most of the oil has been absorbed, move it onto a plate and serve with a wedge of lemon which you can squeeze overtop the karaage when ready to eat.

*Recipe adapted from NoRecipes (Oh the Irony…)

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