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We know: you likely don’t associate fried chicken with Japanese cuisine.

But make this chicken karaage just once, and you’ll understand why it stands out as a national delicacy in a country generally renowned for their delicious fish. This fried chicken also stands out amongst its American counterparts for another reason, thanks to the finely grated ginger and (optional, but recommended) inclusion of cabbage and cucumbers, it’s tangy, refreshing, and light. Best served immediately, so make sure to plan ahead if you’re serving this a group.

How to Make It

Difficulty: Easy

Overall Time: 1 hr

Prep Time: 15 min + 30 min resting time

Cook Time: 15 min

Serves: 4

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sake or mirin
  • 2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, about 1 1/2 lbs (700 g), cut roughly into 2-in pieces
  • 1 cup potato starch (katakuriko)
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Shaved green cabbage (optional)
  • Sliced cucumbers (optional)
  • Lemon cheeks or wedges (optional)
  1. Combine soy with sake, ginger, sesame oil, and salt in a medium bowl. Add chicken, tossing to fully coat. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour oil into a large, deep pot until it reaches 2 ½-inches up the sides. Heat over medium-low until temperature reaches 350°F on a deep-fry thermometer.
  3. Set a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Whisk potato starch in a medium bowl to remove any large clumps. Working with a few pieces at a time, dredge chicken into starch, turning to coat. Shake off excess and transfer to wire rack. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  4. Working in batches (5 or 6 pieces at a time), fry chicken, turning often, until deeply golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove with tongs or a slotted spoon to a clean wire rack to drain.
  5. To serve, arrange karaage on a large platter with shaved green cabbage, cucumber slices, and lemon cheeks, if using. Serve immediately.
Chicken Karaage recipe by Casa de Suna
Chicken Karaage recipe by Casa de Suna

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