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Mar 1, 2017

Perfect Japanese Karaage { から揚げ }

Make this karaage. Even your Japanese MIL will love it. It's THAT GOOD. Promise.

(To be clear, I promise that it's delicious, not that your MIL will like it, or you...)


I spent my first year in Japan trying to recreate dishes from Australia as I best I could with the ingredients and utensils available in Japan. This year, I am making an effort to embrace Japanese cooking and it’s a lot of fun! One of the first things I learnt to make was karaage, Japanese fried chicken. Karaage is available everywhere. At convenience stores, restaurants, markets, cafes, you can always count on karaage as a safe option for fussy eaters (like me!).




Karaage is a popular dish in home cooking too. The ingredients are affordable, and the chicken pieces are a good size and last well for lunch the next day. Well, when I say ‘last well’ I mean they are just as delicious the next day – I can’t promise that there will be leftovers…

A lot of recipes are overly complicated, with extra ingredients and preparation time. My recipe is as simple as I could make it. My husband says it’s his favourite karaage! That boy has eaten a lot of karaage. We spent three years living in Imabari, a town famous for chicken.

Honestly, this recipe is so easy and tasty, you should definitely make it. Be sure to make a lot because it’s too easy to eat it all. You’ll find yourself breaking into the container of leftovers and snacking on them cold. Perhaps try my sisters trick – wrap them in foil and shove them to the back of the fridge – though I don’t know if that is as effective at hiding them from yourself as it is from hungry siblings who ignore such a nondescript bundle. Good luck!


JAPANESE KARAAGE RECIPE


INGREDIENTS:

The quantity of ingredients is for 1 cup of cubed chicken. If you use two or three cups of chicken, simply double or triple the recipe.

  • Chicken Breast – 1 cup
  • Potato Starch – 1/2 cup
  • Vegetable Oil – to fill an inch in your saucepan
  • Soy Sauce – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Ginger – 1 teaspoon
  • Garlic – 1 teaspoon
  • Chicken Stock Cube – 1 cube


Serving:

  • Salt & Pepper
  • Lemon


If you're making this outside of Japan, you can try to substitute potato starch with corn starch but it will change the texture of your karaage batter. This is an example of what to look for in the supermarket if it's your first time searching for potato starch. The brand isn't important, just look for the three main kanji.





METHOD:


  1. Finely grate the garlic and ginger. It should be paste-like in consistency.
  2. Place in a bowl with the soy sauce.
  3. Cut the chicken into bite-size chunks, about an inch square.
  4. Put the chicken pieces into the marinade, mix well, let sit for at least 10 minutes and no more than 30minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, mix potato starch and chicken stock cube. You can add salt and pepper to taste if you like.
  6. Heat an inch of oil in your saucepan.
  7. Coat each piece of chicken in the starch and cook in the oil. Fry for about 4 minutes, rotating each piece while cooking to ensure it cooks evenly.
  8. When cooked, remove from the oil and place on a wire rack to drain.
  9. Sprinkle with salt and serve with a slice of lemon.

TIPS:


  • Use the ginger. Even if you don’t like ginger. You can barely taste it, and it really helps remove the gamey taste of the chicken.
  • Leave some skin on the chicken pieces if you can. It cooks nice and crispy. If you are worried about the extra fat on the skin, well, maybe this recipe isn’t for you, you’re about to fry it in oil after all.
  • I coat the chicken pieces one at a time in the starch. If you tip the starch into the bowl with the chicken and marinade it will have a stronger soy sauce flavour and your chicken pieces will be a darker colour too. Both methods are delicious!
  • Make sure your oil is hot enough when you put the chicken in or the coating will be greasy not crispy. To test the oil, I put my wooden chopsticks into the pot and check that bubbles rise small and fast as the air leaves the wood. Don’t use plastic chopsticks! Duh.
  • Lastly, you must place your karaage pieces onto a rack when you remove them from the oil. If you don’t drain the oil from the chicken straight away your karaage will be soggy. I also put my cooked and drained karaage pieces into the oven toaster to keep warm while I cook the next batch. 




Happy Cooking!

{ Ashes }


P.S. Leave a comment if you make this recipe and let me (and everyone else) know how awesome it turned out! I have faith in you. But uh, don't tell everyone how annoying the cleanup is... Oil. Flour. Everywhere.

Ashes

Ashes

Travel, university exchange, JET Programme, eikaiwa, and a baby in Japan! In my five years here, I feel as though I've collected a few experiences worth sharing.


8 Comments

  • LostgirlCA

    on Mar 4

    Yummy !!!! I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband !! Thank you for posting !! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

  • LostgirlCA

    on Mar 4

    Yummy !!!! I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband !! Thank you for posting !! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

  • LostgirlCA

    on Mar 4

    Yummy !!!! I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband !! Thank you for posting !! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

  • LostgirlCA

    on Mar 4

    Yummy !!!! I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband !! Thank you for posting !! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

  • LostgirlCA

    on Mar 4

    Yummy !!!! I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband !! Thank you for posting !! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

  • LostgirlCA

    on Mar 4

    Yummy !!!! I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband !! Thank you for posting !! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

  • LostgirlCA

    on Mar 4

    Yummy !!!! I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband !! Thank you for posting !! ╰(*´︶`*)╯♡

  • LostgirlCA

    on Mar 4

    Yummy !!!! I made this tonight and it was a huge hit with my husband !! Thank you for posting !!