So I’ve had a hankering for something Japanese lately but I wasn’t sure what. I’ve been thinking teriyaki? But no that wasn’t quite it. Then it dawned on me. Karaage Chicken. Basically Japanese Fried Chicken. So yum. Delicious chunks of chicken thigh, marinated, then coated in potato flour (which I didn’t have, so my recipe uses corn flour) then deep fried.
Karaage chicken or “Garage chicken” (as it is affectionately known in our household) is not as greasy as a traditional fried chicken as it doesn’t have a batter or thick breaded coating on it. The trick to making a beautiful, crispy Karaage Chicken is the double fry (some people even triple fry it). I fry the pieces in the hot oil for about one and a half minutes. Remove them for a couple of minutes and then drop them back in again for another minute and a half. They don’t take long at all and they stay perfectly moist and juicy, while the coating gets nice and crispy.
Karaage can be made with breast meat but, quite simply, DON’T DO IT. It will definitely be dryer and the thigh gives the best flavour.
This has to be the quickest fried chicken to make as well. It just keeps getting better and better doesn’t it.
Want fried chicken?
In half an hour?
Oh, double yes please.
You don’t want to marinate the chicken for any longer than 20 minutes. I generally stick to the 15 minute mark. That gives me just enough time to get some accompaniments ready and heat the oil.
I think traditionally, Karaage Chicken is served as more of an appetiser than a main meal but I like to add some rice and cucumber to make a meal out of it.
Oh and you must serve Kewpie Mayonnaise with it. This is a Japanese mayonnaise that you can buy from most supermarkets. Don’t skip the Kewpie! See that yummy little dollop on the side above?
Finally, I sprinkle a little togarashi spice over the top (it’s a Japanese peppery spice mix of things like dried chilli, pepper, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, dried citrus peel & sesame seeds) but it is totally optional.
- 500 g chicken thigh cut into 4cm pieces
- 1 Tbsp grated ginger (see notes)
- 1 clove garlic crushed
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp mirin (see notes)
- 2/3 cup cornflour
- Vegetable oil for frying
- Togarashi spice optional
Mix together the ginger, garlic, soy sauce & mirin in a bowl, then add the pieces of chicken & coat thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10-20 minutes.
Cover a plate or oven tray with absorbent paper towel and place a wire rack over the top. Place the cornflour in a bowl and heat the oil in a high sided saucepan to 180C (356F).
Remove the chicken from the fridge and one by one, take out pieces of chicken, coat in cornflour and place gently in the hot oil. It's best to do the chicken in 4-5 batches depending on the size of your saucepan. Don't overcrowd the pot as it will cool the oil down too much and won't give you nice crispy chicken bits.
Deep fry each batch for 1 1/2 minutes, then remove and place on the wire rack. Once all batches are complete, starting with the first batch again, place the chicken back into the oil and deep fry a second time for 1 1/2 minutes again. Remove and place on the wire rack until all the chicken is done.
Serve on a bed of rice, with Kewpie mayonnaise on the side and some cucumber and spring onion. Sprinkle the Togarashi spice over the top of the chicken if using.
I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon