How To Make Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)-Japanese Taste

How To Make Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

by Megumi Moriya

Appetizer Bento Chicken Deep-fried Freezer-Friendly Izakaya Kid-Friendly Main dish Party Food Snack

When you have chicken thighs in your fridge, what dish do you often make with them?

Chicken thighs are renowned for its versatility, allowing you to create a myriad of mouthwatering dishes. However, if you're aiming for maximum flavor and satisfaction, "Karaage" should be your top choice. We've previously shared a gluten-free version of Karaage on our website, but this time we would like to introduce you to the classic version.

Today, Karaage isn't just a home-cooked favorite; it's enjoyed in various settings. You can easily find ready-made or frozen versions at supermarkets and convenience stores. Moreover, restaurants feature freshly prepared Karaage as both a main and side dish, while Japanese bars (Izakaya) serve it as a perfect accompaniment to sake. For those seeking authenticity, Karaage specialty shops offer traditional and creatively arranged options to please even the most discerning palates. You'll also spot Karaage as a convenient snack at events, often served in paper cups or plastic containers, and included in Obento lunch boxes.

While Karaage may resemble fried chicken, its unique seasoning, primarily soy sauce, sets it apart. This addition infuses the dish with a rich Umami flavor that lingers in your mouth. Karaage's addictive nature stems from its perfect balance of juicy interior and crispy exterior, making it irresistibly moreish.

Although "Karaage" commonly refers to chicken Karaage, it originally denotes a deep-frying cooking method from China. Hence, you'll find various Karaage types in Japan, including Octopus Karaage, Cod Karaage, pork Karaage, and more, in addition to chicken Karaage. Explore these variations when you visit Japan. If you have a chicken thighs in your fridge, try our recipe for tonight's dinner and savor Japanese Karaage at home!


Prep time: 10 mins

Cook time: 20 mins

Total time: 30 mins

Total servings: 4

Difficulty: Medium

  • 600 g Chicken Thighs
  • 2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Sake
  • 2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 tsp Chicken Stock Powder
  • 15 g Grated Ginger
  • 5 g Grated Garlic (if you prefer)
  • 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • Potato Starch, as needed
  • Cooking Oil, as needed

Expert's Tip

How To Make Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

As mentioned in the introduction, Japanese have a deep love for Karaage, to the point where they hold Karaage competitions to select the best Karaage of the year. While it may be challenging to regularly enjoy Karaage from the winning shop at home, you can still achieve a crunchy and juicy Karaage experience with this Karaage flour mix with minimal effort! Created in collaboration with the Karaage shop that won the grand prize in the soy sauce-based Karaage category of Western Japan, this product guarantees an authentic Karaage taste.


1) Gathering the Ingredients

Gather the ingredients together.

2) Cutting the Chicken Into Smaller Pieces

Remove any excess fat and skin from the chicken thighs. Cut each chicken thigh into approximately 6 portions.

Note: To retain juiciness, avoid cutting the pieces too small.

3) Marinating the Chicken

Place the chicken pieces into a plastic bag with soy sauce, cooking sake, sesame oil, chicken stock powder, grated ginger, and grated garlic. Remove the air from the plastic bag and marinate the chicken, placing it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

4) Coating the Chicken In Flour

Open the plastic bag and add in the all-purpose flour.

Then rub the chicken to evenly coat it with the flour until it's no longer powdery.

5) Dusting the Chicken With Potato Starch

Spread the marinated chicken pieces onto a tray and dust them with potato starch.

6) Deep-frying the Karaage

Prepare a pot and add enough cooking oil to cover the karaage. Heat it over medium heat until it reaches 180°C. Gently stir once to equalize the oil temperature, then deep-fry the chicken for about 5 minutes until cooked.

To check the oil temperature, dip long wooden chopsticks into the oil. The oil temperature is ready when small bubbles form around the chopsticks, as shown in the picture below.

After deep-frying, place the chicken on a draining rack and tray for a while.

7) Serving the Karaage

Serve the Karaage on a plate. If you have some, garnish with lemon as an accent for the taste. Enjoy your freshly made Karaage!

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