Authentic Chicken Karaage Recipe (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Japanese Fried Chicken (Chicken Karaage Recipe): Try saying “karaage” without salivating just slightly. These small pieces of chicken provide satisfaction with a crisp exterior, and delicious tenderness inside.

I love all varieties of fried chicken, no matter if it includes southern or Korean Fried chicken however this Japanese variation is awe-inspiring. I can eat it for five days and not be satisfied.

We are fortunate to have fantastic options for karaage available at local eateries (I have also had the pleasure of trying delicious karaage at Austin as well). After years of eating in these establishments I was able to figure out the best elements of every recipe I enjoyed to make delicious and easy homemade karaage.

What is Karaage?

Also referred to also as “tori karaage” translating directly to “poultry” and “fried,” the term “karaage” is more broadly used to refer to Japanese chicken that has been fried. Although karaage reminds us of the delicious scent of chicken bites that are crispy however, it does not necessarily refer tofried chicken..

Karaage is a term for meals that are lightly coated with flour, then deep fried. In more recent years it’s now primarily associated with chicken fried (probably because it’s most delicious! ).

Cuts of chicken for purchase

For the tastiest and softest fried chicken, ensure to purchase thighs with skins. If you’d like something that’s more nutritious, you can also make use of breast meat and marinate it some time.

When you have taken your small legs home, you’ll have to remove the thigh bone, then separate the bone from the meat, and cut into 1-inch-sized pieces chicken. I would suggest giving each piece a proportionate amount of skin-to meat ratio.

Karaage marinade

A bowl mix the soy sauce, garlic mirin, ginger, and sake. Stir thoroughly. Add the chicken to the mix and make sure you make sure to coat each piece of chicken thoroughly. You’ll need to let the mix marinate for at minimum at least six hours.

We noticed that we enjoyed the flavor more after marinating for longer. Although the darker meat has already become tender you need to ensure that the chicken has the ability to soak up the delicious flavor of soy sauce for a better tasting cooked chicken.

The flour coating

After marinating in the marinade, you can fill a bowl with the potato starch. Use it to lightly coat the chicken pieces. Potato starch is usually used in karaage as well as other fried dishes in Japan However, you could make use of cornstarch even if you are unable to get potato starch in the local supermarket.

Chicken Karaage Recipe

How do you fry the Karaage

It is important to select the cookware oil that is neutral that has high smoke points, like peanuts or vegetable. In a heavy-bottomed pan, such as one with enameled cast-iron pan you can add the oil about 1 1/2 inches above the bottom of the pan, and increase the temperature to 375 degrees. Make use of an instant-read thermometer to ensure the oil remains at the right temperature and doesn’t get burned.

Chicken Karaage Recipe

Then slowly lower the pieces of food into the oil to heat and fry for approximately five minutes based on the dimensions and thickness of each piece. Once they have turned golden brown, take them from the oil and place them on an air-tight rack to drain the excess oil.


Authentic Japanese Fried Chicken recipe
Authentic Japanese Fried Chicken recipe

It’s probably not necessary to be stated that these small pieces should be eaten quickly to enjoy the crunch. The ideal time is just a few minutes. It’s still fine about 20-30 minutes later, however they’re not at the peak of crunch.

Authentic Japanese Fried Chicken recipe
Japanese Fried Chicken recipe

The best aspect of karaage is that they’re still very good when you bake them again in the oven, even after a couple of days (or in the morning, after a an incredibly carb-laden breakfast).

I love eating them with a fresh squeeze of lemon juice, and an additional serving to Japanese mayo ( Kewpie brand) and topped by Shichimi Togarashi. Other Japanese food items to enjoy alongside karaage are Yakitori, shrimp tempura and Takoyaki (Japanese ball of octopus).

Chicken Karaage Recipe (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Get yourself delicious, crispy pieces of chicken fried with this recipe for karaage. You'll be able to resist just one bite!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
MARINATING 5 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 6 hours
Course dinner, Main Course
Cuisine asian, Japanese
Servings 6 SERVINGS
Calories 500 kcal


  • 2 lb chicken thighs skin-on, de-boned, & cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 ¾ fl oz (5 ½ tbsp) soy sauce
  • 1 fl oz (2 tbsp) sake
  • 8 g fresh grated ginger
  • 10 g grated garlic
  • ⅓ fl oz (⅔ tbsp) mirin
  • vegetable oil
  • 200 g potato starch or cornstarch


  • lemon wedges
  • Japanese mayonnaise Kewpie brand
  • Shichimi Togarashi


  • Take your chicken's thighs out of the bone and cut them into 1 inch bite-sized a bowl mix sake, soy sauce, garlic, ginger and mirin. Mix and blend until everything is mixed.
  • Add the chicken pieces that are 1 inch into a container that has lid (I prefer glass food storage containers that have the rubber seal to marinate since it is a good sealer for liquids).
  • Mix the marinade in and stir it to coat all pieces of chicken. Cover the lid tightly and put it within the refrigerator at minimum 6 hours. It is recommended to examine the refrigerator at the four hour mark, and give the mixture a shake to ensure a uniform coverage.
  • When your chicken has finished marinating, pour one-half inch of vegetable oil into an ovenproof pot with a thick bottom and heat it to 375 degrees.
  • Measure 200 grams of starch from potatoes in a bowl that is shallow. Lightly dust every piece of chicken in potatoes starch. Incorporate more starch into the bowl, if needed. If you're unable to locate potato starch, it is possible to also use cornstarch instead.
  • After breading, it is important to slowly lower each chicken piece in the hot oil. It is important not to overcrowd the pieces in order to ensure an even cooking.
  • Cook each one for three to five minutes, based on size or until the golden brown.
  • Remove the chicken from the grill and place it on a cooling rack or towels to get rid of any oil.
  • Serve the karaage with lemons, and Japanese mayonnaise (Kewpie brand) and top with Shichimi Togarashi, if need a little extra spice. Enjoy!
Keyword apanese Fried Chicken recipe, Chicken Karaage Recipe

One Response

  1. Carilarger August 22, 2023

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