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Chicken Karaage | Japanese Fried Chicken

Chicken karaage, or Japanese fried chicken, is made by marinating chicken in soy sauce and sake and then coating it in egg white and potato starch and frying it twice. The result is blissfully crisp and golden on the outside, tender and ridiculously juicy on the inside.

We’ve got a newfound fried chicken fix after trying this chicken karaage (pronounced kah rah ah geh). It draws its subtle yet certain flavor from a dunk in soy sauce and sake. And it takes its phenomenally crisp exterior from being tossed in potato starch (found in the baking or kosher food section of most supermarkets) and then being fried not once but twice until blissfully and sigh-inducingly crisp. (As the authors explain, the first frying cooks the chicken through, and the second frying, at a higher temperature, levels it up to golden brown perfection.) Originally published June 3, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

Chicken Karaage

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Special Equipment: Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer


  • 3 tablespoons grated garlic cloves (from about 8 cloves)
  • 4 teaspoons grated ginger root
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (or substitute gluten-free tamari), preferably low-sodium
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, preferably dark meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) pieces
  • 3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying


  • 1. In a bowl large enough to hold the chicken, combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sake, sugar, salt, and pepper, and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • 2. About 30 minutes before you intend to cook the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature.
  • 3. Drain the chicken, discarding the marinade. Return the chicken to the bowl. Add the egg whites and stir and turn to coat all the pieces. Add the potato starch and mix well.
  • 4. Heat 2 inches oil over medium heat in a wok or heavy, deep-sided pot until it reaches 325°F (163°C) on a deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer. Fry the chicken in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan, just until the chicken is cooked through on the inside and golden brown on the outside, about 4 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and let it drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag. The chicken will look done, although it won’t yet be incredibly crisp. That’s okay. That’s what the second frying is for. Wait until the temperature of the oil returns to 325°F (163°C) before frying the remaining chicken in batches.
  • 5. Crank the heat underneath the oil to 375°F (190°C). Using the slotted spoon, return the chicken to the oil in batches and fry until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on clean paper towels and serve while still hot.

Chicken Karaage Recipe © 2013 Michael Romano and Karen Stabiner. Photo © 2013 Marcus Nilsson. All rights reserved. All recipes and photos used with permission of the publisher.

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