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KARAAGE (Japanese Deep Fried Chicken)



Karaage or Japanese fried chicken is one of the most popular foods in Japan. It is mostly seen at supermarket obentos, convenience store counters as a “grab and go” snack, or simply every child’s favorite lunch box food during sports festivals and school educational trips. It can also be seen during street festivals as well and can be eaten as otsumami (everything you pick food paired with alcohol).

Image by gi sung lee from Pixabay

The chicken tastes best if it is marinated for two hours to overnight so if you have any occasions to celebrate, plan ahead accordingly.


500g. boneless, skin-on chicken thighs or breast (any cut of chicken will do) cut into 1 inch (2.5cm) pcs.
1 cup (160g) potato starch
Canola oil for deep frying
Lemon wedges for garnish


3 tbsps. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, grated
1 1/2 tbsps. sugar
1 tbsp. sake
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar


  1. To make the marinade, shake together the ingredients in a large, resealable plastic bag until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Add the chicken slices and toss until evenly coated.
  3. Marinate in the refrigerator (tossing occasionally) for 2 hours to overnight. Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the liquid.
  4. Place the potato starch in a large shallow bowl or resealable plastic bag. Lightly coat the chicken in the potato starch mixture and let rest on a wire rack until dry, about 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, in a deep-fryer, stockpot, or large wok, heat 2 inches (5cm) of oil to (180C).
  6. Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time until they float to the top and turn deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Using bamboo or wooden chopsticks, carefully remove the chicken and let drain on a clean wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
  7. Arrange the chicken on the platter and garnish it with lemon wedges. You can add side dishes like salad as well. Serves 4 as a main meal; 6 as a side dish.

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