Guys, I’ve been obsessively watching an anime called Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. It’s over the top and hilarious, complete with all the must haves found in Japanese anime: kawaii girls, over the top reactions to food, and, yes, even a little bit of tentacle action. Food Wars started out life as a manga, which I haven’t read but am dying to get my hands on. Essentially, the story follows Yukihira Soma, the main character, as he enters into an extreme cooking school with a ten percent graduation rate.
I find it completely hilarious because the entire manga/anime revolves around food and cooking battles. I won’t spoil it for you because I hope you watch it and get a kick out of it, but a couple of the episodes focus on chicken karaage, or Japanese fried chicken. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love chicken karaage, once they try it, it’s that delicious. After a recent binge watching session all 24 episodes of Food Wars, I just had to deep-fry up some juicy chicken deliciousness.
Chicken karaage doesn’t differ from regular fried chicken too much – Japanese fried chicken is fried chicken, with seasoning tweaks. Essentially it’s two-bite size pieces of thigh meat that have been marinated in soy, mirin, sake, ginger, garlic, and a touch of sugar. It’s super juicy due to the marinade, and extra crunchy due to a double fry. Hopefully you have some chicken karaage in your future!
PS – I feel like I should warn you: Food Wars is all about the food porn, but there are a lot of boobs and nakedness bouncing around!
Chicken Karaage: Japanese Fried Chicken Recipe
- 1 lb boneless, skin-on chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sake
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup potato starch
- high smoke point oil for deep frying (I use rice bran oil)
- kewpie mayo, to serve
- sliced cucumbers, to serve
- lime wedges, to serve
Mix together the chicken thighs, soy sauce, sake, sugar, ginger, and garlic in a bowl and let marinate for 30 minutes to an hour 1 hour at room temperature, in a slightly cool spot. Letting the chicken rest at room temp means that the chicken won’t drop the temperature of the oil, which means that it’ll cook up crispier. Also, it’ll cook faster than if you cook it cold from the fridge.
Prepare a wire cooling rack over a paper towel lined rimmed baking sheet. Heat up 1 1/2 – 2 1/2 inches of oil in a deep heavy bottomed pot until it reaches 325°F. It doesn’t need to be too deep, it depends on the size of your chicken bits.
Place the potato starch in a bowl and, working in batches, coat several pieces of chicken, shaking off the excess potato starch. Use a pair of tongs to gently add the chicken to the hot oil. Fry until lightly golden, about 1 1/2 minutes. Remove from the oil and let rest on your prepared wire rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken until all of it has been fried once.
Turn the heat up to 350°F and fry the chicken a second time around until deeply golden and crispy, another 1-2 minutes. Drain on the wire rack and enjoy hot with kewpie mayo, limes, and cucumbers.