Chicken Karaage: Japanese Fried Chicken Recipe

Posted November 12, 2015 by Stephanie
japanese fried chicken karaage recipe -

japanese fried chicken karaage recipe - japanese fried chicken karaage recipe -

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.

japanese fried chicken karaage recipe -

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.

japanese fried chicken karaage recipe -

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!

japanese fried chicken karaage recipe -

Chicken Karaage: Japanese Fried Chicken Recipe
serves 2-3

  • 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.

japanese fried chicken karaage recipe -

japanese fried chicken karaage recipe -


  1. i can’t say i’m into anime (the farthest i’ve gone is “avatar: the last airbender” and i don’t really think that counts), but “food wars” sounds like a realllyy good place to start. and my brother always gets some form of fried chicken when we go out for japanese (it’s either chicken karaage or chicken katsu), so i’m sure he’d be happy if i made a batch of these when i go home for thanksgiving (if he deals with dishes, these are happening on day 1).

  2. Loving this unique version of fried chicken! It sounds delicious!

    Dani |

  3. that show sounds out of control. this chicken looks out of control. xoxo

  4. MY. GOD. that looks SO GOOD. I’ve never had Chicken Karaage but I now need to.

  5. Hahahha tentacle action, you already sold me on this anime. But this chicken looks amazing. I am already imagining the crunch i my mouth.

  6. L says:

    You know there are free online English scanlations of the manga, right? I mean, it’s best if you can buy the manga but not all manga are officially translated so the last resort are places like mangareader or mangahere. The manga is still ongoing and I’m totally impatient for the next chapter.

  7. My husband would be over the moon if I made this for him! It looks incredible – so perfectly crunchy and delicious!

  8. Rachel says:

    I love this stuff at my local Japanese restaurant – thanks for the recipe!

  9. Wan says:

    Japanese, Chinese, Brazilian, I don’t even care – if it’s fried chicken, I wanna eat it! This looks amazing. I’ll definitely be giving this a try though probably without the sake. Hopefully that doesn’t change it too much.

  10. Karaage is my chicken cryptonite and your photos of these crunchy juicy perfectly brown fried beauties have sent me over the edge … !! LOL re boobs and nakedness! Sounds like a pretty sweet show! ^__^

  11. Mikaela says:

    Read about karage many time in manga. Might try this one soon. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Thanks for the tip on Shokugeki no Soma. Do you know Oishinbo, the cooking manga of which about 8 volumes are available on Amazon? Wonderful!

  13. Alex Nguyen says:

    No, no, no, no, no. Food Wars is NOT a good place to start if you’ve never really been into anime. I watch anime quite frequently and I couldn’t get passed the blatant fan service of the show.

    If you want a good, funny, and knowledge filled cooking anime, watch Yakitate JAPAN!

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      i LOVE yakitate! well, except that last season where it got a little weird…

  14. Nomaste says:

    This is so amazing! Perfect dish for a rainy night! :)

  15. Shannon says:

    Do you think this could be done in the oven somehow? I am scared of deep-frying things, so I am always looking for oven versions that get good results. Let me know!

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      i haven’t tried it in the oven – i don’t think it would work well. you could do the marinade, crust it in panko and bake it. it won’t have the same crunch but you’d get the flavor at least!

  16. Tim says:

    With 1.5 inches of oil in a frying pan or pot, how do you measure the oil temperature (325 and then at 350).
    The deep fry thermometers i’ve seen require at least 2.5 inches of the tip to be submerged into the oil.

    1. Stephanie Le says:

      you should be able to, depending on what kind of thermometer you have – i’ve used a bulb thermometer as well as a digital one with that amount. i’ve adjusted the amount of oil in the recipe!

  17. Kate says:

    Oh wow! This looks insane good. I’ll be making this at least once this week. Probably more.

  18. Watched all 24 episodes of Shokugeki no Soma. Wonderful! Thanks again for the lead.

  19. Tyler Craine says:

    I always wanted to know how to make this! o>o

  20. raj says:

    This is awesome! I saw that episode of Food Wars and thought those karaage looked amazing. I stumbled on your blog today from a “top 25 food blogs” list and when I saw you had a karaage recipe, I had to try this.

    It came out pretty good! I’ve never deep fried anything before, but I just followed the directions and it was very easy, and the karaage looked just like the ones in the picture.

    Thanks for the recipe! I love your blog – awesome recipes and photography! Super cool that you watched Food Wars too!

  21. clee says:

    ME TOO! I love Shokugeki no Soma (needs another season to see what happens though!) and after that particular episode about Kaarage I had to try it even though I’ve never had that type of fried chicken before. I tried making it with corn starch with worked pretty well, but I’ll try your recipe next with potato starch! Sounds Oishii!

  22. Caroline says:

    I love shokugeki no soma! I just caught up on the manga last night! When the anime came out my boyfriend teased me cause it was so over the top compared to my usual taste

  23. Devin says:

    I’ve watched all the episodes of Food Wars months ago. I happened across your blog and know it’s my destiny to taste juicy karaage!

  24. christina says:

    ha ha. the second season of food wars starts in July! I am happy to have found your blog

  25. Will says:

    I’m a huge food wars fan myself and I tried it with lettuce just as Soma suggested on the show and it was delicious.

  26. Sarah says:

    I just finished the first season of this show – and clicked on the link because of the chicken karaage episode, only to realize the inspiration for this post! My favorite food blog and favorite (food) anime, how could they not be related in one way or another. Now I want to go home and start the second season, while making some chicken karaage.

  27. Heidz says:

    Omggggg! My boyfriend and I have been searching for the closest recipe to our local sushi shop that sells amazing karaage. THIS IS IT! Thanks so much for the perfect recipe. We’ve made it a few times now soooo delicious!

    1. Stephanie says:

      oh yay! so happy you guys like it :)

  28. Nadine says:

    Would this still work without the sake and with cornstarch in place of potato starch?

    1. Stephanie says:

      it would, but the chicken won’t be as crispy. the potato starch is essential :)

  29. Hailey says:

    I don’t have Sake but i do have Shaoxing wine. Would this work as a substitute?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi hailey,
      it’ll have a slightly different flavor, but it will definitely work!

  30. Nick Faulise says:

    I notice that some kaarage has a white, chunky, crispy, dust like finish on it. How do you get it that way and not just a solid coating?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi nick,
      it’s the way the coating sticks to the chicken, in some spots more potato starch will clump up and adhere and in other spots, it’ll just be a sort of dusting. potato starch on its own, you’ll find, tends to be clumpy so depending on how wet your chicken is in places will determine if it’s a solid coating or not. give your chicken a good shake after coating if you want to avoid a solid coating and toss very gently. hope that helps!

  31. Anna says:

    This looks amazing but I don’t have potato starch in the house. Would corn starch work?

    1. Stephanie says:

      yes, but it won’t have the same kind of crispiness. in a pinch, it’ll definitely work!

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