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Monday, January 07, 2008

Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Chicken Karaage 1

This recipe's been sitting in my queue for five months! I told you I had a huge backlog! Anyway, since Kirk of Mmm-yoso has been testing out several karaage recipes, I figured it was as good a time as any to do another tag-linking recipe. Or a not so dated tag-linking recipe anyway. :)

When I initially made this, a quick Google search turned up Elmo of Monster Munching's chicken karaage recipe. Hey! To paraphrase Kirk, two "Friends of" *ahem* W.C. turns into F.O.W.C. Don't say it out loud! This is a family blog! But you know you soooo want to be a F.O.W.C. now, don't you? ;)

I'm generally pretty bad at following recipes. I usually just do a quick scan for the ingredients, in this case, ginger, soy sauce, and sake, and then do my own thing.

This recipe is so simple, I didn't do much else except add garlic and substitute xiao hsing rice wine for the sake, and skip the double-frying.

 For comparison, I was going upon the flavors I remembered from Shogun Japanese Restaurant in Pasadena. Although, now that it's been so long, I don't really recall how either version tastes. I remember liking it though! The batter was also rather reminiscent of the popcorn chicken I order at tea houses, so I'll have to try this again someday with adding spices to see what I come up with.

Chicken Karaage 2

Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

You'll need:
2 boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 tsp salt
2 tblsp soy sauce
1 tblsp xiao hsing rice wine or mirin
1 tsp garlic powder, or 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp ginger powder, or 1 small knob of fresh ginger, grated and strained for juice
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 a cup or so of cornstarch

Add all the marinade ingredients together and leave the chicken pieces at room temperature for about half an hour to absorb.

Drain off marinade. Pour cornstarch into a shallow pan or dish. Take each chicken piece out of the marinade and roll them with the cornstarch until covered. Add more cornstarch if needed but you only want a light coating.

Heat wok to medium-high and deep fry until lightly golden. I served mine with honey mustard and sweet chili dipping sauces.


Who else made chicken karaage?
Elmo of Monster Munching got his chicken karaage recipe from someone going to culinary school in Japan.
Kirk of Mmm-yoso offers up his standard recipe along with an oyster sauce version.

Similar recipes:
Chicken Fingers
Dau Hu Chien (Vietnamese Fried Tofu)
Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
Taiwanese Popcorn Tofu

1 year ago today, I ruminated upon how I never realized rice paper can seem so complicated if you're not Vietnamese and offered up my recipe for Goi Cuon (Vietnamese Salad Rolls).


  1. Looks like your recipe resulted in tender chicken pieces! I like the sound of the marinade very much.

  2. Nikki,
    Yup! Very tender inside and crispy outside.

  3. Wow! I'm like the third hit for "chicken karaage"! Well, I shouldn't take the credit. It wasn't my recipe. But kudos on your version and also Kirk's. I like it when these blogger-biorythms are in sync.

  4. Elmo,
    If you misspell it like I initially did with two a's first, you're the very first hit! :)

  5. haha, nice! Another karaage recipe! You guys are really tempting me.

    lol, F.O.W.C.

  6. Nice snack for a hungry me, NOW! :O

  7. That ckicken looks crispy and good!

  8. oo..crispy on the outside and tender on the inside! nicely done!

  9. Looks nice, crisp and light! I love it we're your F.O.W.C.s...indeed. ;o)

  10. Christine,
    You're a FOWC. Hehe. Glad you noticed. ;)

    *Here ya go.* :)



    Hehe. I got the idea from you. Although I think FOY has lots of cache too. :)

  11. Mmm Japanese chicken nuggets :) Now that I have a deep fryer, maybe I'll make these the next time I have guests over!

  12. just made this last night with your directions - came out DELICIOUS! although next time i'll have to get better chicken to use. thanks!


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