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Japanese Fried chicken (Karaage Chicken)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Marinating Time
1 hr
Total Time
25 mins

Recipe Video Above. One of the most popular Japanese dishes, not only within japan but abroad, karaage chicken is pretty easy to make as long as you don't mind deep frying. Just marinate the chicken, toss in flour and deep fry. Simple as that. The key is double frying so that the chicken becomes crunchy outside and juicy inside.

Prep time does not include 30 min-1 hour to marinate chicken.

Recipe Type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: karaage, karaage chicken, karaage recipe
Serves: 2
Calories: 523 kcal
Author: Yumiko
Ingredients (tbsp=15ml, cup=250ml)
  • 350g/12.3oz chicken thigh fillets , cut into large bite size pieces (Note 1)
  • 20g/0.7oz corn flour (corn starch)
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1/2 tsp mirin (Note 2)
  • 2 tsp freshly grated ginger including juice
Garnish (optional)
  • Shredded lettuce or cabbage
  • Parsley stem
  1. Pat chicken pieces dry with paper towel. Put the chicken and the Marinade ingredients into a zip lock bag or a bowl.

  2. Toss chicken inside the bag well ensuring that all pieces are coated with the marinade. Marinate for 30 min-1 hour.

  3. 1. Heat enough oil in a deep pot or pan to 160C/320F (note 3).
 The depth of oils is about 3-4cm/1¼-1½”.

  4. Meanwhile, drain excess marinade from the chicken, place the chicken pieces on paper towels to remove excess liquid and put in a bowl. Sprinkle over the corn flour and turn chicken to coat every piece.

  5. Fry chicken in batches. Add several chicken pieces to the oil one by one and fry for about 2.5-3 minutes (note 4).

  6. Take the chicken pieces out of the oil and rest for at least 3-4 minutes (note 5) on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.

  7. Skim any flour crumbs from the oil if there are any and increase the temperature of the oil to 190-200C/374-392F (note 3).

  8. Put the chicken pieces back into the oil in batches and fry for 1-2minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces.

  9. Serve immediately with shredded lettuce and parsley for decoration if using.
Recipe Notes

1. I cut chicken thigh into about 5 x 4cm/2 x 1.6". You can make it smaller or slightly larger. Then cooking time would need to be adjusted.

2. Sugar can be substituted for mirin. The sweetness of sugar vs mirin is 2:1 so use 1/4 teaspoon of sugar. Make sure you mix the marinade well to dissolve.

3. I don't normally use a thermometer to check the temperature of the oil. I dip a pair of chopsticks in the oil and check the approximate temperature. If tiny bubbles are quietly forming around the chopsticks, then it is about 160-165C/320-329F, if larger bubbles are quickly coming up, it is 180-190C/356-374F.

4. To maintain the temperature of the oil do not over crowd the oil with too many chicken pieces. I used a 20cm/8" pot and deep fried in 2 batches with no more than 5-6 chicken pieces at once.

5. While resting, the chicken continues to cook slowly resulting in tender juicy chicken.

6. If you are making a large amount of karaage chicken, hold the fried chicken in the oven. Before frying the chicken, turn the oven on to around 80-100C (176-212F). As you finish frying the chicken pieces for the second time, keep them on the tray in the oven while you fry others.

7. Nutrition information assumes that the vegetable oil absorbed into the fried chicken is about 8% of the weight of the chicken. Garnish is not included.
Originally published in September 2016. The video added and contents updated to focus on cooking. The new section Meal Ideas is also added.