Karaage is Japanese style fried chicken (two words: kara age). It is a great appetizer for your drinks, kids (and adult) friendly dinner, and also a perfect small dish for your lunch box. Japanese Karaage is usually seasoned with garlic and ginger along with soy sauce, coated lightly with flour, and deep fried. Because of the oil, it may not be the healthiest Japanese food but it’s certainly a very popular one in Japan.
Karaage means deep fried food with no batter in Japanese, so you could also call fried fish Karaage. However, if it is not specified, it usually means chicken. You can get Karaage absolutely anywhere in Japan. Izakaya, Japanese bars, serve a lot of little appetizers (like Tapas restaurants), and Karaage is a staple dish there. Hot delis in supermarkets have freshly fried chicken pieces for people to take home. Even convenience stores today sell Karaage for snacks (7-11 is everywhere in Japan too.)
Although you can find Karaage many places, it is easily made at home too. Ingredients are very simple and found in any markets. Serve hot with freshly squeezed lemon juice which helps to cut grease (unfortunately not calories).
- 4 chicken thighs
- 2 Tbsp Sake
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1-2 tsp garlic, grated
- 1-2 tsp ginger, grated
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup corn starch
- salt and pepper
- oil for deep frying
- Cut a chicken thigh into 3-4 pieces. In a medium size bowl, mix Sake, soy sauce, salt, garlic and ginger with chicken. Let it sit for 1/2-1 hour.
- Mix flour, corn starch and some salt and pepper in another bowl. Coat marinated chicken pieces with flour mixture.
- Heat oil at medium high heat (350F). Deep fry for 5-8 minutes depending on the size of meat.