This time around, I wanted to share a recipe that reminds me of the time I spent living in Japan, which was during a pivotal time in my life. The dish brings back fond memories about when I met the love of my life and how my life changed forever. I got married, started a family, and traveled around Japan visiting ancient shrines and castles, and sampling amazing foods.
One of our favorite adventures as a couple was to visit the many local fairs and festivals hosted throughout the year. During this time is when I met my second love, Tori Karaage (Japanese fried chicken). Tori means chicken and Karaage means fried in oil.
I created this recipe from memory based on what the dish tasted like during our time in Kobe, Japan. What I love about this dish is that you can enjoy it when it's hot right out of the deep fryer or served cold like many fried chicken dishes.
The spicy mayonnaise sauce is optional. For me, I like the extra spice and flavor kick the spicy mayonnaise adds to the dish. Lemon is also a key ingredient to use right before serving the dish to elevate the flavors.
The secret to having crispy chicken is to use a mix of potato starch and flour. If the flour is used by itself, the chicken won't be as crispy. Potato starch can be found at most Asian markets or via online. Another shortcut is to substitute corn starch for the potato starch.
For optimum results, I like to marinate the chicken for 48 hours because it's worth the wait!
Attached is a link to my Youtube video on how to make this recipe: https://youtu.be/hEA2uchkPOw
I hope you enjoy making and eating this dish as much as I do!
Serves about 4
Preparation time is 30 minutes
Cooking items Need
Deep fryer or a way to fry your chicken
Oil for your fryer
A deep fryer works best but you can use a large pot on the stove if you're careful.
1 gallon ziplock bag, (either a bowl or large enough food storage container to hold it)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ ounces fresh ginger, grated or pureed
2 tablespoons fresh garlic, chopped
1 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
1 ½ tablespoons sake (warm up the rest and drink it with the finished Karaage)
1 ½ tablespoons pure sesame oil
1 ½ tablespoons white sugar
1 ½ pounds chicken thighs, boneless and mostly skinless
24-48 hours to marinate the chicken (it will soak up all the individual flavors and it will be worth the wait)
Method for Marinating Chicken
•Use either a ziplock bag or large bowl and mix together the salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, and sugar. Let the mixture rest for a few minutes until sugar dissolves.
•Trim the chicken as little or as much as you would like (I tend to leave some skin on, so the chicken will be crispy).
•Cut the chicken into 1 – 1 ½ inch cubes.
•Add chicken to marinade and stir to ensure each piece is evenly coated.
•Place in refrigerator to marinate for 24-48 hours (closer to 48 hours allows for more flavor to penetrate the chicken meat. During this time, make sure to rotate the chicken in the marinade 2 to 3 times to ensure all of the flavors are well-blended and the meat is evenly coated.
1 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons Sriracha or more if you like it spicy
1 lemon, to squeeze over the chicken after it's cooked
Method for Spicy Mayonnaise Sauce
nMix together and reserve in the refrigerator.
2 cups potato starch
½ cup flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Method For Flour Mixture
•Mix together in an extra large bowl (large enough to hold the flour and to toss the chicken around so it's evenly coated).
Cooking the Karaage
A deep fryer works best, but it can be done in a large sauté pan or large pot filled with oil - if you are careful. The best way to cook the chicken is in small batches, so you don't overload the oil or cause the oil to cool with too much chicken in the pan. This will also result in longer cooking times.
nHeat the oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F.
•When using a deep dish sauté pan or soup pot, place about half an inch of vegetable oil, or enough to cover the chicken half way.
•Fry the chicken using medium high heat. Before adding the chicken, make sure the oil is hot. If it starts to smoke, it's too hot. If the chicken does not sizzle when you place it in the oil, then the oil is not hot enough (if preferred, you can begin with a smaller amount of oil so long as you can fry one side and then flip it over and fry the other side. Adding more oil as needed).
•Add the chicken to the flour mixture and toss until evenly coated.
•Shake off any excess flour mixture and fry for about 5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. The chicken should be a nice golden brown color.
•Place on a serving platter or on wooden skewers. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top and serve.
•The optional spicy mayonnaise can be served on the side as a dipping sauce or drizzled over the top of the chicken.