Discover the Secret to Crispy Chicken Karaage – A Step-by-Step Guide


Chicken Karaage, a beloved dish in Japanese cuisine, has a rich history that takes us back to Japan’s culinary tradition. This delicious meal has travel its origins in Japan to gain popularity all around the world. Known for its juicy inside and crispy outside, Chicken Karaage is a testament to the flavorful and diverse world of Japanese cooking.

Corn Starch for Chicken Karaage

Corn starch is highly preferred over flour or other starches when making Chicken Karaage because it plays a crucial role in achieving a light, crispy chicken batter. Unlike flour, which contains gluten, corn starch is gluten-free, contributing to a lighter and crispier texture. When chicken pieces are coated in corn starch before frying, the absence of gluten means that the coating absorbs less oil, ensuring that the chicken doesn’t become soggy. Furthermore, corn starch particles are smaller and more uniform, allowing them to create a seamless, crisp layer around the chicken that is hard to achieve with other coating materials. This quality makes corn starch an excellent choice for those seeking to perfect the texture of their Chicken Karaage, fulfilling the desire for that satisfying crunch with each bite.

Allow the Chicken to Rest After Coating in Corn Starch

  • Resting chicken coated in corn starch is crucial for better frying.
  • This step allows the corn starch to hydrate, absorbing any marinade fully.
  • Hydrated corn starch ensures the chicken cooks evenly.
  • This cooking technique prevents the coating from falling off during frying.
  • Ultimately, resting leads to a crispy and flavorful exterior.

Double Fry Chicken Karaage

Double frying is a cooking technique that ensures your crispy chicken stays crunchy for a longer time. Initially, the chicken is fried at a lower temperature to cook it thoroughly. After cooling slightly, it’s then fried again at a higher temperature. This method not only cooks the chicken perfectly inside but also gives it a golden, crispy exterior that lasts. Using the right cooking oil and adjusting frying temperatures are crucial steps in this process. The first round of frying is typically done at around 300°F (150°C), and the second round heats up to 375°F (190°C). This technique locks in the chicken’s flavours creating an irresistibly crunchy coating.

Skin on Boneless Chicken Thighs

  • The skin on chicken thighs is a popular choice for many because they add a delicious layer of flaflavour to the chicken.
  • Deboning chicken but leaving the skin on means you get the best of both worlds: easeasy-to-eatat without the bones and the tasty, crispy skin.
  • The skin helps keep the chicken moist and juicy during cooking, making for a more flavorful chicken experience.
  • When cooked properly, the skin on chicken thighs can become wonderfully crispy, adding a delightful texture contrast to the tender meat beneath.
  • Choosing skin-on boneless chicken thighs ensures your dishes have an added crunch and depth of flavour that skinless options might lack.

Recipe for Chicken Karaage

Making Chicken Karaage, the delicious Japanese fried chicken, at home is easier than you might think. Here’s a detailed recipe that includes steps for marinade preparation, coating, and frying. Follow these instructions, and you’ll be enjoying crispy and flavorful chicken in no time.

Marinade Ingredients and Quantities

Soy Sauce4 tablespoons
Mirin (Japanese sweet wine)2 tablespoons
Sake (Japanese rice wine)2 tablespoons
Grated Ginger1 tablespoon
Minced Garlic1 clove
Sugar1 teaspoon

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Prepare the Chicken: Start by cutting 500g of chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces. Chicken thighs are preferred for their juiciness.
  2. Marinate the Chicken: In a bowl, mix the marinade ingredients listed in the table above. Add the chicken pieces to the marinade, ensuring they’re all well-coated. Cover and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or better flavour, leave it overnight.
  3. Coat the Chicken: Once marinated, take each piece of chicken and coat it in corn starch. Make sure each piece is evenly covered. This coating is what gives Chicken Karaage its signature crispiness.
  4. Fry the Chicken: Heat oil in a deep fryer or a deep pan to 180°C (356°F). Carefully add the coated chicken pieces and fry them until they’re golden brown and fully cooked. This usually takes about 3-5 minutes depending on the size of the pieces.
  5. Serve: Drain the fried chicken on paper towels to remove excess oil. Serve your Chicken Karaage hot with lemon wedges or your favourite dipping sauce.


What makes Chicken Karaage different from other fried chickens?
Chicken Karaage is marinated in a mix of soy sauce, mirin, sake, ginger, and garlic, which gives it a unique flavour profile distinct from other fried chickens.

Can I use something other than corn starch for Chicken Karaage?
Yes, you can use potato starch as an alternative to corn starch for a slightly different texture.

What are the best dips for Chicken Karaage?
Mayonnaise, lemon juice, or a tangy tare sauce are popular dips that complement Chicken Karaage well.

How long should I marinate the chicken for Karaage?
Marinating the chicken for at least 1 hour or overnight will yield the best flavour and tenderness.

Is it necessary to double fry Chicken Karaage?
Double frying is not necessary but can enhance the crispiness of the Chicken Karaage.