Japanese fried chicken bites (karaage)

Japanese fried chicken bites (karaage)

Photo: Eric Putz

Training: 15 minutes
Cooking: 20 minutes
Waiting: 1 hour
Makes 6 servings


  • 450 g boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into 5 cm (2 in) pieces (1 lb)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 C. spoon ginger, minced
  • 1 C. spoon of sake or sherry
  • 2 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 C. sesame oil
  • 1 C. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • frying oil
  • 60 ml potato or cornstarch (1/4 cup)
  • 60 ml rice flour (1/4 cup)
  • sea ​​salt flakes (optional)
  • 80 ml Japanese Kewpie mayonnaise or other mayonnaise (1/3 cup) (optional)
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges


  1. In a medium bowl, combine the chicken pieces, garlic, ginger, sake, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Pour 2 inches (5 cm) of oil into a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium to high heat until the oil reaches 175°C (350°F) – check the temperature with a frying thermometer or, ideally, use a deep fryer. Adjust the heat to maintain this temperature.
  3. Place the rack on a baking sheet.
  4. In a large bowl, mix potato starch and flour. Add the chicken pieces with their marinade and mix well. Fry 5 or 6 pieces of chicken until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain the water and put on the grill. Sprinkle with sea salt flakes, if desired. Repeat the same with the rest of the chicken, frying 5 or 6 pieces at a time. Serve with Kewpie mayonnaise if you like and lemon wedges.


Fried chicken pieces can also be served with miso mayonnaise. Here is the prescription. In a bowl, mix 80 ml (1/3 cup) mayonnaise with 1/2 tsp. miso paste and 1/2 tsp. Sesame oil. Sprinkle with finely chopped green onions and black sesame seeds.