Chicken & Poultry · Food · Main Meals · Recipe

1-2-3 Karaage! Japanese Popcorn Chicken

Everyone has that one dish they cook to impress people, and this is mine. Moist and succulent on the inside, crazy crunchy on the outside, and intensely flavoured, if I am entertaining (or if Ben and I are having a lazy movie day) this is my go to recipe.

I first discovered Karaage (also known as Japanese Popcorn Chicken) over ten years ago at a small rather (then) trendy restaurant in Brisbane’s fringe. It was love at first bite! Deliciously crunchy with a perfect balance of flavours, Karaage is normally served with a teriyaki sauce, though I have always preferred it served simply with Kewpie Mayonnaise (Japanese mayo).

Unfortunately, not all karaage is made equal and it is the simpler recipes that always knocked it out of the ball park – some places get a bit crazy. Once I had karaage served with Thousand Island Dressing (huh?) and another time it had Turmeric in it (again, huh?). That’s why this recipe will do well by you as it is simplicity at it’s best – 1, 2 3, Karaage! 1 tbsp minced ginger, 2 tbsp cooking sake, 3 tbsp soy sauce.

As this recipe is deep-fried, there is a little bit of mess involved, and a bit of time standing around waiting for the pieces to cook a few at a time – so not the best recipe if you’re in a rush. Remember, when deep-frying food you don’t want to overcrowd the hot oil in the pot or it will take considerably longer to cook and may end up quite soggy. I like to keep at least 2-3 inches between items frying. I like to twice-cook my karaage as it means it’s crunchier, but if you only want to fry it once, just leave it in the oil until a deep golden colour is achieved.

karaage 1.png

What Will I Need?

500g chicken thigh, diced
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cooking sake (or mirin)
1 tbsp minced ginger
1/2 cup cornflour
vegetable oil

What Now?

  1. Marinate the chicken in soy, sake and ginger for at least an hour.
  2. Add cornflour to chicken and mix through until well combined.
  3. Heat 1-1.5 inches of oil in a heavy based pot over medium high heat.
  4. Cover a wire rack with absorbent kitchen towel.
  5. Fry small batches (about 4-5 pieces) for 2-3 minutes or until golden, and transfer to the wire rack.
  6. Repeat step 5, frying the chicken a second time for a further 2-3 minutes or until a deep golden brown.
  7. Serve with Kewpie mayonnaise or teriyaki dipping sauce.

xx bry jaimea short cute compact


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