What is Tori Karaage? The most delicious Japanese fried chicken (JFC), that’s what it is.
Like a number of Japanese recipes, Tori Karaage is relatively simple to make. Only a handful of ingredients used, with the most complicated stage being the frying. I say that due to having met quite a few people that are afraid of frying. Don’t be, invest in an oil splatter screen and make sure the ingredients you are frying are as dry as possible. It is water/moisture that will make your oil splatter.
As mentioned this recipe is very easy. Chicken thigh pieces are marinated before lightly tossing in katakuriko powder, and then fried until golden. Simply served with some lemon wedges and a side bowl of Japanese mayonnaise.
You are probably wondering what Katakuriko powder is. Katakuri is a lily native to Japan and Korea. The bulb of the lily is used to make katakuriko powder or flour. These days it is pretty hard to come across actual katakuriko powder and packages labeled as such, are generally potato starch.
Use of Katakuriko also makes these golden nuggets of ecstasy gluten free, perfect for those that have an intolerance.
If you have a deep fryer I recommend using that. If not, shallow frying in a pan works just as well, and in fact, that’s how I cook mine.
If you are unsure regarding cooking sake, it's all explained here.
- 500 grams chicken thigh de-boned and cut into 5cm pieces
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon sake see my notes on cooking sake
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger including any juice
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- Katakuriko potato starch to toss thigh pieces in
- In a medium size bowl place, soy sauce, mirin, sake, grated ginger and sugar. Mix well and when combined add chicken pieces. Coat well with marinade, and place chicken in the fridge to marinade for at least an hour.
- Remove chicken from marinade, drain well.
- Heat oil in a large pot or high-sided pan (around 3 cups). Heat oil to around 180 degrees Celsius. Your oil will be hot enough when a cube of bread browns in 20 seconds.
- Place katakuriko (potato starch) in a clean medium size bowl. Toss a few pieces of chicken in the katakuriko at a time, then gently add to the temperature ready oil for frying. Remove when chicken is golden and cooked through. Repeat this process in small batches until all the chicken is fried.
- Serve sprinkled with salt, lemon wedges and Japanese mayonnaise.