Chicken Karaage |

Chicken Karaage

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: fried chicken, karaage
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 4
Author: Nami
Easy chicken karaage recipe with step by step photos. Japanese fried chicken typically uses boneless chicken and has a different texture from other fried chicken.


  • 5-10 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs (cut into 2 inch pieces, make sure each piece is about the same size so it takes about the same amount of time to deep fry.)
  • ¼ cup potato starch/cornstarch (Please adjust if necessary. If you use 10 chicken thighs, probably about ½ cup)
  • neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, canola, etc) (for deep frying)
  • 1-2 wedges lemons
  • Ichimi Togarashi (Japanese chili pepper) (optional)


  • ¼ onion (grated)
  • ½ Tbsp ginger (½ Tbsp = 1.5" ginger) (grated)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 Tbsp sake
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil (roasted)
  • 1 tsp kosher/sea salt (use half for table salt)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Green onion/scallion (to garnish, optional)


  1. Put chicken in a Ziploc bag and combine all the ingredients for Seasonings in a bowl and mix all together.
    Chicken Karaage 1
  2. Pour the Seasonings into the Ziploc bag and rub the chicken well with hands. Keep it in the fridge for at least 1 hour, preferably 3-4 hours.
    Chicken Karaage 2
  3. In a wok, add oil to about half way full and heat it on medium high heat. When you put a chopstick in the oil and bubbles start to appear around the tip, the oil temperature is now around 170C (338F) and ready for deep frying.
    Chicken Karaage 3
  4. When oil is ready, take out the Ziploc bag from the fridge and transfer the chicken into a bowl and discard the marinade (liquid). Then add potato starch and mix quickly. You don’t need to mix it evenly (as you see in the picture below). The uneven coating gives each piece its unique texture.
    Chicken Karaage 4
  5. Place each piece of chicken separately into the oil. Do not overcrowd the wok, fry maximum 5 pieces at a time. If you put a lot of chicken in the oil, the temperature will drop quickly and chicken end up absorbing too much oil. Make sure the oil temperature stays around 160 (320F) - 170C (338F) at all time. First, deep fry for 90 seconds. Then transfer the chicken onto a wire rack (if not, paper towel) to drain the oil for 4 minutes. Lastly, deep fry again at 180C (356F) for 45 seconds, or until golden brown.
    Chicken Karaage 5
  6. Transfer the chicken onto a wire rack to drain the oil. Before you start the next batch, skim/remove leftover crumbs from the oil in order to keep it clean.
  7. Serve the chicken with lemon wedges. Squeeze the lemon right before you eat. You can dip in Ichimi Togarashi if you enjoy spicy chicken.

Recipe Notes

If you like more garlicky flavor Chicken Karaage, click here for the recipe.

Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.