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The easiest fried chicken yet
Milk Street Bowtie Japanese Fried Chicken (Karaage)

Japanese Fried Chicken (Karaage)

1 hour 45 minutes

Free

We usually prefer a wand-style grater for fresh ginger, but here the larger holes of a box grater were best; it was easier to squeeze juice from the thicker pulp. The chicken's distinctive tang came from shichimi togarashi—a Japanese rice seasoning with chili pepper, roasted orange peel, sesame seeds, seaweed and ginger. It's widely available in Asian markets. Tamari is a gluten-free Japanese soy sauce with a darker color and bolder flavor than other soy sauces, but any soy sauce will work. A large pot or Dutch oven (at least 6 quarts) was essential for frying. 

3 -ounce chunk unpeeled fresh ginger, coarsely grated
1/4 cup sake
1/4 cup tamari
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (1 to 2 lemons)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each trimmed and cut into thirds
227 grams (2 cups) cornstarch
1 tablespoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese rice seasoning)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 quarts peanut or vegetable oil
For the Chicken
  • 3

    -ounce chunk unpeeled fresh ginger, coarsely grated

  • ¼

    cup sake

  • ¼

    cup tamari

  • 1

    tablespoon grated lemon zest (1 to 2 lemons)

  • 2

    pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each trimmed and cut into thirds

  • 227

    grams (2 cups) cornstarch

  • 1

    tablespoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese rice seasoning)

  • 1

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2

    quarts peanut or vegetable oil

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Japanese Fried Chicken (Karaage)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

1 hour 45 minutes

Tip

Don’t let the chicken sit for longer than an hour after coating it before frying. It will get gummy.

For the Chicken
  • 3

    -ounce chunk unpeeled fresh ginger, coarsely grated

  • ¼

    cup sake

  • ¼

    cup tamari

  • 1

    tablespoon grated lemon zest (1 to 2 lemons)

  • 2

    pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each trimmed and cut into thirds

  • 227

    grams (2 cups) cornstarch

  • 1

    tablespoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese rice seasoning)

  • 1

    teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2

    quarts peanut or vegetable oil

Step 1 of 3

Prepare the chicken

3
-ounce chunk unpeeled fresh ginger, coarsely grated
¼
cup sake
¼
cup tamari
1
tablespoon grated lemon zest (1 to 2 lemons)
2
pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, each trimmed and cut into thirds

To make the chicken, gather the ginger in your hands and squeeze as much juice as possible into a large bowl. Add the ginger solids to the bowl and stir in the sake, tamari and lemon zest.


Add the chicken and stir to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Step 2 of 3

Make the cornstarch mixture and dredge the chicken

227
grams (2 cups) cornstarch
1
tablespoon shichimi togarashi (Japanese rice seasoning)
1
teaspoon ground black pepper

Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet. In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, shichimi togarashi and pepper. Working 1 piece at a time, remove the chicken from the marinade, letting excess drip off, then dredge in the cornstarch mixture, pressing evenly to adhere on all sides. Transfer to the rack and refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

Step 3 of 3

Fry the chicken, plate, and serve

2
quarts peanut or vegetable oil

In a 7-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil to 375ºF. Add a third of the chicken to the hot oil and fry, stirring to prevent sticking, until the chicken is deep golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a clean wire rack, return the oil to 375ºF and repeat twice with the remaining chicken. Serve with our tamari dipping sauce.

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