Chicken karaage is a very juicy and tasty dish in Japan. Karaage is actually one of the Japanese cooking techniques which is deep-fried in oil. You can karaage meat or fish as well. I will introduce the most common karaage dish, chicken karaage. What is the sauce for chicken Karaage? For the chicken karaage dipping sauce, I made a spicy chili mayonnaise sauce. But you can simply eat the chicken karaage with no dipping sauce, or squeezing only lemon juice over, or only mayonnaise. Since karaage is already pre-seasoned before deep-frying.

Ingredients (2 plates):

  • 3 boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon of grated ginger or ginger paste
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of *sake
  • 3 tablespoons of *Katakuriko
  • 1 tablespoon of flour
  • 3/4 deep vegetable oil of your deep-frying pan

For the chicken karaage dipping sauce

  • 1 tablespoon of *Japanese mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon of *hot sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of *Shichimi togarashi

For the condiment and the side dish

  • 1/4 lemon
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/8 cabbage

*Sake is an alcoholic Japanese rice wine which is made by fermenting rice.
*Katakuriko is a potato starch.
*Japanese mayonnaise is made of egg yolks, not whole eggs, and has a thicker texture and taste than Western mayo.
*Hot sauce is a chili sauce.
*Shichimi togarashi is chili flakes.

-> See pictures A, B, C, D, and E.

Picture A: *Sake
Picture B: *Katakuriko
Picture C: *Japanese mayonnaise
Picture D: *Hot sauce
Picture E: *Shichimi togarashi

Here is how to make it at home. Total cooking time is about 40 - 50 minutes (Marinating time: 20 minutes).

  1. Cut chicken thighs into bite size chunks, poke the chicken thighs with a fork a few times, and put them into a resealable plastic bag. Grate garlic or cut the garlic into small pieces. Put the garlic and the shredded ginger or ginger paste into the bag. Put soy sauce and *Sake into the bag. Mix up, marinate them and leave in a refrigerator for 20 minutes. -> See picture F.
Picture F
  1. Meanwhile, put *Japanese mayonnaise, *hot sauce and *Shichimi togarashi into small bowls or deep plates and mix thoroughly as a Karaage dipping sauce. Put them in a refrigerator until it’s ready to be served. -> See picture G.
Picture G
  1. Heat vegetable oil in a deep-frying pan with medium heat and up to 180 degrees Celsius (356 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Shred cabbage and cut lemon into wedges and set aside. Prepare bottom flat containers with kitchen paper towels for using later.
  3. Put *Katakuriko and flour into the bag from step 1. Mix thoroughly. -> See pictures H and I.
Picture H
Picture I
  1. After the oil temperature reaches enough, put chicken thighs into the deep-frying pan. Heat for 2 minutes, flip over and heat 2 more minutes or until the chicken thighs are golden brown and fully cooked. -> See picture J and K.
Picture J
Picture K
  1. Remove from heat and put the chicken thighs on the bottom flat containers from step 4. Pat and remove excess oils from the chicken thighs using by the kitchen paper towels. -> See picture L.
Picture L
  1. Put the lemon, cherry tomatoes, shredded cabbage and the chicken karaage on a plate. Put the karaage dipping sauce on the side. When you eat the chicken karaage, squeeze the lemon juice over the karaage and dip it into the sauce.