Learn two methods of frying that produce moist, flavorful, boneless, skinless chicken with a super-thin coating that's incredibly crispy and crunchy. Serve with lemon or lime wedges.

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Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary test

prep:
20 mins
additional:
1 hr 15 mins
cook:
10 mins
total:
1 hr 45 mins
Servings:
4
Yield:
4 servings
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Is this Japanese-style Fried Chicken the Best Fried Chicken?

When we talk about the greatest fried chicken recipes of all time, karaage has to be at or near the top of that list. This Japanese-style fried chicken is crispy, juicy, and intensely flavorful, which is even more impressive when you consider the fact that there is no skin or bones involved. However, not all karaage recipes are created equal, and the awesomeness is very much dependent on how and what you coat your chicken pieces in.

For me, that's pure potato starch. While I'm not known for my extensive, and exhaustive, recipe testing, I did many, many tests and experiments, using pretty much every possible combination of starch options; wheat flour, rice flour, cornstarch, et al., and potato starch was the winner. By the way, do not accidently buy potato flour, which is not the same thing, and will not work the same. If you can't find potato starch, which you can, I think cornstarch is the next best option.

Above and beyond the coating starch, the marinade also varies from recipe to recipe, but most contain what I've used here, give or take a splash of mirin, and you shouldn't hesitate to experiment with different ratios. No matter what you use, I think a 2-3 hours marinade is perfect, but like I said in the video, anywhere from 1 to 10 hours is considered appropriate. No matter how long your soak, I hope you find some potato starch, and give this incredible fried chicken a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients

4
Original recipe yields 4 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Mix garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sake, mirin, sesame oil, black pepper, cayenne, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl.

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  • Place chicken in the marinade and mix until thoroughly and evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 10 hours.

  • Set up your dredging station: Place a wire rack over a foil-lined baking sheet. Add potato starch to a wide, shallow bowl.

  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator. Stir to coat with marinade. Toss 2 or 3 pieces at a time in the potato starch until evenly coated. Shake off any excess starch and place chicken on the wire rack. Repeat to dredge remaining pieces.

  • Tap the rack on the baking sheet to remove any loose chunks of starch, then transfer the baking sheet and rack of chicken to the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes.

  • Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Without crowding, lower chicken carefully into the hot oil in batches. Fry, tossing occasionally, until cooked through and the outside is crunchy and browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Chef's Notes:

If you can't find mirin, you can use sake plus an extra teaspoon of white sugar. You can use cornstarch instead of potato starch, but don't use potato flour! It's not the same as potato starch.

For crispier, darker karaage that's made in two steps and great for a party, try the double-fry method! Follow instructions to Step 6. Fry chicken as directed in step 7, but only fry for 1 ½ to 2 minutes. Remove to a rack and let cool to room temperature. Finish by frying at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 2 more minutes. Chicken can be refrigerated until the second fry.

Editor's Note:

We have determined the nutritional value of oil for frying based on a retention value of 10% after cooking. The exact amount will vary depending on cooking time and temperature, ingredient density, and specific type of oil used.

Nutrition Facts

2263 calories; fat 225.8g; cholesterol 117.8mg; sodium 921.4mg; carbohydrates 32g; protein 29g. Full Nutrition
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Reviews

Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2022
I'm loving this Karate recipe. Thanks Chef John! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2022
O captain, my captain! I made a double order of this truly awesome chicken for my family of five just tonight and there were no survivors. I was really impressed with how easy this was to make and how flavorful and juicy it came out. This was my first time frying chicken and I felt more like a man than I had in ages! Thank you, Chef John! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/21/2022
I do not like chicken nuggets, but these are perfectly heavenly. I have made them 3 times and made his honey-mustard sauce with syrup instead of honey. yummy Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2022
Very pleased to be the first to review this recipe. I saw Chef John’s Karaage Chicken video recipe last week and immediately ordered potato starch, sake, and miren to try it out. It was worth the investment, because this is some of the crispiest and most savory chicken I’ve ever had. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2022
Good as presented. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2022
Looks good but have you tried using an air fryer to get the job done? That might be interesting to see if that would work as well. Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2022
This was delicious! Crispy, flavorful and juicy. Made a dipping sauce out of Kewpie mayo, chile garlic sauce, honey and lime juice. I'll be making a sandwich out of the (very little) leftovers. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/19/2022
Made this last night. Only fried it once. It came out so spectacular! Highly recommend. I subbed white cooking wine for the Mirin and Sake. I must say, we eat a lot of chicken tenders and nuggets in my home and always with some sort of sauce. These, on the other hand, need nothing. The flavor is amazing! Thanks Chef John! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/18/2022
This was just delicious and so easy to do. It’s often hard to find new things that please everyone in my house, but this had us going back for seconds (and even thirds). Read More