One of my popular Japanese home cooking recipes is “Tender, Juicy, Crispy, Karaage CHicken Recipe”.
This bragging recipe that I have been using this recipe for years, and it always comes out tender, juicy, and crispy as the name suggested.
My husband loves my Japanese fried chicken known for Karaage or tori no karaage, it’s also a great game snack.
I can complain about my karaage recipe-the double coating process is a pain in the neck.
SO, I found out the easier method that you can skip the pain double coating process.
Even more, you can release from the pain coating process to rest chicken after coating.
Moreover, I also found the best flour to make Karaage super-crispy.
In my new recipe, I am telling you today, that you will be happy with fewer steps.
I am sorry for you who like my first Karaage recipe!!! It’s you can still make crispy Karaage chickens, though!
But, there are many tips to make savory Karaage chicken that I don’t talk about here so don’t skip reading the post later!
- The Coating Flour For Karaage Chicken
- Let The Coating Moistens Over 1 Hour After Coating
- Tip 3; Make The Piece Into A Ball (And My Apology)
The Coating Flour For Karaage Chicken
To make crispy karaage chicken, let’s talk about which flour to use.
I initially use the all-purpose flour and potato starch mix because I didn’t find the difference between Japanese and American standard wheat flour.
It may be not relevant, but the standard wheat flour for cooking in Japan is similar to cake flour in the US. Contrary, all-purpose flour in Japan is called “Churiki-ko”, which has the middle value of gluten content between cake flour and bread flour.
By the way, to make crispy deep-fried dishes, it is better to use flour with less-gluten content.
Thus, when compared to these two wheat flour, cake flour is better to use for deep-frying rather than all-purpose flour.
To make a long story to short, the best flour to make crispy fried chicken is “rice flour” or “the rice flour and the starch mix”.
However, here is the reason you may want to use the cake flour or “the cake flour and the starch mix” for the Japanese Karaage Chicken in a certain situation.
Coating Chicken With Cake Flour Only
Coating with cake flour only can bring “fluffy and juicy” Karaage chicken.
Cake (Wheat) flour can keep juicy umami flavor inside the meat since it sticks to the meat and hardly fall apart in the oil.
The coating color is golden brown rather than whitish, and the texture is fluffy and moist rather than crispy.
Also, the Cake (Wheat) flour can add flavor to the coating with its original natural flavor.
Since the cake flour coating sticks to the chicken and the flavor last longer, it is suitable for the party snack or the Obento item which it will be not served as soon as being cooked.
Coating Chicken With Potato Starch Only
To be precise, a deep-fried dish coated with potato starch only is called “Tatsuta Age” and is a little different name from Karaage chicken. (Tatsuta age is still in the Karaage family though.)
Karaage chicken coated with potato starch only will be whitish color and the texture will be crispy and light.
Despite Potato starch can make a light and crispy coating, the fried chicken will become sticky and mushy over time and even lose flavor.
Yet, you can get the light crispy fired chicken rather than the cake flour coating, so serve immediately after cooking when using the potato starch-only coating.
By the way, you can use corn starch instead of potato starch. It’s the same reason as well as cake flour, the standard starch sold in Japan is potato starch.
Use The Cake Flour And The Starch Mix
Mixing both advantages of cake flour and the starch can make crispy delicious Karaage chicken even the next day.
You can use an already-mix coating in the process, however, this double-step coating process can make crispier chicken although it needs a little effort to double coating.
If you want to try it, read my recipe later. read my recipe later.
The Best Flour For Karaage Chicken
Even though I talked about the cake flour and the starch…here is the best flour (I think) for the Karaage Chicken.
I used rice flour for deep-frying for the first time is actually a coincidence situation.
Since I purchased rice flour by mistake, I tried to use it for coating.
Then, I found it makes deep-fried food incredibly crispy.
Since then, I have been captivated by the rice flour magic!!
Since the rice flour is made from finely milled rice, you can coat the ingredients lightly.
The light coating can reduce absorbing oil, so it can bring a crispy and light texture.
What’s Rice Flour
Rice flour is a fine flour made from milled rice.
Since it is gluten-free and also brings several benefits to your healthy cooking!
For more details, read this post later.
Let The Coating Moistens Over 1 Hour After Coating
Another secret is resting chicken for at least 1 hour in a refrigerator after coating them with flour and rice flour.
I thought it was Taboo for making crispy fried chicken.
Of course, there is a certain reason.
By resting the meat in the refrigerator for over an hour, the coating powder absorbs excess juice and surprisingly it can help make the coat crispy.
Moreover, you can freeze them with a coating so it will be saving much time for the next time!
Tip 3; Make The Piece Into A Ball (And My Apology)
If you want to make super juicy karaage chicken, put a few chicken pieces together and roll them into a ball. The coating will work as glue so it is easy to roll them into a ball than expected. Besides, rolling them into a ball, you can make more juicy and bigger “Karaage” chicken. The tip is to wrap tiny pieces with bigger pieces. You need a little practice to get used to making a chicken ball, but it will not bother you once you get used to doing so. However, the frying time will be longer, and get a little bit hard to find out it is cooked through. So, this is an option. You can skip this process especially if you make karaage chicken for the first time.
Indeed, it takes longer to deep-fry compared with the non-roll chicken because of its size and volume.
It becomes very juicy (and bigger) Karaage chicken, but I do care about *the taste of coating inside a ball.
*A lump of flour that fits in the gap when rolled.
Honestly, I Apologize…
I apologize for making the piece into a ball with a sticky coating.
I had a bad texture of the dough inside the Karaage chicken piece a few times, so I shouldn’t have shared this tip.
As the result, it is better not to make pieces into a ball.
I am very sorry about this.
So Now, You Can Skip Double Step Coating!
In my first recipe, I do recommend double-step-coating and throwing them immediately in the oil to prevent the coating flour absorbs excess moisture from the meats.
This was the point that throws me away from making Japanese fried chicken.
Now, I can be released from that pain by using rice flour and the rest time for the coated chicken.
So, I really want to share this recipe ASAP!
- I didn’t add a beaten egg this time. You will see how a beaten egg works for Karage chicken by reading here.
- I recommend tenderizing the meat with my baking powder solution when using chicken breast. (How to tenderize the meat)
- Marinate chicken with seasonings for a maximum of 30 minutes since soy sauce (the sodium contained in the sauce) sucks the juice out and dry meat.
- You can use whole grain wheat flour or brown rice flour if liked. I tried whole grain wheat flour once, but I didn’t like the flavor much personally. But it didn’t bother my husband. (maybe he didn’t notice it. ) So it’s up to your taste.
- As the secret ingredient, add hondashi powder to infuse rich Japanese flavor.
Super Juicy, Tender, Crispy Japanese Fried Chicken With Rice Flour
- 2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
- 1 tsp grated fresh ginger or 2 tsp of ginger powder
- ½-1 tbsp grated fresh garlic
- ½-1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce (Kikkomann)
- 1 tbsp Roasted Sesame seed oil
- 1 tbsp Japanese sake white wine
- 1 tsp Ajinomoto hondashi powder optional
- 1 beaten egg *optional
- ¾-1 cup All-purpose flour
- ¾-1 cup Rice Flour
- If you use chicken breast meat, I recommend brining the meat in advance with my baking powder solution.
- Prep chicken. Trim up the meat if needed. How to remove skin & bones from thighs/How to trim up is in this video.
- Cut chicken into about 2.5-inch pieces, not too small to make juicy Karaage chicken.
- In the bowl, add cut-chicken, grated fresh ginger /garlic, black pepper, Japanese sake or wine, sugar, dark soy sauce, hondashi powder, roasted sesame seed oil.
- If you want to add beaten egg, add it to the bowl.*Adding a beaten egg makes the coating thicker and brings crunchy fried chicken when using rice flour. When using other powder, it makes fried chicken fluffier.
- Mix the meat and seasonings well.
- Marinate chicken for 15-30 minutes. *Avoid marinating the chicken for over 30 minutes. Soy Sauce can dry the meat and remove flavor.
- Add flour & rice flour in the bowl after marinating.
- Mix them well for coating evenly.
- Arrange the pieces individually on the baking sheet and cover them with plastic wrap. *Put pieces in a freezer bag and you can freeze it at this point if desired.
- Let the coating moisten in a refrigerator for about 1 hour.
- Prepare for deep-frying.Heat the oil to 320 F (160 C).
- Add the pieces to the oil in batches and deep-fry each for 3-4 minutes. (For breast meat, 2 minutes as a guide) In my way, I set the timer or stopwatch and keep my eyes on it.
- Remove the chicken to a rack and rest for about 5 minutes.
- Prepare for double-fry. Reheat the oil to 350F (180C).
- Return each piece back to the oil and fry for 1 minute and remove each on a rack.
- Cut a piece a half to make sure it is cooked.
- Serve the chicken with a lemon wedge or sweet chili sauce.
Use White Wine Instead Of Japanese Sake
Japanese sake has the effect of eliminating the unpleasant meat taste in chicken and tenderizing meat while adding umami flavor.
Besides, it helps to cook the meat quicker.
Japanese Sake plays many roles in Japanese cooking, it is one of the essential ingredients to make karaage chicken.
Yet, if you feel it is a little pricey to use for cooking, you can use white wine instead of sake.
The cooking tips to make super-crispy juicy karaage chicken added from my first recipe,
- Use Rice Flour instead of Potato starch
- Let the coating moistens in a fridge for about 1 hour
I felt so much better when I found my secrets, so I couldn’t wait to share them with you!
Use the baking powder solution as the meat tenderizer, and it works especially when you use chicken breast. The baking solution can bring moist and tender Karaage chicken.
It is optional, but Ajinomoto honadashi powder adds rich Japanese flavor to the Karaage chicken. By the way, what’s hondashi powder?