To make crispy karaage chicken, it is very important how to coat them and which powder you use.
In my first recipe, I use all-purpose flour and potato starch before I found the secret weapon.
Let me talk about what types of flour you should use and how it works to make karaage chicken delicious.
Depending on the purpose of Karaage chicken, you can use three different ways for coating chicken.
Wheat Flour Only
Potato Starch Only (technically it is called “Tatsuta Age”.)
Wheat Flour + Potato Starch
Coating Chicken With Wheat Flour Only
Coating with wheat flour only can bring “fluffy and juicy” Karaage chicken.
Wheat flour can keep juicy umami flavor inside the meat since it adheres to the surface of the meat and is hardly peeled apart in the oil.
The karaage chicken color is going to be golden brown, and the texture is fluffy and moist rather than crispy.
Also, the wheat flour as it has a slightly original flavor, so the karaage chicken will be more flavorful compared with other powders I explain below.
*Personally, the karaage chicken coated with whole-grain flour wasn’t great because of the original flavor of several grains.
Because the wheat flour coating keeps flavor even after cooking, this way is actually recommended for a lunch box, party, or pot rack party, that you don’t eat karaage chicken right away after cooking.
Coating Chicken With Potato Starch Only
To be precise, chicken (foods) that are coated with potato starch-only is called “Tatsuta Age” as categorized different dish in Japanese cuisine.
Coating the chicken with potato starch-only and deep-fry it, fried chicken will be white and crispy, light texture.
Potato starch can make a light and crispy coating, but, the fried chicken will become sticky over time even lose flavor.
So, it is best to eat it freshly cooked.
Coating Chicken With Wheat Flour & Potato Starch
Using both wheat flour and potato starch brings each advantage to make yummy karaage chicken.
If you want to know how to coat chicken with both powders, read my recipe later.
Tip 1; What Is The Secret Karaage Powder To Make It Super Crispy
I used rice flour for deep-frying for the first time is actually from a coincidence situation.
Since I purchased rice flour by mistake, I tried to use it for coating.
Then, I found it make 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 ingredients lightly.
The light coating can reduce absorbing oil, so it can bring crispy and light texture.
It is OK to use rice flour-only to make karaage chicken.
But, I want to make karaage chicken with flavor, juicy, heavy, but light and crispy, I use wheat flour and rice flour mix for Karaage chicken.
Tip 2; 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 more 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 solutin when using chicken breast. (How to tenderize 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 Crispy, Tender, Juicy Japanese Karage Chicken With Rice Flour
Arranged the tender, juicy, crispy Karaage recipe to the super crispy, tender, juicy Karaage recipe!
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.
*This recipe has edited in January 2022.*My baking powder solution for tenderizing meat in this post.