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Classic Japanese Karaage Chicken Recipe: How To Make It Crispy

classic, authentic, Japanese fried chicken, Karaage chicken, recipe Food & Recipes

Japanese-style fried chicken called Karaage chicken is the most popular comfort food.

Today, you can find greasy deliciously Karaage chicken at home, at Izakayas, at food trucks, convenience stores, and literally, everywhere in Japan.

“Kara-age” originally refers to the deep-fried dishes made of chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetable that are coated with a powder such as flour and starch, but, in most cases, Karaage refers to “Karaage chicken” in Japan since it’s the staple deep-fried food.

*It is often called “Tori karaage”-Tori means chicken in Japanese.

The Karaage chicken is not difficult to make despite the kitchen going to be a mess and use many pieces of equipment enough to fill up a dishwasher.

Japanese fried chicken aka Karaage chicken, you’ll absolutely love this addictive gingery soy-sauce hint fried chicken!

It is my husband’s favorite Japanese dish, and also our guests give me compliments.

Tender, juicy and crispy fried chicken.

What’s The Difference Between Fried Chicken And Karaage Chicken

The main difference between fried chicken and Karaage chicken is often described as the difference in coating and seasonings.

The basic fried chicken recipe is marinating chicken in batter milk, and coating it with beaten eggs and seasoned flour.

Marinate The Chicken For Karaage

By the way, batter milk is not available in Japan. Besides, most of the Japanese (outside of those who live in other countries) don’t know what batter milk is.

So?, we marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, ground ginger& garlic, soy sauce, and other condiments for a minimum of 30 minutes to overnight.

Coating For Karaage Chicken

Japanese Karaage chicken is coated with unseasoned flour since the meat is fully seasoned.

Since the chicken is enough to moisten to adhere with flour so the beaten egg is not needed to coat the chicken.

Also, potato starch is mixed in the coating to enhance the crispy coating.

The Chicken For Karaage Chicken

Karaage chicken is commonly made of boneless thighs and/or breasts, which is simply boneless thigh is the standard in Japan.

Since it’s boneless, the frying time is shorter compared with bone-in meat.

How do you make boneless thighs?

If you like light and healthier (lower calories) choose breasts.

However, we often suffer from dry tasteless deep-fried chicken breast, so don’t forget to brine chicken breast in batter milk or my best baking powder solution (in this post) overnight.

Add Eggs For Karaage Chicken?

Whether add eggs in the seasoning process while some Japanese Karaage recipe says.

Adding a beaten egg helps it adhere to the meat.

Also, the beaten egg can protect the meat from drying and keep the flavor inside while seasoning since the soy sauce and salt often cause dried meat.

Karaage chicken that added the egg will be fluffier rather than crispy, and the taste will last longer even if you eat it the next day.

Therefore, it is a great tip when serving Karaage chicken for a party or as an item in a lunch box.

Yet, you can still make Japanese Karaage chicken without adding eggs.

What Do You Use For Karaage Chicken Coating

Depending on the types of coating, the flavor and texture will be varied.

Generally, the mixture of wheat flour and potato starch is preferred to make Karaage chicken.

Adding the starch to wheat flour brings a “crispy” texture.

Contrary, Karaage chicken coated wheat flout only will be fluffier and slightly flavorful since the wheat flour has its natural taste.

This way is often preferred for situations where the fried chicken is not served as freshly cooked because the flour coating keeps flavor and grease inside.

On the other hand, Karaage chicken coated with the starch only will be crispy and light, however, the crispiness will not last long.

Besides, it easily comes off the meat while deep-frying and makes the oil mess.

(By the way, the fried dish made of the potato starch coating is called TATSUTA AGE.)

Thus, by mixing both powders together, you can make crispy, juicy, and tasty Karaage chicken.

In addition, I recommend using cake flour rather than all-purpose flour to make the coating lighter and crispier.

Just combining the cake flour and the potato starch (you can use corn starch) is no problem, yet, here is the tip to make the supreme crispy Karage chicken.

2-step coating.

I know, I know, it is pain in the neck, but, this is the best way so far until I found the rice flour is much easier!

(whoopsy! is you want to know about it, check out here!)

classic, authentic, Japanese fried chicken, Karaage chicken, recipe

Classic Japanese Karaage Chicken Recipe: How To Make It Crispy

Rico McConnellRico McConnell
The classic Karaage Chicken recipe- everyone can make Japanese-style fried chicken at home. Crispy and juicy, it's sure to be a family favorite. Despite there's no need for a long marinade in buttermilk like classic fried chicken, yet, I recommend marinating the chicken in buttermilk, Shio-koji, or the baking powder solution, especially when using chicken breast meat. The two-step coating process can bring the best crispy Karaage chicken, besides using cake flour instead of all-purpose flour. (and mix starch.)
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 6 servings


  • 2 lb boneless chicken thighs or breasts
  • Cooking oil (for deep-fry)


  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp of ginger powder)
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh garlic
  • 1/2 -1 tsp grated black pepper (or white pepper)
  • 1 tbsp Japanese sake or white wine
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp Toasted Sesame oil (olive oil, vegetable oil)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce (Kikkomann)
  • 1 egg *Optional


  • 1/3 cup Cake Flour
  • 1/3 – 2/3 cup Potato starch or corn starch


Prepare Chicken

  • Trim excess fat and tendon if needed.
  • Cut chicken into bite-size, about 2-3-inch wide pieces.(about 1.4oz, 40-50-g), don't cut too small, to make juicy Karaage chicken.
  • Season the chicken. In a large bowl, add the meat and seasonings (grated ginger, grated garlic, black pepper, Japanese sake (or white wine), sugar, soy sauce, roasted sesame oil), and combine them well.
    *Add egg optionally.
    The reason for adding the egg, read the post.
    massage chicken
  • Allow the chicken to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
    *Avoid marinating the chicken for over a half-hour since soy sauce dries the meat out.

Coat The Chicken

  • Prepare cake flour and potato starch in each bowl.
  • Place the chicken pieces on a baking pan, and tap dry them with paper towels.
  • Coat all chicken pieces with cake flour. Remove excess flour each time.
  • After completing to coat all pieces with the cake flour, coat each pieces with the starch.

Cook The Chicken

  • Preheat the oil to 320F (160℃).
  • Fry the chicken, a few pieces at a time, for about 3 minutes.
  • Remove the fried chicken and cool them on a rack. Repeat for the remaining pieces.
  • Reheat the oil to 350 F (180℃).
  • Fry the chicken for 1 minute. Be careful of the oil splattering.
  • Transfer the chicken to the rack.


©Japanmcconnell/Rico McConnell- Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited.
Keyword Chicken, Deep-fry, Holiday, Izakaya, meat, Nibbles, sesame oil, Soy sauce, Traditional

You Can Freeze Karaage Chicken In Coating With My Karaage Chicken Recipe2

Do you wanna also skip the coating process?

Surprisingly, you can freeze Karaage chicken in the coating when you read this recipe!

Karaage Sauce Ideas

Karaage chicken is already flavorful, so generally, you don’t need a dipping sauce. Yet, it is often served with a fresh lemon wedge.

My husband uses “Sweet chili sauce” and “Chinese garlic chili oil” for his taste.

Japanese Mayonnaise lovers called Mayolaah like dipping Karaage chicken in Japanese Mayo.

I recommend The Easy Japanese aurora sauce for kids, which is made of ketchup and Japanese mayo.

Besides, Japanese tartar sauce is also a popular dipping sauce item for Karaage chicken.

My husband loves drizzling Japanese Layu on Kraage Chicken. If you like sesame oil and spicy food, make homemade Layu!


Fried chicken has been loved worldwide, and Japanese fried chicken as well.

There are countless recipes for “Karaage Chicken” even in several languages, enjoy your journey to find your ultimate Karaage recipe.

Even I have tried so many recipes to complete my mission, which is making the ultimate tender, juicy, and crispy “Karaage chicken” for my husband.

(He loves Karaage more than I.)

So far, we are satisfied with my recipe.

So, hoping this recipe goes to your recipe book!

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