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Karaage Chicken Recipe - Mastered
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5 from 7 votes

How to: Karaage Chicken | Perfected!


  • 400 grams Chicken Thigh (Skin-on, Boneless)
  • Good amount of Potato Starch Powder
  • Good amount of Vegetable Oil (for frying)

Karaage Marinade

  • 3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon Sake (Or Korean Cheongju 청주)
  • 1 Tablespoon Mirin
  • 3 Big Pinches Salt
  • 5 Big Sprinkles Nutmeg
  • 1 small knob Fresh Ginger (about ½ the size of your thumb)
  • 1 clove Fresh Garlic

Dipping Sauce (Optional)

  • Squeeze of Kewpie Mayonnaise
  • Squeeze of Lemon Juice


Prep Chicken

  • Use two fingers to estimate the width you need to cut each chicken thigh (as instructed in video). Then cut them.
  • Now place the chicken pieces into a mixing bowl.

Marinate chicken

  • Let's marinate the chicken. Add the following into the bowl: Soy Sauce (3 Tablespoons), Sake (1 Tablespoon), Mirin (1 Tablespoon), Salt (3 Big Pinches), Nutmeg (5 Generous Shakes). Then grate-in Fresh Ginger (a small piece) and 1 Garlic Clove.
  • Carefully mix the marinade with your hand - and coat the chicken pieces. Please be gentle when you mix, so you don't tear the skin off the chicken pieces.
  • Now cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. (If you have time, let it sit for 1 hour.)
  • While you wait, take out a tray and pour-in some Potato Starch Powder.

Coat Chicken & Rest

  • After 30 minutes of marinating, remove the cover. Pick-up a chicken piece and gently shake-off excess marinade (important!).
  • Then place it into the potato starch powder... and thoroughly coat the piece. Be thorough - and get all sides well-coated!
  • After coating, gently shake (or tap) the piece. We want to shake-off excess starch powder (important!)
  • Then carefully fold or slightly bend the chicken into a round shape - with the skin-side facing up (reference video). Neatly arrange each finished piece onto a separate tray.
  • Repeat the previous steps for each piece.
  • After you're done coating, let the coated chicken pieces rest for 5 minutes (important). This time will allow the starch coating to soak up any residual moisture from the chicken - making them crispier when fried!
  • After 5 minutes of resting... it's now time to fry!

Double-Fry Chicken

  • Place a good amount of vegetable oil into a pot. Place on medium heat and wait until the oil is hot.
  • To test if the oil is ready for the 1st fry... add-in a piece of the chicken (or crumble) into the oil. If the crumble sizzles and you can see bubbles, it's ready.
  • Carefully add-in each chicken to the oil, skin-side facing down. Add in a few pieces into the pot at a time (don't overcrowd the pot).
  • For the first round, let the chickens fry for ~1 minute (we just want the inside to get cooked, not looking for browning on the outside). Timing may vary, so just take a look at the chicken.
  • After you finish the first round... use a sieve to pick-out any residual flakes or pieces that are sizzling around in the oil.
  • Now, let's slightly raise the heat - so the oil temperature can turn hotter.
  • It's time for our second fry.
  • Carefully add a few pieces back in at a time and fry for ~30 seconds. (Note: timing may vary - so just look for a nice browning on the chicken)
  • After frying, place the finished chicken pieces onto the cooling rack. Make sure that the skin-side is facing up!
  • Allow the chicken to rest for 3-5 minutes - this resting time will allow the juices to move back to the center of the chicken (yes, I know... it's difficult to wait!)
  • Then squeeze some Japanese Mayo into a dipping tray - and serve with a few slices of lemon!
  • Note: When you squeeze lemon juice onto the chicken, it will start to lose its crispiness. So I recommend squeezing it on right before you eat!
  • Bon Appetit ya'll - you got yourself a mighty fine meal. Crack open a beer or make a whisky highball or... enjoy with curry ;-)