Japanese Fried Chicken (Kara-Age)

Kentucky doesn’t have a monopoly on fried chicken. Meet Japan’s version, Kara-Age. Pieces of boneless chicken are seasoned in a ginger and soy flavored marinade before being breaded in a thin potato starch coating. The result is something that comes very close to fried chicken teriyaki.

The thin coating of seasoned potato starch becomes thin and crisp, almost tempura like. Cornstarch could be substituted, but lacks the crispness that comes from the potato starch. If potato starch isn’t available to you, look for Kikkoman Kara-Age coating mix in the Asian aisle of your supermarket. The Kikkoman mix makes this even easier. The one-step, no-fuss coating mix is already seasoned, eliminating the marinating, and is very good. The chicken in these photos was prepared using the Kikkoman mix.

Plan to make more than you need. The leftovers are excellent the next day served cold for lunch in a sandwich, or sliced and served on top of mixed salad greens dressed with an Asian sesame/rice wine dressing.

2 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated
2 cloves garlic minced
¼ cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons sherry or Japanese mirin
1 tsp sugar
1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1 cup potato starch for dusting
oil for shallow pan frying

If using chicken breast, cut the chicken into strips or cubes. If using thighs, cut each into half or thirds if large.

Marinate for 30-45 minutes in the garlic, soy sauce sherry and sugar. Drain any excess marinade from the meat and coat with the potato starch.

Heat enough oil over medium heat to shallow fry the chicken pieces. Fry, turning once or twice until deep golden brown and cooked through.

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