May 11, 2010

Fried Chicken Bites: Karaage

One of my favorite textures is a good crispy crunch, whether it's a hearty potato chip or popcorn to any type of roast skin (think duck or pork). So how could I not love fried chicken? I've been known to save the crunchy chicken skin for last. After stumbling on some recipes for Japanese-style popcorn chicken, I knew I had to try this, especially since the ratio of meat to crunch is higher.

The secret to the crunch is something really simple: cornstarch.

Next time I plan to tweak the flavor. Maybe I'll try a buffalo bite or a lemon marinade.

Karaage Recipe
Adapted from

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1-inch ginger root, peeled and finely grated
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon sake
1 cup corn starch
Vegetable oil for deep frying

1. Place soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sake in a medium bowl. Add chicken and mix until coated.

2. Refrigerate and marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

3. Pour 1/2 cup corn starch in plastic zip bag. Add a quarter of the chicken and shake until the pieces are completely coated.

4. Remove chicken, tapping to remove excess corn starch, and set aside in a clean bowl.

5. Repeat with the rest of the chicken, adding more cornstarch as needed.

6. Add at least 1 inch oil to a deep cast-iron skillet, Dutch oven, or deep-fat fryer. Bring oil to 350°F.

7. Gently place 10-12 pieces of chicken in oil and fry until golden, about 3-4 minutes.

8. Remove chicken place on paper towels to drain. Repeat with remaining meat.

Gear: Grater, zip bag, tongs, heavy pot, baking pan

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