Well, there’s a first time for everything… and I do believe that this is the first deep-fried recipe to make its way onto Gather & Graze. Karaage Chicken (a Japanese dish) has lately become a family favourite, particularly when made into burgers with brioche-style milk buns, lettuce leaves and a dollop or two of chilli-kissed mayonnaise to bring it all together. It’s an occasional treat, due to its deep-fried nature… though I believe far better to make these dishes at home, from time to time, where you can ensure that the chicken is free-range/organic and to have an awareness of each and every ingredient going into the preparation.
Hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as we do!
Karaage Chicken | Gather and Graze
- 4 Free-Range Chicken Thigh Fillets (cut into similar sized chunks)
- 1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Sake
- 1 tsp Grated Fresh Ginger
- ½ Cup Potato Starch
- 1 L (4 Cups) Vegetable Oil (for deep frying)
- Sea Salt
For the Dipping Sauce
- 125mls (½ Cup) Mayonnaise (I use Japanese Kewpie Mayonnaise)
- 2 tsp Sriracha Chilli Sauce
I prefer to remove the chicken from the fridge about 1 hour before cooking, to allow it to come to room temperature.
Stir together the soy sauce, sake and grated ginger in a small bowl, then pour this along with the chicken thigh meat into a medium plastic zip-loc bag. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the meat, making sure that it’s all been coated. Place the bag to one side and allow to marinate for approximately 30 minutes before cooking.
Sift the potato starch into a shallow tray/dish. Allow any excess liquid to drip off the chicken pieces, before placing them into the potato flour and tossing to lightly coat. Tap off any excess and allow to sit for 5 minutes or so (which will give a better crust), while you heat the oil for frying.
Using a deep-fryer or a suitable pot (see notes below), heat the vegetable oil until it reaches about 180°C.
Without crowding the pot, cook the chicken pieces in batches. For a super crispy coating, I recommend frying the chicken 3 times. Start off by frying for 1 minute, then remove to a rack for about 30 secs. Fry again for 1 minute and then back on the rack for 30 secs. Repeat the process one more time. Please be careful while deep-frying to avoid any burns and do please also check to make sure that the chicken is fully cooked through, you may need slightly longer if the pieces are quite thick. Remove to a warmed oven and sprinkle with a little sea salt, while you fry the remaining batches.
Serve with a small bowl of Kewpie mayonnaise mixed with a little Sriracha (Thai Chilli Sauce)… perfect for dipping the Karaage chicken into. A ratio of about ½ Cup of mayonnaise to 2 tsp Sriracha gave just the right amount of heat for us.
My other serving suggestion is to make burgers with larger pieces of Karaage chicken (cooking time will be slightly longer). Find some soft milk buns, add some lettuce and a dollop of the above chilli mayonnaise and you’re all set for delicious home-made burgers. Our family LOVES them!
I have a Le Creuset (size 26) casserole pot which works really well for the occasional deep-frying. It’s just the right size to also hold a semi-circular rack (that came with my wok) on one side, which makes draining oil from the food all the easier. It also cleans up so much easier than other pots I’ve used in the past… just allow to cool completely, sieve the oil into a clean bottle to use again if you’re able to, and soak the pot for a few minutes in warm, soapy water before washing.