Kara age means dry fried, but it refers to a marinaded fried chicken which is very popular in Japan for bento boxes, dinner, festivals and kids parties. Small pieces of chicken are marinated in a mix of soy sauce, garlic, or ginger, then lightly coated with a seasoned wheat flour or potato starch mix, and fried in a light oil — similar to the preparation of tempura. In my recipe I deep fry the chicken twice to make it extra crunchy but it isn’t necessary.
This is my mum’s recipe, where she chooses to use egg to make the chicken juicier. If you are allergic to egg, you can make it without and it’ll still be tasty 😉
500g chicken thigh (or breast, but thigh is tastier!)
2 cloves of garlic (grated)
1 thumb of ginger (grated)
3 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs sake
2 tsp sugar
1 tbs mayonnaise
Salt & white pepper
6 tbs potato starch
Wash the chicken well under running water – get rid of any blood or white sinew. Then dry with a paper towel and cut into bit size pieces. Beat the egg, then add all the other ingredients except the potato starch in together with the chicken in a bowl. Mix well, then sprinkle the potato starch on top. Cover with cling film then put in the fridge for at least 3-4 hours. I left mine overnight.
Then fry in shallow oil on medium (170 degrees) heat until the colour starts to brown. I took the chicken out at this stage, raised the oil temperature, then refried for extra crispiness for a minute at high temp (190-200 degrees). This stage isn’t necessary, but make sure you check the chicken has cooked through properly – best way to do this is to take a piece of the chicken and poke it with a tooth pick. If the juices run clear, you know the chicken’s done.