Tori No Karaage (Chicken Karaage)

Karaage, named after its cooking method (frying), is traditionally made with small, boneless pieces of chicken, usually thigh meat. In this recipe, the chicken is marinated in fresh ginger, garlic, sake, and soy sauce to add flavor and juiciness. It's then dredged in flour and potato starch, and finally twice-fried to create a light and perfectly crisp coating. If you like, wrap the chicken in green perilla leaves and lettuce leaves before eating it.

Chicken Karaage
Photo: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Lydia Pursell
Active Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs


  • ¼ cup soy sauce

  • ¼ cup dry sake or mirin

  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated with a Microplane grater (about 2 teaspoons)

  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated with a Microplane grater (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs or 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skin-on chicken thighs (about 4 thighs)

  • Neutral oil, for frying (such as vegetable, rice bran, or canola)

  • ¾ cup (about 3 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour

  • ¼ cup (about 1 3/8 ounces) potato starch  or 1/4 cup (about 1 1/8 ounce) cornstarch

  • Lemon wedges

  • Shichimi togarashi


  1. Whisk together soy sauce, sake, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until combined. If using bone-in chicken thighs, carefully remove bones using a sharp knife to cut around bones; discard bones or reserve for stock. Cut chicken thighs into 2-inch pieces. Gently stir chicken into soy sauce mixture until fully coated; cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

  2. Pour oil to a depth of 1 1/2 inches (about 6 cups) in a medium Dutch oven and heat over medium until a deep-fry thermometer registers 325°F.

  3. While oil is heating, place flour in one shallow dish and place potato starch in a second shallow dish. Working with a few pieces at a time, remove chicken from marinade, shaking off excess marinade. Add chicken to flour, and toss gently to coat; shake off any excess flour. Add chicken to potato starch, and toss gently to coat; shake off any excess. Repeat process with remaining chicken pieces.

  4. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with paper towels; place a wire rack over paper towels. Working in about 4 batches, add dredged chicken pieces to hot oil. Cook, gently stirring often, until light golden brown, about 90 seconds. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet to drain. Repeat with remaining chicken pieces, returning oil temperature at 325°F between batches.

  5. Increase heat to medium-high, and heat oil until deep-fry thermometer registers 350°F. Adjust heat as needed to maintain temperature. Working in batches, add fried chicken pieces to hot oil, and fry, gently stirring often, until golden brown and crispy and a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of chicken piece registers 165°F, about 45 seconds. Remove chicken from oil using a spider or slotted spoon; transfer to prepared baking sheet. Continue process with remaining chicken pieces, letting oil temperature return to 350°F between batches. Serve hot, and garnish with lemon wedges and shichimi togarashi.

Related Articles