Much ado about chicken karaage

Everyone has their own way of doing things and their favourite recipes to follow. This is a mix of an old firm favourite chicken karaage recipe and a twist. The basis of the twist is supplied by Koukentetsu but then played with to meet our own tastes.

I don’t often eat deep-fried dishes as more often than not they are too greasy for my taste. However, karaage is doesn’t leave me feeling greasy or yucky afterwards. I think this may be down to the batter.

Chicken Karaage

400grams chicken thighs (skinned)
1 Egg (beaten)
Salt + Pepper
1 teaspoon Japanese soy sauce
5-6 tablespoons of potato starch
The juice of a chunk of grated ginger
Salad oil for frying


  1. Make the batter by combining the egg, starch, seasonings and soy sauce together and adding in the potato starch bit by bit before mixing well to make a smooth runny paste.
  2. Rinse chicken with a bit of vinegar then cut into bite sized chunks. Don’t worry about removing all the fat. A little fat will keep the chicken moist and juicy when frying.
  3. Add chicken into the batter and mix well so all the pieces are well coated.
  4. Heat the oil in a pan (add enough to cover the chicken) and test that it is hot enough by dipping chopsticks into the base of the pan. When it is hot enough, bubbles will appear around the chopstick.
  5. Add chicken into the pan one-by-one, taking care to ensure than each piece is well coated. Be sure to give each piece enough space to move around and not stick to another piece. You will need to do this in batches.
  6. Once evenly golden brown, remove and place on oil absorbing paper or on a grill rack.

Once done, the karaage can be eaten which ever way you choose. You can dress it with with a simple soy dressing. You can eat it as a drinking snack with your favourite tipple. You can save a bit for tomorrows o-bento or if you like, you can try it with a twist….

\ Karaage with Chunky Cucumber + Tomato Soy Dressing


3 Small/pickling cucumbers (Turkish cucumbers work well). Crooks work brilliantly too.

2 Tomatoes

Any other crunchy green veg you may have in your fridge. We used sugar snap peas. 

1 Clove of garlic (finely chopped)

Small lump of finely chopped ginger (to taste)

3 Tablespoons of Japanese soy sauce

3 Tablespoons of sushi vinegar

1 Teaspoon of sesame oil


  1. Bash the cucumbers until the split and break but still hold their shape with a rolling pin or whatever.
  2. Cut the cucumber into halves and then lengthways quarters. Chuck into a mixing bowl with the sauce.
  3. Cut the tomatoes into eighths and add to the bowl with the cucumbers. 
  4. Mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic and oil into a microwave friendly bowl. Mix and then zap in a microwave for 30 seconds to release the flavours
  5. Quickly fry the sugar snap peas in a wok for a few minutes. Add the cucumber and the tomatoes and the sauce into the wok and fry for about 2-3 minutes. Remove and plate.

>>> The Crunchy Plate >>>

If you would like your karaage crunchy then plate the vegetable dressing to the plate and then top with the karaage

>>> The Succulent Plate >>>;

If you would like your chicken to assume the robust flavour of the dressing and prefer a more succulent bite, then mix the chicken in with the dressing and then serve.

Enjoy! Dressing karaage in this way adds delicious textures and a rounded sharpness that compliments the deep-fried dish.