Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Chicken Karaage

Chicken Karaage is a popular Japanese appetizer that I first got a chance to try it at a Ramen joint. They taste different from the American version of chicken fingers or chicken strips. In my opinion, I like it a lot more than the typical chicken strips. Karaage is a technique of deep frying food that are lightly coated in starch flour. I read  that Karaage was actually derived from  Chinese cuisine origin. It was adapted and modified to become a Japanese version of fried chicken. 
It's usually made with dark meat such as the thigh portion of the chicken. Therefore, the texture is a lot juicier and tastier than its counterpart breast meat which is usually dry. The meat is marinated in soy sauce, sake, ginger and garlic to bring out sweetness the chicken. The bite-size chicken cubes are then dredged in cornstarch or potato starch to create a light crispy coat that provides the crunch when you sink your teeth into it. 
It's essentially a great snack when eaten alone and a satisfying meal when it's paired with some steamed rice or salad. The best part is it's really easy and simple to make. The chicken meat is well marinated in the soy sauce mixture, so you don't even need any sauce to dip it with. The crunchy texture outside and the soft and juicy meat inside create an addictive combination that does not only make you mouth salivating but also makes it so hard to stop after the first,  the second or even the tenth bite....

 Ingredients: (4 servings) (adapted from No recipes)

1. 1 lb of chicken thigh (skinned and sliced into cubes)
2. 2 tbsp of soy sauce, 1 tbsp of sake
3. 2 tbsp of mirin (Japanese sweeten syrup, I added this extra from the recipe)
3. 1/2 tsp of sugar
4. Black pepper, garlic powder
5. 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger and 1tbsp of minced garlic
6. 3/4 cup of cornstarch or potato starch mixed with 1/4 tsp of salt
7. Cooking oil for deep frying


Prepare the chicken and combine it with soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar, black pepper, garlic powder, ginger and garlic in a plastic bowl. Set aside to marinate for about 20-30 minutes.
Add cornstarch in a separate bowl or plate. Once the chicken is ready for deep frying, dredge the chicken cubes in cornstarch and shake off the excess flour before place in the hot oil at medium-high heat. Deep fry until golden brown, drain the oil in a paper towel and serve hot.

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