Karaage is Japanese fried chicken. Along with such faves as tonkatsu (crumbed fried pork) and tempura (battered and fried anything), karaage is testament to the diversity of Japanese cooking. It’s not all about raw fish and omega-3s. Japanese cooking can also be fabulous comfort food, especially with a fine Japanese lager to help wash it all down.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 1 lb 10 oz (750 g) boneless chicken thigh fillets, skin on cut into 3 cm (1¼ inch) pieces
- 5½ oz/1 cup (150 g) potato flour
- vegetable oil for frying
- shredded iceberg lettuce, steamed white rice and lemon wedges to serve
- 5 cm (2 inch) chunk fresh ginger peeled
- 4 fl oz/½ cup (125 ml) Japanese soy sauce
- 2½ fl oz/1/3 cup (80 ml) mirin
- 2 tablespoons Japanese rice vinegar
- To make the marinade, finely grate the ginger onto a clean, thin piece of cloth. Use the cloth to squeeze the juice from the ginger into a bowl large enough to marinate the chicken in. Add the soy sauce, mirin and vinegar and stir well.
- Add the chicken to the marinade, stirring to coat. Cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Put the potato flour in a bowl.
- Pour enough oil in a saucepan to come halfway up the side of the pan. Heat over medium–high heat until shimmering.
- Using chopsticks or tongs, remove several chicken pieces from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Toss the chicken in the flour, then cook in the hot oil for 4–5 minutes, or until golden. Drain the cooked chicken on paper towel.
- Give the oil a little time to reheat, then cook the remaining chicken, reducing the heat if needed (you don’t want the chicken to burn before it’s cooked through). Serve with lettuce, rice and lemon wedges.