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Chicken Karaage (Sesame Fried Chicken) Recipe


Recipe: Chicken Karaage (Sesame Fried Chicken)

Adapted from Chowhound


1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts/chicken thighs (cut into small pieces/cubes)
3 inches fresh ginger (peeled and pounded with a mortar and pestle to extract 2 tablespoons of ginger juice)
3 tablespoons soy sauce
6 tablespoons sake
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
Corn starch to coat the chicken
Oil for deep frying


Use paper towels to pat dry the chicken pieces and transfer to a bowl. Add in sake, ginger juice, soy sauce, sesame oil (optional) and marinate for 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken pieces out of the marinate and coat them evenly with corn starch. Shake off excess.

Deep-fry in oil for two times. Heat up a wok/pot of cooking oil. When the cooking oil is hot enough for frying, drop the chicken pieces into the oil and quickly deep fry them until they float. Transfer them out onto a plate and wait for a couple of minutes. Put the chicken back into the oil and deep-fry until golden brown and crunchy. Dish out to a plate or bowl lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil, serve hot with a slice of lemon and mayonnaise.

Cook’s Notes:

I used young chicken breast and the meat was really juicy and tender.
Deep-frying twice ensures that the chicken pieces are crunchy and stay crunchy even after a few hours.

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48 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. GiGi

    this is something i never try b4, sake in marinated chicken, ok will try for sure..but one question, why need to deep fry the chicken 2 times? any specific rational behind? if i only fry once, it wouldnt be as crispy as frying it twice? i try the taiwanese 盐酥鸡, i only deep fried once too.

  2. Aaron Fong

    Look Yummy!!..Shall try to cook this over the weekend..Had something similar to this in some taiwanese eatery in Melbourne. Yeah its called Salt n Pepa chicken.

  3. Mrs Ergül

    Hmmmmmmmm this is my favourite to order in Japanese restaurants too! Thanks for the recipe!

    Would you be posting a recipe for Chawanmushi anytime soon? I have been craving for that!

  4. cheesypizzazz

    I love chicken karaage/sesame fried chicken. I checked out your recipe and it seems really easy to prepare these chicken karaage at home…sweet. I will give your recipe a try. Thank you.

  5. mycookinghut

    I love this too! I used to have this at a Japanese restuarant in Perth called Samurai. Not sure if it’s still there.

  6. limpepsi

    Looks yummy!
    My Japanese friend advised me to use potato starch. It gives better and crispy crunchiness after deep-frying in the oil.


  7. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I remember the wonderful street markets around Asakusa — a jumble of food stalls and electronics! We went there on our very first day of our very first trip to Tokyo — what an introduction to the city and food culture.

  8. Rasa Malaysia

    All – thanks for your comments, please keep them coming.

    Mrs. Engui – yes, I will be making chawanmushi today. :)

    Limpepsi – thanks for your tip, I will use potato starch next time. :)

  9. Anonymous

    Sesame fried chicken, I love this so much. I didn’t know that there is no sesame in the cooking process. LOL, but it tastes very good and juicy. Thank you for your recipe!

  10. allenooi

    i like fried chicken very much. the best is the boneless fried chicken. this one is almost the same as the one sell in KFC. i also can eat the whole bowl within minutes. :)

  11. Kevin

    My Japanese friend had a perfect chicken karaage recipe. She used to make it for me. I love chicken karaage because the chicken pieces are always juicy, sealed in the corn starch coating, and the ginger, sake, and soy flavors are just great.

  12. Katia

    I love chicken karaage, but what I found brings out more flavor is to use a tbsp of ground ginger alond with the cornflour to coat the chicken, it gives it an extra punch.

  13. Bell

    I fry up a batch of Kaarage from time to time. Love the stuff! Incidentally my recipe also comes from Just Hungry. I never added sesame oil but I do throw in chopped spring onions. Never thought to double fry them though it makes total sense! I’ll try to do that next time! Thanks for that tip!

  14. Moshi

    I love karaage and am surprised to see that the recipe is so simple! What kind of oil would be best for frying these mouth-watering nibbles?

  15. Nasyrah

    Hi! I would like to ask if I could substitute the sake for something else? This is because I don’t take alcohol.

    • Maria, 13 yrs

      When you are cooking, most if not all, of the sake evaporates. Alcohol evaporates at 60 degrees Celsius, remember, while water does at 100 degrees celsius.
      So you have nothing to worry about. By the time it is finished cooking, the alcohol has evaporated.

  16. Lilacz

    I have difficulty extracting ginger juice. Do you think its possible to replace ginger juice with ginger powder?

  17. LOVED this recipe, Rasa. My friends and I have always been ordering this kind of thing at the boba houses dotting Los Angeles and San Francisco.

    I do have the problem of making the chicken a little too dry and a little too salty, though. Next time I’ll trim less fat off and shorten the 1st and 2nd fry times by a few seconds.

    Those were my mistakes, though–Everything you jotted down was absolutely a pleasure to make and eat.

    I do have a suggestion for an alternative to mayonnaise and it’s a pepper dust the guys down south use after the second fry while the pieces are still warm:

    3 tbs Cayenne
    2 tbs white pepper
    1 tbs black pepper
    1 tsp Chinese 5 spice
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp salt

    lemon wedges to cut the pepper taste

    Again, thank you–trying this recipe again soon.

  18. rik

    cant wait to do this!

    never thought of using corn starch instead of flour for the coating – ill bet itll be crispy without being heavy or oily.

    as far as the ginger juice, would a coffee or spice grinder help? or a food processor and then a strainer? even you have to use extra ginger to make the required amount, im sure itd be worth it.

    i currently have a bottle of sweet soy rather than “regular” soy. do you think it would add to or detract from this dish if i used it?


  19. Paulina

    Hello,from over a year im checking Your blog and trying recipies and i love it,i got Your book as well,but i was wondering which of Your recipies i can use for food to take to work,i have 24h shifts so i need somthing what i can reheat.I was wondering if that chicken is good for this or to eat it cold?

  20. I learn this recipe when I was the cook in the japanese restaurant.

    Add in sake, ginger juice, soy sauce, sesame oil (optional), kiwi juice, garlic (fresh), white pepper, and also add 1 egg.


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