What Is Karaage?
Karaage (唐揚げ) is Japanese fried chicken where small bite-sized pieces of chicken are marinated and then deep-fried to crispy perfection.
Karaage is a very popular item at Japanese restaurants here in the US. It’s often served as an appetizer or as part of a Japanese combo or bento meal, it’s also called sesame fried chicken.
Other Japanese Deep-frying Recipes:
- Japanese fried chicken
- Tonkatsu (Japanese Fried Pork Cutlet)
- Chicken Katsu
How to Make Karaage
- Use chicken thighs or chicken legs for the best chicken karaage. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- Marinate the chicken with soy sauce, Japanese cooking sake, ginger, garlic and sesame oil for as little as 15 minutes.
- Coat each piece of the chicken generously with potato starch or corn starch.
- Deep fry the chicken. They should be brown on the outside but the meat should be juicy and bursting with flavors.
The Secret to Good Karaage
For the best karaage recipe, you should marinate the chicken for at least 2 hours or best overnight so the flavors seep inside the chicken meat.
Serve the chicken with mayonnaise and lemon wedges. Squeeze the lemon juice on top of the karaage and dip it with the mayonnaise.
How Many Calories per Serving?
This recipe is only 361 calories per serving.
What Dishes to Serve with This Recipe?
For a wholesome meal and easy weeknight dinner, I recommend the following recipes.
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Chicken Karaage (Sesame Fried Chicken)
- 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts/thighs, cut into cubes
- 6 tablespoons Japanese cooking sake
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 inches fresh ginger, peeled and pounded with a mortar and pestle to extract 2 tablespoons ginger juice
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- corn starch
- oil (for deep frying)
- Use paper towels to pat dry the chicken and transfer to a bowl. Add in the sake, soy sauce, ginger juice, sesame oil and marinate for 30 minutes, best for 2 hours. Transfer the chicken pieces out of the marinate and coat them evenly with corn starch, in a plastic bag such as Ziplock. Shake off the excess cornstarch.
- Heat up a wok/pot of cooking oil. When the cooking oil is hot enough for frying 350°F - 375°F (176°C-190°C), drop the chicken 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 again 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.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated, using Spoonacular, for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.
I wasn’t able to get it to crisp up. How much corn starch should I have used? I wonder if I didn’t take enough of the marinade off the chicken? I did fry it twice but it still did not crisp. I’d love to try making this again. Even though it didn’t crisp, the chicken was delicious and juicy! Loved the marinade.
I have made Karaage Chicken many times but never with the ingredients in this recipe. The sesame flavor is wonderful. We used Bulldog sauce for dipping and really enjoyed. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.
OMG, I made this recipe tonight. It was amazing. I marinaded the chicken for 4 hours.
It was as good as I have had at any Japanese restaurant. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Will be making again soon.
any suggestions for a dipping sauce or aioli for the karaage?
You can just dip with mayonnaise.
love to learn the crispy karaage chicken, my favorite
we are in Lockdown here in Brisbane. Can I use Mirin sauce instead of Japanese Sake which I dont have and have to wait till another 10 days or so before I go out to the Chinese grocers? I have all the other ingredients including potato starch and chicken
I don’t have cooking sake. Only have sake for drinking. Can I use that instead?
Yes you can.