Crispy Salted Kara-age Fried Chicken

We love fried chicken in Japan! Season the chicken lightly and enjoy three different sauces.

Crispy Salted Kara-age Fried Chicken
Photographed by TAISUKE SUZUKI

Recipe by







Calorie count is per serving

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 chicken thighs (700 g)
  • [A]

    • 40 g garlic (grated)
    • 20 g ginger (unpeeled, grated)
    • 50 ml sake
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper (coarsely ground)
  • [B]

    • 70 g potato starch
    • 70 g rice flour
  • [C]

    • Mayo-celery sauce, as needed

      Refer to notes.

    • Negi sauce, as needed

      Refer to notes.

    • Chili tomato sauce, as needed

      Refer to notes.

  • [D]

    • Vegetable sticks, as needed

      Examples might include daikon radish, carrots, cucumbers, celery, and red or yellow paprika.

    • Boiled vegetables, as needed

      Examples might include green asparagus and snap peas.

    • Red-tip leaf lettuce, as needed
    • Cherry tomatoes, as needed
    • Lemon, as needed
  • Oil for deep frying



Trim the chicken of excess fat and muscles. Cut into 6-7 equal pieces. Pour the oil into a frying pan and start heating.


Put the chicken in a heat-resistant bowl. Add [A] and rub into the meat. Microwave (600 W), uncovered, for about 2 minutes.


*Warm the meat* Microwave to slightly warm the meat. This keeps the oil from cooling while frying and reduces cooking time.


Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir lightly with a spatula. Rub the spices into the meat again and place in a plastic bag along with the combined [B]. Blow some air into the bag, close and shake the bag to dust the meat. Open the bag to let out the air and then press down to firmly coat the meat.


*Use a plastic bag* Blow some air into the bag and then press down. This double process will ensure the chicken is coated evenly without making a mess. Fry the coated chicken right away, as chicken will start to sweat once it's salted.


Place a cooking chopstick in the heated oil. If this causes a stream of bubbles to rise to the surface, it's ready for frying (180°C). Divide the chicken into two portions. Place the chicken in the oil, one piece at a time. When the surface starts to harden, turn over and fry for about 2-3 minutes until crisp. Remove and drain. Fry the remaining chicken. Plate up and garnish with [C] and [D].


*Fry quickly* Divide the chicken into two portions and fry one piece at a time. This will keep the oil from cooling and will eliminate the need for double frying. Raising the temperature of the oil just before removing will make the chicken crisp and golden brown.


[Three sauces] (One batch each)
*Mayo-celery sauce*
Combine one stick of coarsely minced celery (including leaves and thin stalks), 2 tbsp of mayonnaise, 1 tbsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of pepper.
*Negi sauce*
Combine 2/3 hoso-negi (round slices), a little less than 2 tbsp of sesame oil and 1 tbsp each of soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar.
*Chili tomato sauce*
Combine 8 cherry tomatoes in half, 3 tbsp of tomato ketchup, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1 tbsp of olive oil and a dash of hot pepper sauce.