Move over KFC – JFC is way better

Apr 21, 2014 by

Karaage

Japaese fried chicken is a quiet Powerhouse in the fried chickens community. Infact, other fried chickens are in need of pulling their socks up after taking a bite of this crispy, echoey, airily coated bird. What is the secret behind Japans favorite pub chicken’s success?

Firstly, we  are not frying-up entire limbs and fillets of breast. Instead, pieces are cut smaller, rolled in to flour and then fried. In other words – more surface area for that golden coating – after all, isn’t that what makes us weak at the knees!

Secondly, the marinade is sweet genius. Some soy sauce, zingin’ ginger and garlic, a touch of sugar and a hit of vinegar. These flavor components really find a way to push through the meat quickly without hours of marinating time. It also makes the flesh very succulent and full of flavor.

Soy marinade

 

Thirdly, and perhaps, most importantly – the characteristic coating. The Japanese don’t use breadcrumbs or panko for this dish but in fact, potato flour. The dish is lighter and more in keeping with popcorn chicken rather than a Southern-fried variety. It is also flour-dusted rather than battered – in other words, no consistencies in batter to fuss over and no dripping to mop-up.

Potato flour

In Japan, this dish is served in pubs and goes amazingly with beer – but  my sense is that you probably had this part covered. Serve with a wedge of lemon and some coarse salt heaped to the side – or throw some hot sauce in to mayo – perhaps a touristy touch, but who’s to judge when it tastes so good.

srirarcha mayo

 

Recipe For Karaage – The Japanese Fried Chicken

 

Ingredients

1 lb. boneless and skinless chicken thighs

1 tsp. ginger, grated

1 -2 clove, garlic, grated

2 tbsp. soy sauce

1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar (pref. sake-based)

½ tsp. white pepper

1 cup potato starch, to coat

Vegetable oil (for frying)

 

Method

1)    Cut each chicken in to 4 pieces. Marinate for 30 minutes in ginger, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and white pepper

2)    Heat oil for frying on med-high. Shake off excess marinade and coat in potato flour. Deep fry until golden, crisp and cooked through

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