Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Karaage Japanese Fried Chicken

Fried chicken, whether it’s Southern, Japanese, or Korean, is one of my favourite foods of all time. Put simply, it would be on the menu for my last meal. It’s one of those dishes that strikes the perfect balance between flavor, texture and richness. The only downside about a really great
fried chicken (calories aside), is that it takes about a day to make.

Karaage (唐揚げ), also known as Tatsutaage (竜田揚げ), is the Japanese version of fried chicken. Pronounced kah-rah-ah-geh, the name literally means “Tang fried” (Tang as in the Chinese dynasty). Like Gyoza and Ramen, Karaage is an example of Wafu-Chuka (Chinese-style Japanese) cuisine, whereby dumplings, noodles, or in this case fried chicken, was adapted from the Chinese culinary repertoire and turned into something uniquely Japanese.

Tatsuta Age Fried Chicken

After being marinated in soy sauce, ginger and garlic, the two-bite nuggets of chicken are dredged in potato starch and deep fried until crisp. The potato starch creates a golden shell around the karaage with a lasting crispness which makes it perfect for packing into a bento lunch. Karaage also makes for a great summer picnic with some onigiri (rice balls).

I know someone is going to ask so I’ll address a few substitutions up-front. You can make Karaage with breast meat, but it will be dryer and less flavorful for the same reason why breast meat is healthier: it has less fat. Cornstarch can be substituted for the potato starch, however the texture won’t be the same. Karaage made with cornstarch has a dense crunchy texture like tortilla chips, while karaage made with potato starch fries up with a light crispy crust like a potato chip.

Personally, I also prefer potato starch to cornstarch as a thickening agent, so I’ve done away with cornstarch in my kitchen. In the US, you can get potato starch at Whole Foods under the Bob’s Red Mill brand.

Equipment you'll need:

Karaage Japanese Fried Chicken
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Votes: 59
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Karaage, the Japanese version of fried chicken is first marinated in ginger, garlic and soy sauce, then coated in potato starch and fried until golden brown and crisp.
Karaage Japanese Fried Chicken
Print Recipe
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Votes: 59
Rating: 4.27
Rate this recipe!
Karaage, the Japanese version of fried chicken is first marinated in ginger, garlic and soy sauce, then coated in potato starch and fried until golden brown and crisp.
Servings Prep Time
Cook Time
Servings Prep Time
Cook Time
  • 450 grams chicken thighs – boneless skin-on cut into 2.5 centimeter pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ginger - fresh grated
  • 1 clove garlic grated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce use tamari to make it gluten-free
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup potato starch
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • lemon for serving
  1. Add the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sake and sugar to a bowl and whisk to combine. Add the chicken, then stir to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  2. Add 1 inch of vegetable oil to a heavy bottomed pot and heat until the oil reaches 360 degrees F. Line a wire rack with 2 sheets of paper towels and get your tongs out. Put the potato starch in a bowl
  3. Add a handful of chicken to the potato starch and toss to coat each piece evenly.
  4. Fry the chicken in batches until the exterior is a medium brown and the chicken is cooked through. Transfer the fried chicken to the paper towel lined rack. If you want the chicken to stay crispy longer, you can fry the chicken a second time, until it's a darker color after it's cooled off once. Serve with lemon wedges.

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  • Ack Vandal

    Are you frying in your rice cooker bowl?! Why?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hahaha, nice catch. It’s a stove top rice cooker (i.e. a pot with marker lines). I just moved and it’s the only pot I have right now. 

      • Louis

        Hahaha I was just about to ask the same thing.  So are you still in NYC, Marc?

  • Jennietoyokawa

    I totally agree with you on katakuriko…it’s all I use…also I swear by chicken thighs. I am anxious to try your recipe…karage/tatsutaage is a staple in my house such that i don’t use a recipe. I’ve not put garlic in before. Thanks.

  • PolaM

    That is fried chicken 2.0! Have to try it!

  • Ashish Negi

    It makes me go nom nom nom right now… lovely pics and easy recipe.

  • Oui, Chef

    I MUST make this dish….I even have potato starch, yippee!

  • Jen Laceda

    I LOVE this! I sometimes put curry powder in mine, too :) Probably not authentic Japanese, but oh-so-good!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Great idea! I’m gonna have to try that next time:-)

  • The Hsinru Social

    I need your advice! I LOVE your recipe and have made chicken karaage a few times. I’m having a guest over that eats only chicken Parmesan; so I want to create a Japanese-Italian dish that is inspired by chicken parmesan. Do you think I can deep fry the chicken Japanese style (just not use the soy sauce base), and then put it on a bed of tomato and melt some cheese ontop? What are your thoughts?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Thanks, glad you like it! If you’re going to forgo the marinade for the meat and put tomato sauce and cheese on it, why not just make regular chicken parm?

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  • Syna

    I tried this yesterday! It was full of crunchiness and crispiness! What a wonderful cooking experience! Thank you for this piece of gold!

  • Jill

    Can I put Soju instead of sake?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, that should be fine.

  • Tania

    what if you cant get sake or use it how about mirin

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Mirin will work, but it will be a little sweeter.

  • Tarla

    I’m a minor so i can’t use alcohol at all, are there any substitutes for sake?

    • Tarla

      Would rice wine vinegar do the trick?

      • Marc Matsumoto

        The alcohol burns off when it’s cooking so it should not be a problem, but if your parents still don’t let you use it, substitute water. Rice wine vinegar is rice wine that has undergone the last stage of fermentation and turned to vinegar, it doesn’t really taste like sake anymore, and it will make your chicken sour.

        • lmchibisuke

          how would using water instead affect the taste?

          • Marc Matsumoto

            If you can’t find/use sake for some reason water would be the best substitute, but it will affect the flavor.

  • Adrianna

    Delicious and easy! I lived in Japan for many years and always had trouble finding authentic recipes in English. Thank you for the wide selection of favorites, I can’t wait to try another recipe soon!

  • Emme

    My husband and I moved to Ubud, Bali a year ago and I am always looking for new recipes with ‘accessible’ ingredients as not everything is easily available here :) I am thrilled to have come across your blog and even more excited to try this recipe! I am looking forward to following your blog and cooking my little heart out :) Terima Kashi

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Thanks for the note! I visited Ubud last year and it was stunning. While I didn’t get a chance to go to any local markets, let me know if you run into any ingredients you can’t find there as I might be able to suggest a substitute.

  • Ernest

    I tried tried this yesterday, marinated for about 4 fours. The crunchiness was outrageous!!
    Next time I’ll up the soy sauce though, it was a tad bit under seasoned.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Glad to hear you liked it. What kind of soy sauce did you use?

      • Ernest

        I use Yamasa Brand, full sodium, I don’t do low sodium.

        • Ernest

          So I decided to try this again. This time I marinated the chicken overnight. Spiked it with a touch of fish sauce (red boat brand). Fantastic

  • Ernest

    And just FYI, that Bob’s red mill potato starch might be a little expensive but it’s worth it. I used some cheap potato starch and it stuck to utensils like super glue. Bob’s red mill is the way to go.

    • Michael Allen

      I too use Bob’s Red Mill potato starch, works perfectly!

  • Allyson Outlaw

    To fry it a 2nd time do you need to coat it again or just drop it in hot oil? Is mirin a good sub for sake? Mirin is always in my cabinet. Sake not so much.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Nope, you don’t need to coat it again to fry a 2nd time. Just stop the first fry before it gets too dark, and then brown it all the way on the second fry. As for substituting mirin for sake, I wouldn’t recommend it. Mirin is much sweeter than sake, which isn’t a problem if you like it sweet, but the issue is that the sugar will burn before the chicken is cooked.

      • lmchibisuke

        what if you leave out the sugar in the recipe? Do you think it would even out?

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Good idea, that should work.

  • Jin Ah

    Thank you soooo much for this recipe. I order karaage every time it’s available. I made this last night. I agree with Ernest. I like my karaage a bit more seasoned although I only marinated it for 1.5 hrs. I’m going to add some spice next time, maybe some cayenne. Love the curry idea.

    • Ernest

      A little Sambal Oelek in the marinade adds a nice subtle kick.

  • SolidTD

    What kind of sake should one use?

    There’s a local Japanese super market and I can get may different types. I was told “Ozeki One Cup” is for cooking.

    I was at the general store and there was better deals on bottles. They have

    “Gekkeikan Taditional” and “Sho Chiku Bai Classic Junmai”

    • Ernest

      I normally get ones that say Junmai Ginjo ($7 for a 300ml bottle). Junmai Daiginjo is hard to come by around my area but it’s supposed to be top notch.

      • Marc Matsumoto

        While you can’t go wrong with a more expensive bottle of sake (such as Junmai Daiginjo), it’s a little overkill since you really won’t be able to tell the difference in the finished product ( the soy sauce, ginger and garlic, will cover up any differences). That said, since this recipe only uses 1 tablespoon, you could buy a bottle, use a little bit to make the karaage, and drink the rest:-)

        • Ernest

          Very true. It’s just my philosophy on food is to use the best ingredients whenever possible. You wouldn’t put regular gas in a Ferrari, would you? LOL

          • SolidTD

            I will agree, that not spending a lot for sake that’s going to be cooked, with other ingredients, is probably good practice. At the same time, I wouldn’t want to put Nigori Sake in the mix, if it didn’t call for it; even though, I can get Nigori for really cheap in my area. These sakes give the chicken different flavor. I’m just trying to find one that will blend the best.

            Which type do you have lying around when you make your recipe?
            Which type do you regularly use?
            Which type do you perfer?
            (These questions are assuming you’ve tried this recipe with multiple types.)

          • Ernest

            I tried using a cheap one that claimed to be premium sake $4, ended up with slightly bitter/ off kind of taste. After doing some research I went and got a bottle that clearly said Junmai Ginjo on the label. I haven’t looked back. Plus side is it is fairly drinkable but I keep a bottle handy just for cooking. I’m a whiskey drinker.
            And as for the Mirin, Kikkoman aji mirin is laced with corn syrup. I ditched that and got Eden Foods mirin. The difference is night and day. It is $7 a bottle but it’s not like you’ll use the whole bottle at once.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      All three of the ones you mentioned are inexpensive sakes that are fine for cooking. It’s a waste of money buying really expensive sake for cooking as most of the subtleties that make them so expensive will get lost amidst the other ingredients.

  • Ernest

    Marc, I can’t express enough how much I appreciate your effort and site. I stumbled on it a few months ago and I thoroughly enjoy everything that I have tried. But the Karaage! I’m addicted to the Karaage.

    How about putting together a list of essential kitchen ingredients, if you ever have some time to spare?

    And by the way, Lodge makes a 10 inch deep skillet that fries anything beautifully. Less than $30 on Amazon.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Great idea! I’m at my grandmothers house right now and she’s at the age now where she doesn’t cook anymore. I’ve been cooking for the family all week, and had to go out and buy a bunch of kitchen basics, but since I won’t be here long it’s been challenging to limit myself to the absolute necessities. Here’s a quick list of pantry stuff I’ve been buying

      Olive oil, regular oil, japanese soy sauce, sugar, sea salt, flour, miso, pepper, some kind of hot sauce, sake, dashi, canned tomatoes, canned (or jarred) italian tuna, italian anchovies in oil, whole block
      of parmesan cheese, spaghetti, onions, garlic, ginger, scallions.

      With these basics (+ veggies, and meat), you can make a ton of dishes.

  • Savrien454

    is it possible to use any other parts of the chicken besides the thighs? Can I also use this with skinless chicken breasts?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Yep breast will work, but it has less fat so will have less flavor and be dryer. If you’re worried about the fat content of using skin-on thighs, skinless thighs with the visible fat trimmed off would be a good compromise.

  • Pam McDonald

    I live in Oregon and have a Japanese aviation student staying with me who says this one of the most favored dishes in Japan. He cooked this for me and it was delicious so I searched the web for a recipe and showed it to him. He says these are all the correct ingredients and I cannot wait to cook it, I love Japanese food and this is one I had not heard of. Thanks for the recipe.

  • Ernest

    Just FYI, I find tossing the chicken in potato starch quite stressful. So I dump the chicken and the potato starch in a large container, put a lid on and SHAKE it!!!!! Done

    • Marc Matsumoto

      A ziploc bag will also work (and no bowl to wash), but personally I find this gets too much potato starch on the outside of the chicken.

  • Pradipto

    Sorry, but is it okay if i use chicken breast?

  • Denise

    I was wondering if I could fry this ahead of time and put it in an electric roaster to keep warm. Would be making it for about 85 people so could not do it last minute. Thanks

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Denise, if you use chicken thighs this shouldn’t be a problem (though I don’t know if it will stay crisp). I would not try do that if you’re planning on using chicken breasts.

  • la fata della zucca

    Yummy! I’ll try this!

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  • Jortiz3

    Its actually one of the lower calorie options out there, if your pieces you fry are large. Its moderately low in carbs, low in Sat Fat, and extremely high in protein.

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  • jaknyf

    Several have asked if they could use mirin instead of sake. Several have commented that the mirin is too sweet. Well the recipe calls for 2 teaspoons sugar. I would think that one could simply adjust the sugar amount accordingly

    • Marc Matsumoto

      That would work too, you’ll need to experiment to figure out how much sugar to omit.

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  • Lisa

    Have you tried using rice flour instead of potato starch? Will that work as a substitute?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Nope, I haven’t tried. I’m sure it will work, but I think it will have a texture similar to all-purpose flour after it’s fried, more crunchy than crispy.

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  • carley

    Can I use sherry or port instead of sake

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Sherry and port make decent substitutes for Chinese rice wine, but they have a fairly different flavor profile from sake. That said, Karaage was originally a Chinese dish, so in this case either will probably work.

      • DDC

        Can you use Mirin instead of Sake?

  • Anantama Virgiawan

    excuse me, what do you recommend to substitute the sake Marc? I’m muslim and sake si not allowed, please answer

    • Marc Matsumoto

      You can substitute water. It obviously won’t taste quite the same, but it’s the closest substitute.

    • Legna

      I don’t understand hwy sake isn’t allowed in your “religion” eve if it is just only being used for cooking.. The heat prey much kills the alcohol content and just leaves the flavor.

  • george

    the best subs for potato starch is corn starch!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Corn starch can be substituted but it will not give you the same crispy texture as potato starch.

  • Monica

    What would you eat it with? Just rice? Do you have a side dish that would be a nice accompaniment? Thanks

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  • ezzye

    would Panko in with the potato starch work?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      To make panko stick you typically need to do a flour coating followed by an egg wash. Have a look at my Tonkatsu post for more details. —
      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  • Eric

    Great recipe. Thank you very much. Followed everything and it’s the best Chicken Karaage ever. I will never order this from a restaurant again. It’s so easy to make. Others are asking if you can sub for panko or corn starch. The simple answer is no. It won’t taste the same. Potato starch is harder to find and more expensive but it’s worth it. If you don’t have a thermometer to measure frying temp, keep the burner around medium high and should be about right.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Eric, glad to hear you enjoyed it! You’re right about subbing panko and cornstarch, but regarding the oil temperature, keep in mind that everyone has a different cooktop that puts out a different amount of heat. Unfortunately that makes it difficult to make generalizations that will work for everyone.

    • DDC

      I used a thermometer for making candy…it reads high temp.

  • elle

    I was wondering can you use this marinade for other things? I really like it and was wondering if you could use it for grilling or baking chicken?

    • Marc Matsumoto


  • Michael Allen

    Very specific presentation detail I’m curious about: I see in your photos of the finished dish the karaage is on some sort of absorbent parchment paper – I’ve seen it used with fried dishes in nicer Japanese restaurants as well. What exactly is it called and can I find it at my local chain grocer (if not online)?

    Many thanks in advance!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Michael, in Japan they’ll often use rice paper, but I just used regular paper (the kind you put in your printer).

      • Michael Allen

        Funny it was something so simple. I really like the way it looks on the plate, so I’ll try it out when I prepare this dish later this week!

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Yep:-) The idea is just to put something absorbent underneath. A paper towel would work too. To give it a little style, I usually cut long rectangles and fold the paper in half at a slight angle.

          • Michael Allen

            I really like the sound of that, I’ll definitely use your method!

  • Kristen

    Thank you so much for adding the bit about gluten-free tamari! It’s difficult to come across great recipes that are also gluten free.

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  • ena

    Made this for a dinner once, and everyone raves about how it tastes so much better than the one in restaurants! Thank you so much for the recipe!

  • hpenguin

    im calling bull on the potato starch i just tried to fry the chicken in only potato starch and it never got medium brown the chicken skin burned inside before the potato starch browned.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi hpenguin, sorry to hear it did not work out for you. It’s normal for there to be some darker spots on the karaage but it should not taste burnt. Also potato starch does not brown like other flours. It will still have a slightly white frosted look on the outside. The main thing is that the chicken is cooked through, but not over cooked, the exterior will be crisp even if its not fully browned. Just out of curiosity, did you measure the temperature of the oil before adding the chicken?

  • ku san

    how long (max) can the raw chicken be kept in marinade until frying?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      There isn’t really an upper limit, beyond the chicken spoiling.

  • dk002

    Have you ever used rice flower instead of potato starch?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      I’ve never tried it, but I think it will give the the chicken a different texture. BTW potato flour and potato starch are not the same thing. Potato flour is dried ground potatoes, potato starch is just the starch of the potato.

      Marc Matsumoto
      Twitter: @norecipes

  • Angel Stillions

    So I was reading the comments…and saw a link to Japanese potato salad. It didnt work :( Do you have another good link or recipe for it? I make bento for my husband and I to take to school! It would be awesome to add that to my list of sides! And of course the Kaarage recipe was excellent!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Angel, you just need to take the end parenthesis of the end of the URL (the commenting software isn’t smart enough to figure out it’s not part of the URL. Here’s the link again without the parens:

      • Angel Stillions

        Thank you ^_^

  • Kaevin

    Hi, i just wanted to know if we can replace the Sake with something else? any suggestions?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      The sake is there for flavor, since there’s really nothing that’s similar in flavor to sake, water would be the best substitute.

      Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  • Mica M

    Made this recipe before. Excellent. Could I leave out the sake and sugar when using mirin?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Yep, that should be fine.

      • Mica M

        Thanks for the quick respond. I’ll do that then. Regards, Michiko

  • Jags

    is it okay if i use wine or rum replacing sake?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Wine and rum both taste quite different from sake. They’ll certainly work, but if you want something more neutral without the rum flavor or the acidity of wine it would probably be best to use water.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Wine and rum both taste quite different from sake. They’ll certainly work, but if you want something more neutral without the rum flavor or the acidity of wine it would probably be best to use water.

      • Jags

        thank you for the quick respond.

  • Zulita Linares

    Hey Marc!

    I tried making this but I feel like I put on too much coating in the beginning and then too little towards the end of the batch. They all ended up coming out burnt looking with frosty white spots, my roommate said they looked like crushed oreos! I know the main issue was the fact that I didn’t use a thermometer and just kinda eyeballed it. Should I just be more mindful of the frying temp and just kinda wing it when it comes to the coating?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Zulita, some white speckles and dark areas are perfectly normal. Potato starch fries up differently than flour or cornstarch, so that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. As for the dark areas, because there’s some sugar in the marinade, it’s inevitable that some areas will end up looking a little darker than others. You can minimize this by lowering the temperature of your frying oil, but as long as it doesn’t taste burt, I wouldn’t be too alarmed.

  • Eric Cabato

    Hi! Can i use cornstarch instead of potato starch?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Eric, you can use cornstarch, but it will give you a very different texture. More crunchy than crispy. — Sent from Mailbox for iPhone

  • Netso46

    Made this tonight & it was outstanding!! Changed it a little bit, by adding a little sugar & sesame seed oil, but OMG, so delicious. Had stir fried green beans, a few basil spaghetti noodles & chili sauce-yum, yum. Will definitely keep this for my favorites. Thanks for a great recipe!!!

  • Harwin

    Looks like a great recipe. Just need to see if my local supermarket carries sake and potato starch. Would the left overs making a good filling for onigiri?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Harwin, if you’re in the US, the biggest brand that makes potato starch is Bob’s Red Mill. They usually carry it at high end supermarkets like Whole Foods. As for Onigiri stuffing, I’ve never tried it but it sounds like an awesome idea!

  • Hạnh Hanna

    my mother made it for last dinner at very first time and it was awesome, my Japanese bosses love it so much 😀

  • Dom Bradley

    Replace the potato starch with almond meal + parmesan, and omit sugar from the marinade, and you get a fantastic Atkin’s/Keto/Paleo meal

  • jo

    After I fried the chicken it had a white powder on it? What is that? How do I make it go away?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Jo, if you used potato starch, this is quite normal (you can see in the first photo there are white areas). There’s nothing wrong with it, but if it bugs you, you can just coat each piece with less starch the next time you make it.

  • Susan

    Made this for dinner tonight, didn’t have potato starch (not sure where I can get it in Western Australia), so had to use corn starch instead but it was delicious and worked perfectly… Thanks for the recipe!

  • Gaia

    Hi! I ate this plate yesterday in a restaurant but the chicken seemed raw. Was pink and translucent. More on one side than on the other. l I told it to the waitress and she said that it was for the marinade in soy. But the soya is dark no pink mmmm .

    I have not eaten it to be sure. I was wrong? Thank you!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Gaia, in Japan, good Karaage is usually a little pink on the inside(barely cooked) because it’s the juiciest at that level of doneness. It should not have been translucent though. As for the marinade, unless the restaurant was using nitrates (stuff that’s used to cure ham and bacon) in their karaage, it probably wasn’t the marinade that made the meat pink.

      Regarding pink (but not translucent) chicken, at the FDA recommended temp of 165 F chicken will not be pink. That said, it’s a bit of a grey area because time is as big a factor as temperature in killing microorganisms. For example, salmonella will die after 1 1/2 minutes at 152 F, but it takes less than 10 seconds to die at temperatures above 162F. Since it takes some time for the food to get form the fryer to your mouth, you should in theory be able to cook karaage to about 155 F(slightly pink) assuming it will take a few minutes to get from the fryer to your mouth. But since you’re not measuring each piece of chicken with a timer and thermometer, there’s always a risk that the temperature wasn’t quite high enough or the resting time wasn’t quite long enough (or that the room was so cold the temperature dropped too quickly). At the end of the day, it comes down to how much risk you’re willing to take for juicy chicken.

      • Gaia

        Thank you Marc for the quickly and thorough reply! :)

  • Misslav20

    I just want to say thank you for this, i made this with some oven roasted brussels sprouts as a simple dinner and had 3 pieces. I used thin boneless and skinless chicken breast with corn starch. I picked a dry white wine for marinade instead of sake and it tasted great. I actually marinaded it over night, pretty much 24 hours and its was the best chicken i have ever made!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Misslav20, glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  • Victoria Fisher

    Any brands or stores in u.s that would most likely sell potato starch ? Or should I look at a Asian grocery store vs reg grocery

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Victoria, Bobs Red Mill makes potato starch and I’ve seen it at Whole Foods.

    • AussieInIndy

      another US brand is “Ener-G Potato Starch Flour”, Whole Foods and also in Kroger grocery Stores

      • Victoria Fisher

        Thanks , we don’t have a Kroger’s but do have there sister store Fred myers and they had it , so tyvm !!

  • lee

    Is it possible to omit the sake? Or substitute it with something else? Thanks!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Lee, you can use water instead, but obviously it won’t taste the same.

  • bakerb

    have made this with cornstarch instead of potato flour and chinese rice wine instead of sake, turned out pretty good.

  • Richiva

    Kia ora Marc, I have used your recipe many times for my family meal which we all love! Thank you for your easy instructions! We quite often order this dish at our local favorite Japanese restaurant, Yamato! I am learning my language (Te Reo Māori) at a local training provider in our city. As part of our course we need to make and write a recipe in `Māori. May I please use your recipe to translate into Māori and your pictures for an A3 paper presentation? I will ensure to have your name and website on my poster as the originator of the recipe.

  • Beck Jacobson

    What sauce would go well with this? Thanks

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Beck, since the chicken is already well seasoned there’s really no need for a sauce. That said, if you feel like the seasoning is not sufficient, you could use some ponzu.

  • Yuta

    Hi I’m from Indonesia and I really love your recipe. I’m still thirteen and I am making a infographic about how to make chicken karaage, may I have a permission to uaw your image and translated instruction in my infographic, I will only post in my school, not in online, thx for the wonderful recipe.

    • yuta

      to use*

  • B.M.Allen

    Does the chicken need additional salt & pepper before frying?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      It should have plenty of flavor from the marinade, but if you don’t feel like it’s enough you could sprinkle some salt on after it’s fried.

  • Nish

    I made this first time today. So deliciousssss. Thank you for shaing.

  • Nice Karaage

    it tasted great except for it’s lack of salt and high amount of fat

    • Ernest

      Had the same issue with seasoning so I always marinate it longer than recipe states to get the seasoning where I want it. And sprinkle some salt as soon as it’s out of the fryer.
      As for fat, Was your oil hot enough?

      • Marc Matsumoto

        Hi Ernest, Good call. I tend to write marination times as short as possible to allow people to make things on short notice, but unless specified otherwise, always assume that things will taste better marinated for 1 day+.

        • Ernest

          And deep fried in leaf lard, GOODNESS GRACIUOS!!

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Nice, how long did you marinate it for? While 1 hour is the minimum if you really want to get a lot of flavor in there, try soaking the chicken over night. As for the amount of fat, do you mean it was greasy or that you have a problem with the fact that it’s deep fried. If it was greasy, it could be the temperature of the oil you used, or that the chicken wasn’t drained properly after frying. If the issue is with deep frying, then I’d suggest looking for a different dish such as chicken teriyaki, which is not deep fried.

  • Victoria

    Wow I love Japanese cuisine, and I just tried your recipe today. It’s really tasty! The ginger is amazingly good in it and with lemon it’s just perfect!
    Thank you so much!
    Anyway I didn’t have sake so I used white wine instead, and I’m totally satisfied with the outcome.

  • Anna

    can anyone tell me how to make the miso sauce to go with this?

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Anna, this may be regional variation, but karaage isn’t usually served with a sauce. Can you tell me what part of Japan you had it (or what regional cuisine the restaurant you had it in specializes in) and I can try and look it up.

  • Emzays

    Hello i want to ask if sake is a must for this recippe as i don’t think i can eat anything with alcohol in it.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Emzays. It’s not a must in the sense that the chicken will still fry without it, but it will effect the flavor if you leave it out.

  • Leunaleir

    hello sir, i want to ask. can i subtitute sake with something else? without changing the flavour of karaage? i think its difficult to find sake in my country. thanks (:

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Leunaleir, unfortunately sake is pretty unique in flavor so there isn’t a very good substitute for it. While it won’t taste quite the same, the most neutral substitute would be water.

      • Jon Kim

        Would shaoxing wine be really bad? I’m going to use sake but just curious. Great write up!

        • Marc Matsumoto

          Shaoxing has a very strong flavor which will change the taste of the karaage, but it’s definitely not a bad thing, just something different.

  • Mike

    Hello Chef Marc, I tried your recipe for the first time tonight (also my first time deep frying) and for a first time it was successful!! Very tasty and not very difficult. I did have a bit of a problem keeping the oil at temperature, mostly it was a bit too hot, then on the last batch a bit too cool. Just practice I think. I will definitely try this again! Thank you.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Mike, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it! Controlling oil temperature can be tough, and practice will help, but there area few things you can do that will make it easier. Using a heavy bottomed pot (such as one made with cast iron) works especially well because the pot helps retain heat. This reduces the wild swings in temperature when you add food to the oil or turn up the heat.

  • Ja Sharland

    Hello Chef Marc, I tried making this today and it was so good even though I used 1 tbspn of Shaoxing instead of Sake. Ate it with curry and’s our family favourite now. Thank you for the recipe!

  • Yogicfoodie

    Hi Marc,
    I’ve been on virtual-fried chicken-binge (3 nights non stop!!) and I have landed on my next project. I just noticed, you fried your chicken in a mini rice cooker insert!^^;;

    You made me smile! And I know my chicken will make me smile tomorrow!
    Thanks as always

    • Marc Matsumoto

      I could eat fried chicken every day too! As a genre of food, it’s one of my favorites. As for the pot, it’s actually a stove top rice cooker, so it’s basically a regular pot with markings on it. Using an insert for a rice cooker on a stove would be a very bad idea.

      • Yogicfoodie

        icic~~ awesome! I didn’t see a stove top rice cooker around me. ^^;;
        Always just a delight to come visit you here!

      • Sean Marquez

        Hello Chef Marc,
        Actually my family still uses rice cooker inserts on stove tops for years at a time. It should be fine to keep using if you happen to be too cheap to buy a new rice cooker like us. Key word is “should,” though…

  • Oinkeeh

    shokugeki no souma

    • Robotics

      Omg I’m not the only one researching karaage..

    • Abdifatah Osman

      OMG same

    • Beyond

      feel like trying this also after seeing that episode haha

    • Dethrone

      we’re all searching for that karaage, mmmmm

  • Cesar Sanchez

    I only cam here cuz it looked really good in shokugeki no souma haha

    • Mika

      so am i :-)

    • Beyond


    • Crowley Eusford

      hahah same here
      now I will do shokugeki in my kitchen now hahaha I will really going to try this.

    • cryosx

      That shows doing some good advertising

    • Joe Gibson Jr

      Hahaha! Same here! LOL

    • Samuel Pandolfo

      Same here!So many people into the show. lol

    • Daniel Thompson

      Yeah. That soy/chili marinade and how it was wrapped looked amazing.

    • Therapy

      Lel, same
      Was looking for a recipe to try out, turned out to be pretty good xcept changed authentic sake to home-made stuff

    • Leo

      I found this because of shokugeki no soma also :) I just added some black and red pepper powder before i put it in the starch. I wonder if adding the ground black and red pepper to the marinade would also make it more spicy/better?

    • Brittany Humes

      ikkk i googled it for the same reason and it still looks amazing lol

  • David

    Any other alternatives for sake?

    • KompostMaster

      I often use sherry as substitute for sake or ricewine since those are really expansive in europe.

  • Diane Dae

    I’m not here because of Souma, not at all, no

    • Alean Nollan

      Me too haha. Never really expect someone would be here with that reason lol.

    • Anemology

      This is the seductive kaarage right?

    • Diane Dae

      The kaarage I made was delicious. I was dissapointed that I made so little though :))))

  • Michael Dudebro

    Hey chef, just wondering if it’s cool if you can use steamed chicken breast instead. Was making quick Sunday lunch and this came to mind.

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi Michael, you can make it with whatever you like, but personally I wouldn’t do it. Chicken breast tends to dry out easily which is why its a poor choice for karaage, and if the chicken has already been cooked, i’s going to end up even more dry.

  • tenshi_a

    I just made this. It was awesome! Thanks for the recipe. Mine ended up a darker colour because of the soy sauce I’d used, and very gingery and very juicy, and I really liked it. 😀

    I found when looking for potato starch in my local supermarket, there wasn’t any – but looking under the “gluten free” section, they had some “gluten free plain flour”. This was in fact mostly potato starch, with tapioca flour and rice flour added too. That worked really well as a substitution! So there’s a tip for anyone who needs it.

    (BTW it wasn’t Souma that led me here but Mayushii’s obsession with “Juicy Karaage Number 1” in Steins;Gate, haha!)

  • Totsuki’s Elite 00

    I’m here because of Shokugeki. lol And my siblings who’s into the anime wants to try the karaage. I said, i’ll cook it for them, following Souma’s recipe.
    However, my problem is the Banh Xeo or that crepe made of rice. I also wanted to include that for the complete package ala Sumire’s Mark Karaage! HAHA

  • Leo

    Thanks for the recipe Marc! Would marinating the chicken with some mirin enhance the flavor or texture? (i figure the vinegar would help break the chicken down to be even more tender) BTW i also found this page because of shokugeki no soma :)

  • Marine_Vet_Sgt

    I actually watched that anime and it gave me the idea also, I’m using the majority of this recipe, except using corn starch instead of potato starch. I’m a culinary student and for one of my classes I will be running a chicken themed menu and chose this as an app. Though I found I needed thicker breasts, so will probably use bone in airline breasts to start with since most chicken breasts you buy aren’t as thick as I’d like. And I’ll be using skinless breasts.


    Shokugeki no soma brought me here! I just wanna try those famous karaage!!

    • Dawn

      try that first dish with bacon and potatoes <3

    • BareGrillsMcSnaggleTooth

      HAHAHA same for me. I just watched that episode and got inspired. The bahn xeo reference excited me too. I love this series!!

    • Teru

      Epic same here that Anime makes me hungry to try every dish I see ^,~.

    • Ereka Brotherson

      lol ME TOO!! I really wanna know how to make these!!

  • caster

    lol, same here

  • sshtargot

    I just made this, and it tasted very good. The trouble I had was with coating the chickens in the potato starch, it would clump up so that parts of the chicken piece kept getting exposed. The more I tried to coat it, the more uneven and clumpy it got. The problem this caused was uneven cooking in the crust of the chicken and holes

    • Marc Matsumoto

      Hi sshtargot, the key is to work quickly and to coat the chicken in small batches. You should also minimize handling the chicken while you’re coating as your fingers (or whatever implement you’re using will cause the starch to clump). The best way is to put a few pieces of the chicken in a bowl of starch and toss the chicken in the bowl without touching it with anything. Then use something with very little surface area (i.e. 2 forks, chopsticks, etc) to transfer the coated chicken into the oil. Once it’s fried you can handle it with whatever you like.

      • Sarah Shtargot

        Thank you for the advice!


I'm Marc, and I want to teach you some basic techniques and give you the confidence and inspiration so that you can cook without recipes too!

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