Juicy bites of savory chicken coated in a fluffy cloud of crispness that shatters into a pool of flavor as you bite into it makes this Japanese fried chicken one of my favorite foods.
- 5 grams garlic (1 medium clove, grated) - 2 tablespoons sake - 1/2 teaspoon salt - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper - 400 grams skin-on boneless chicken thighs - vegetable oil (for frying) - 50 grams potato starch (~1/3 cup) - 1/2 lemon (for serving)
Add the grated garlic, sake, salt, and black pepper to a bowl and stir until the salt has dissolved.
Trim any excess fat off the chicken and then cut it into 1.5-inch strips, following the partitions in the thigh.
Cut the strips into pieces that are roughly the same volume as a golf ball. I.e. Thick areas shorter, thin areas longer.
Add the chicken to the marinade and stir to coat evenly. Marinate for at least one hour, or preferably overnight.
Roll the marinated chicken around in the potato starch and use your fingers to gather it up into a round ball with the skin on the outside.
Lower the coated chicken directly into oil that's been preheated to 340°F (170°C). Once the crust sets, flip periodically.
The karaage is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C). This will take about 5 minutes. Drain on a wire rack lined with paper towels.