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Karaage – Japanese Fried Chicken Recipe (Video)

Love fried chicken? Take it to the next level with this Japanese recipe, where the chicken is marinated and fried until crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.

Karaage is a beloved dish in Japan, enjoyed by both kids and adults who unwind after a long day with a plate of karaage and a cold beer or sake at an izakaya (Japanese “tapas” restaurant). Ready to give it a try?

The most common type of karaage, and the one I’m sharing today, is Tatsutaage. Its name comes from the reddish-brown color of the soybean marinade, resembling the hue of the Tatsuta River in autumn when surrounded by Japanese maple trees.

How to Achieve Crispy and Juicy Chicken?

Wondering how to make your Japanese fried chicken irresistibly crispy and juicy? Here are some tips for guaranteed success:

Choose the Right Meat:

Opt for chicken thighs for this recipe as they are juicier and have more fat compared to chicken breast, resulting in a moist and flavorful dish.

Marinate for Flavor:

Marinate the chicken for about 2 hours to enhance its flavor and juiciness. The marinade also acts as a binder, eliminating the need for eggs commonly used in Western recipes.

The Double Frying Secret:

To achieve the perfect texture, fry the chicken twice:

  • First fry at 145°C for 2 to 3 minutes to cook the chicken without drying it out. The residual heat continues cooking the chicken after it’s removed from the oil.
  • Second fry a few minutes later at 175°C for 1 minute to make the potato starch (or cornstarch) coating extra crispy.
Karaage - crispy and delicious Japanese fried chicken - homemade karaage recipe with ingredients

Potato Starch vs. Cornstarch:

While you can use potato starch or cornstarch, note that karaage made with cornstarch tends to be denser, resembling corn pancakes, whereas potato starch yields a lighter and crispier texture akin to potato chips.

How to Serve Karaage?

In Japan, karaage is often served with rice, thinly sliced coleslaw, and bentos. It’s a popular choice for picnics, paired with delicious onigiri. Ready for a Japanese-style picnic?

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Karaage – Japanese Fried Chicken Recipe
Print recipe
5 from 7 votes
Love fried chicken? Take it to the next level with this Japanese recipe, where the chicken is marinated and fried until crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Time to marinate: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 25 minutes
Cuisine: Japanese
Servings: 3 rations
Calories: 292kcal


  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger grated
  • 1 tsp garlic grated
  • 1/4 tsp gochugang
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 2-3 tbsp cornstarch or potato starch


  • Prepare the chicken by deboning it, optionally removing the skin, and cutting it into bite-sized pieces.
  • Marinate the meat by adding soy sauce, ginger, garlic, gochujang sauce, sesame oil, and sake. Mix well.
  • Refrigerate and marinate for a minimum of 2 hours.
  • After two hours, add the potato starch (or cornstarch) and stir well.
  • To achieve juicy and crispy chicken, fry it in two steps.
  • First, fry at a temperature of 145°C for about 3 minutes. This ensures the chicken cooks without drying out. Once removed from the oil, residual heat will continue cooking the chicken.
  • Second, fry again a few minutes later at a temperature of 175°C for 1 minute to achieve a very crispy coating.
  • Optionally, accompany the chicken with lemon and/or shichimi togarashi.



This marinade sauce can be easily adapted. For the classic version, omit the gochujang sauce and double the amounts of garlic and ginger. For a spicier version, add more gochujang sauce.


Calorias: 292kcal | Carbohidratos: 6g | Proteina: 19g | Grasa: 20g | Grasas saturadas: 5g | Colesterol: 111mg | Sodio: 423mg | Potasio: 254mg | Fibra: 1g | Azúcar: 1g | Vitamin A: 89IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg
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