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Japanese Fried Chicken (Tori No Karaage)

By , from the Matthew Amster-Burton collection
Serves 3 to 4
Total Time 2 hours


The traditional accompaniment for this dish is lemon wedges. Feel free to skip making the sauce and serve the chicken just with lemon instead.


4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
6 Tbsp. shaoxing rice wine or sake
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. grated ginger
1 tsp. sesame oil
~ Refined vegetable oil for deep-frying (such as peanut, canola, soybean, or safflower)
1 cup cornstarch
1 Tbsp. mirin
~ Steamed rice and fresh lemon wedges, for serving


  1. Cut each chicken thigh into six pieces. (Cut it in half lengthwise, then cut each strip into thirds.) Put it in a bowl, stir in the rice wine, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil, and marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oil to 325 degrees in a deep fryer. Strain the chicken, reserving the marinade. Roll the chicken pieces in the cornstarch, shaking off the excess. Working in two or three batches, fry the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, until light golden brown, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  3. Meanwhile, place the reserved marinade in a saucepan, add the mirin, and bring to a vigorous boil (there was raw chicken in there, after all). Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened and glossy, about 2 minutes.
  4. Heat the oil to 360 degrees. Again working in batches, fry the chicken again until deep golden brown and crispy, about 1 minute. Drain and serve immediately with steamed rice, fresh lemon wedges, and the sauce.

This content is from the Matthew Amster-Burton collection.

There are 5 comments on this item
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40% recommend this recipe
1. by anonymous on Sep 30, 2009 at 1:21 PM PDT

After reading this recipe and your deep fry article, I’m ready to give this a try. But I’ve always wondered what to do with the old oil (after it’s no longer reusable). What do you recommend?

2. by Jessie Voigts on Oct 1, 2009 at 7:54 AM PDT

YUM! this sounds fantastic. i often make it in oil in a frying pan - i see i need a fryer! :) thanks!

3. by Hank Sawtelle on Oct 1, 2009 at 8:56 AM PDT

Anon, look for a biodiesel co-op (or independent biodiesel nerd) in your area. Or make friends with a restaurateur and ask if you can use their grease disposal barrel.

4. by Hank Sawtelle on Oct 1, 2009 at 8:57 AM PDT

PS whatever you do, don’t pour it down the drain into the municipal sewer system.

5. by anonymous on Jan 25, 2010 at 9:35 AM PST

Made the Japanese fried chicken last night. It was excellent. Thanks for the recipe, Matthew.


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