How to make Karaage – Japanese Fried Chicken

Authentic Japanese Karaage: Unlock the Secret Recipe Today!

Ah, Karaage! Just saying the word evokes memories of my travels through the bustling streets of Tokyo, where the aroma of this crispy Japanese fried chicken lured me from stalls and tiny eateries. If you, too, have a passion for unlocking the secrets of authentic dishes, then you’re in for a treat today! Dive into my all-time favorite Karaage recipe, refined over years of culinary adventures.

Karaage is a popular Japanese snack. Typically made from chicken or fish, it is small strips of marinated meat dredged in flour and deep-fried. Served with fresh lemon wedges, karaage are often served on a bed of rice or greens. The dipping sauces used vary from sour cream to mayonnaise.

Karaage – Japanese Fried Chicken Recipes

How To Make Karaage - Japanese Fried Chicken
How to make karaage – japanese fried chicken
How To Make Karaage - Japanese Fried Chicken 1


Japanese-style fried chicken can be found at homes, in bars and restaurants, and in ramen shops all over Japan. Karaage is so popular that there are even national competitions to determine the best of the best. Our recipe here is a classic one, using soy sauce, sake, ginger, and garlic. Both thigh and breast meat work well. The double-fry technique gives your chicken that extra crispiness. Serve karaage as hot as possible.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Side Dishes, Snacks
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: chicken, fried chicken, karaage
CookingStyle: Stir-frying
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 27 minutes
Total Time: 42 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 332kcal
Author: James Anderson
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  • In a large mixing bowl, mix the chicken, garlic, ginger, sake, soy sauce, and sesame oil, and toss well to coat. Put in the refrigerator for about 1 hour to marinate.
  • Put the cornstarch in a medium mixing bowl. Lift the chicken out of the marinade and place in the bowl of cornstarch. Toss the chicken in the cornstarch to thoroughly coat.
  • Fill a deep pot about halfway with vegetable oil. Heat over high heat until a pinch of flour sizzles when dropped into the oil.
  • Carefully place the chicken pieces in the oil, stirring when you first put them in to keep the pieces from sticking to the bottom of the pot or to one another. Deep-fry the chicken for 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside on paper towels for up to 10 minutes.
  • Right before you’re ready to serve the chicken, reheat the oil and deep-fry the chicken again for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken and let it rest on a wire rack for a couple of minutes to drain. Serve as soon as possible, with lemon wedges.



Add 2 teaspoons of curry powder to the cornstarch to make curry-flavored karaage.
Storage Hack: Karaage is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers, keep them in an airtight container. To reheat, use an oven or air fryer for that just-fried crispiness. Hungry for more storage hacks? Join our newsletter for weekly tips.
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Serving: 1serving | Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 107mg | Sodium: 588mg | Potassium: 669mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
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Oven-Baked Karaage: A Healthier Twist on the Classic

Golden-Brown Perfection: Oven-Baked Karaage In All Its Glory!
Golden-brown perfection: oven-baked karaage in all its glory!

Switching up the traditional deep-frying method for the oven not only offers a healthier alternative but also guarantees a mess-free kitchen. Here’s how to achieve that crispy exterior and juicy interior without immersing your chicken in oil.


  • Same as traditional Karaage


  1. Marination: Start as you would with the traditional Karaage recipe. Marinate the chicken pieces in your mixture of soy sauce, sake, ginger, garlic, and other seasonings. Let it sit for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight for the best flavor infusion.
  2. Preheat Oven: Set your oven to preheat at 400°F (200°C).
  3. Coating: After marinating, remove each piece of chicken and let the excess marinade drip off. Lightly coat each piece in potato starch or cornstarch. Ensure every nook and cranny of the chicken piece is covered to achieve that crispy texture.
  4. Prepare Baking Sheet: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. This ensures easy cleanup and prevents the chicken from sticking.
  5. Arrangement: Arrange the coated chicken pieces on the baking sheet, ensuring they’re spaced out evenly. This prevents them from steaming and ensures each piece gets crispy.
  6. Bake: Slide the baking sheet into the preheated oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through, until the Karaage achieves a golden brown hue and is cooked through.
  7. Serve: Once baked to perfection, remove from the oven and let them cool slightly on a cooling rack. This ensures the Karaage retains its crispiness. Serve with lemon wedges and enjoy your healthier Karaage!

Tip: For an even crispier finish, you can place the Karaage under the broiler for the last 2-3 minutes of baking. Just be sure to keep an eye on them to avoid burning.

Enjoy the unique taste and texture of oven-baked Karaage, proving that sometimes, deviations from the traditional can lead to delightful surprises!

Tips and Tricks

From Tokyo Streets To Your Dining Table: The Karaage Journey.
From tokyo streets to your dining table: the karaage journey.

Serving Suggestions

Oven-baked Karaage, with its crunchy exterior and succulent interior, is versatile, making it apt for various occasions.

  • Events and Audience: Perfect for kid’s birthday parties or adult gatherings alike. Its universal appeal makes it a hit, be it at a casual potluck or a sophisticated dinner soirée.
  • Complementary Sides: Pair it with a zesty cucumber salad or a light coleslaw to bring out the Karaage’s flavors. Steamed rice or a bowl of miso soup can also provide a comforting accompaniment.
  • Beverages: Cold Japanese beer or a glass of crisp sake can elevate the Karaage experience. For non-alcoholic options, try a chilled barley tea or fresh lemonade.
  • Ways to Serve: Serve bite-sized Karaage pieces on skewers for a cocktail party. Alternatively, place them inside a brioche bun with some lettuce, mayo, and pickles for a delightful Karaage slider.

Cooking Tips

That Unmistakable Crunch: Close-Up Of The Karaage Crust.
That unmistakable crunch: close-up of the karaage crust.

Achieving the perfect Karaage requires more than just following the recipe. Here’s some guidance from my kitchen to yours.

  • Chicken Choice: Opt for boneless thigh pieces. They remain juicy compared to breast pieces.
  • Marination Time: Longer marination equals more flavor. Overnight is best, but if pressed for time, a minimum of 2 hours is essential.
  • Even Coating: Ensure chicken pieces are evenly coated in starch. Too thick, and it may not crisp up. Too thin, and you lose that signature crunch.
  • Avoid Overcrowding: When arranging on the baking sheet, give each piece space. Overcrowding causes steaming, which can prevent the desired crispiness.
  • Temperature Check: Always ensure your oven is at the right temperature. A simple oven thermometer can be your best friend.
Read  Easy-to-cook Caramelized Chicken with lime and ginger


Pairing Delights: Karaage With Its Best Companions.
Pairing delights: karaage with its best companions.
  • 1. How do I store leftover Karaage? Leftover Karaage should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 3 days. When reheating, use an oven or air fryer to retain its crispiness. Microwaving can make it soggy.
  • 2. Can I use chicken breast instead of thigh pieces? Yes, you can use chicken breast, but thighs tend to be juicier and more flavorful. If you prefer breast meat, ensure you don’t overcook it to avoid drying it out.
  • 3. Why is my Karaage not crispy? There could be several reasons – the oven temperature might not be accurate, the chicken pieces could be overcrowded, or the starch coating might be too thick or uneven.
  • 4. Can I marinate the chicken for longer than overnight? While longer marination imparts more flavor, marinating beyond 24 hours might result in the chicken becoming too salty. If you plan to marinate longer, consider reducing the amount of soy sauce.
  • 5. Is it necessary to flip the Karaage halfway through baking? Yes, flipping ensures even cooking and crispiness on all sides. Without flipping, the bottom side might not achieve the desired golden-brown texture.

Karaage gets a healthy twist in our oven-baked version without compromising on flavor and crunch. Explore our pro tips, unique serving ideas, and clear up any cooking doubts with our FAQs. Impressed? Share this culinary gem with friends and dive deeper into our gastronomic world by subscribing to our blog. Delicious awaits!

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I'm James F Anderson, a noted sous chef from London and a Le Cordon Bleu alumnus. My career began in a Michelin-starred Parisian eatery, where my blend of classic and contemporary cooking, using seasonal ingredients, earned accolades. Recognized in culinary publications and on cooking shows, I’m committed to mentoring aspiring chefs and delivering memorable dining experiences, marking me as a standout talent in the culinary world.
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