Crispy Salted Kara-age Fried Chicken

Who can resist crispy, juicy kara-age fried chicken!? This is a recipe for salt-based kara-age instead of the more common soy sauce base. Try it with three different delicious sauces!

Crispy Salted Kara-age Fried Chicken
Photographed by TAISUKE SUZUKI

Recipe by







Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 2 chicken thighs (700 g)
  • [A]

    • 40 g garlic (grated)
    • 20 g ginger (unpeeled; grated)
    • 50 ml sake
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper (coarsely ground)
  • [B]

    • 70 g potato starch
    • 70 g rice flour
  • [C]

    • Mayo-celery sauce, as needed

      *Refer to notes for recipe.

    • Scallion sauce, as needed

      *Refer to notes for recipe.

    • Chili tomato sauce, as needed

      *Refer to notes for recipe.

  • [D]

    • Vegetable sticks, as needed

      *Any kind you prefer (daikon radish, carrots, cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, etc).

    • Boiled vegetables, as needed

      *Any kind you prefer (green asparagus, snap peas, etc).

    • Red-tip leaf lettuce, as needed
    • Cherry tomatoes, as needed
    • Lemon, as needed
  • Oil for deep frying



Trim the chicken of excess fat and tendons. Cut into 6-7 equal pieces. Pour the oil into a frying pan and start heating.


Put the chicken in a heat-resistant bowl. Add [A] and rub into the meat. Microwave (600 W) uncovered for about 2 minutes.


*Warm up the meat* Microwave just to slightly warm up the meat. This keeps the oil from cooling down, reducing the cooking time.


Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir lightly with a spatula. Rub the spices into the meat again and place in a plastic bag along with the combined [B] ingredients. Blow some air into the bag, close and shake the bag to dust the meat. Open the bag to let the air out and then press down to make sure the meat is well-coated.


*Use a plastic bag* Blow air into the bag to dust the meat, and then press down after letting the air out. This double process will ensure the chicken is coated evenly without making a mess. Fry the coated chicken right away, as chicken will start to sweat once it's salted.


Place a cooking chopstick in the heated oil. It's ready for frying when a stream of bubbles rises to the surface (180°C). Divide the chicken into two portions. Place the chicken in the oil, one piece at a time. When the surface starts to harden, turn over and fry for about 2-3 minutes until crisp. Remove and drain. Fry the remaining chicken. Plate up and garnish with [C] and [D].


*Fry quickly* Divide the chicken into two portions and fry one piece at a time. This will keep the oil from cooling down, eliminating the need for double frying. Raise the temperature of the oil just before taking the chicken out to make them crisp and golden brown.


*How to make the three sauces* (One batch each)
1. Mayo-celery sauce
Combine one stick of coarsely minced celery (including leaves and thin stalks), 2 tbsp of mayonnaise, 1 tbsp of garlic powder and 1/2 tsp of pepper.
2. Scallion sauce
Combine 2/3 scallion (round slices), a little less than 2 tbsp of sesame oil and 1 tbsp each of soy sauce, sugar and rice vinegar.
3. Chili tomato sauce
Combine 8 cherry tomatoes (cut in half), 3 tbsp of tomato ketchup, 1 tsp of chili powder, 1 tbsp of olive oil and a dash of hot pepper sauce.