Have you ever tried Japanese KARAAGE?
When you think of fried chicken around the world, many people think of Kentucky Fried Chicken's chicken.
Kentucky Fried Chicken's chicken is spiced and flavored in a way that can never be duplicated at home.
Now, I'm not going to introduce you to Kentucky Fried Chicken, but rather a taste of the fried chicken that the Japanese usually eat [chicken karaage].
What is Japanese Chicken Karaage?
As the name suggests, this is a Karaage made with chicken.
The texture of chicken varies depending on the part of the chicken, such as thighs and breasts, but in Japan, Karaage made from thighs is the most common.
The size is slightly larger than bite size. It's about half the size of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
What does Japanese chicken karaage taste like?
There are several flavors of Japanese karaage.
・Soy sauce based sauce
・Salt and pepper only
・Salt koji sauce
These are the main flavors. I will give you the details of each one.
Chicken Karaage with soy sauce-based sauce
This chicken karage is marinated for a few hours with garlic, ginger and sake, using mainly soy sauce.
Then it is dusted with flour or potato starch and fried in oil.
The savory smell of soy sauce fills the kitchen while frying in oil.
The seasoning may include sugar or AJINOMOTO, a seasoning other than the one I mentioned above.
And although I only add the flour and fry it, there is also a pattern of tossing the chicken with a beaten egg and then sprinkling it with the flour and frying it.
Chicken KARAAGE Salt and Pepper
As the name implies, this is a salty KARAAGE that is seasoned with salt and pepper. Since it is salty, it has a refreshing taste.
When it's fried in oil, you can smell the smell of pepper in the air.
It is easy to eat because of its simple flavor and no peculiarity.
In the case of this salt and pepper KARAGE, it is dusted with potato starch and fried.
Chicken in Karaage Salt and Koji Sauce
I've written a detailed article on salted malt before, but again, it's easy to prepare by simply marinating and frying in salted malt.
Just add the right amount of salted koji, rub it in and let it marinate. The key to frying the salted koji karaage is to remove the water from it and dust it with flour and potato starch and fry it. The shio koji is very easy to burn, so if you fry it for a long time, it will turn black. We recommend frying it slowly at a low temperature.
Delicious seasoning to eat with chicken karaage
If you go to a Japanese restaurant or izakaya (Japanese style pub), you will find "chicken karaage" on the menu, which is always accompanied by a variety of spices.
I guess it's around these three things.
They each seem to have their own preferences, and there are those who are OK with lemon juice on chicken karage and those who are not.
What is the difference between sprinkling flour and potato starch on chicken karaage?
Chicken KARAAGE made with flour-only batter
If you make a chicken KARAGE batter with only flour, you will end up with a moist and soft batter. The crispiness is not as great as that of the potato starch batter, but the flour sticks to the meat more easily and helps to lock in the flavor of the meat.
Chicken Karaage made with potato starch only batter
The batter is fried using only potato starch, which makes it crispy and firm. If you want a crispy texture, it is better to use potato starch than flour.
Flour and potato starch combined for a crispy texture
If you feel that the texture of the batter is unsatisfactory if you only use flour, or if you feel that the batter is a little too lumpy and hard if you only use potato starch, you can combine the best parts of potato starch and flour and make a batter that has just the right texture.
The key to making a good chicken karaage
Finally, in addition to the type of flour used to make a good Japanese chicken KARAGE, there are a few other tips to make a good KARAGE, so let's take a look at them.
Soak up the seasoning well.
To ensure that the chicken is cooked evenly, cut the meat into pieces of uniform size and marinate it in the seasoning. Soak the meat in the seasoning for at least 15 minutes to allow it to soak into the meat and become delicious.
If you prefer a thicker flavor, you can soak the meat overnight, but be careful not to soak too much as this will cause the meat to lose its juiciness. The recommended seasonings are ginger and garlic. The ginger soothes the meat and the garlic brings out the flavor and richness of the meat.
Dip the meat in the egg before adding the batter.
If you dip the meat in the egg before dipping it in flour or potato starch, the karaage will be delicious when it cools down without being sticky. The egg coats the chicken and locks in a good amount of fat and moisture.
If you want to take it with you in a lunchbox, you can also use a beaten egg for a good ministry.
Amount of oil for frying
Fry the chicken karaage in just enough to get a little of the top of the chicken karaage in the oil. If you fry too much at once, it will lower the temperature of the oil, so it's best to keep in mind that the amount of fried food is about half the area of your pot.
For a delicious Japanese chicken karaage, focus on a soy sauce based flavor and salt based flavor.
It is eaten in restaurants and homes. I hope you can find a chicken karaage of your own choice.
Also, if you want to eat KARAAGE easily, you can make use of the KARAAGE powder that is sold.