What if those crispy little bite-sized pieces of deep-fried chicken came with Karaage flavour!? It was a light bulb moment when I saw a KFC popcorn chicken ad. Would you like to know how to cook it at home? Here is my recipe for the ever-popular fried chicken cooked the Japanese way. This recipe is packed with Japanese Umami flavour which comes from soy sauce, sake, ginger and garlic!
What is Karaage Chicken?
Karaage chicken is the Japanese version of fried chicken. Basically, bite-sized marinated chicken pieces are generously coated with potato starch, and then deep fried. It is an immensely popular menu item at any Izakaya style restaurant and also a timeless “go-to” dinner that Japanese mothers (or fathers) will cook for the family feast.
What to season popcorn chicken with?
What are the KFC secret herbs and spices? I don’t know, because they’re a secret, right! Nevermind, I am going to share my secret with you, and I believe the seasoning is better than KFC’s. I marinate pieces of chicken with soy sauce, sake, ginger and garlic (or garlic powder). That’s it. Very simple but packed with umami flavour!
Chicken Thighs vs Chicken Breasts
Chicken thighs are not a great choice. Why? They are the oily part of the chicken, and popcorn chicken is a fried food. Chicken breasts may have less flavour than the thighs but because we marinate the chicken, and also generously coat with potato starch, they turn out to be as juicy and flavorful as chicken thighs.
How to deep fry popcorn chicken?
This is a super easy recipe. You don’t need a flour mixture to coat the chicken pieces. We cover the marinated chicken with potato starch called “Katakuriko”. Although Some Karaage recipes suggest deep frying twice, this recipe does not because the chicken is coated by katakuriko generously. When Katakuriko is deep-fried, it becomes super crispy!
How about dipping sauce?
This Karaage popcorn chicken is insanely delicious. It oozes with Japanese Umami flavour. So you probably will not need any dipping sauce. However, if you are the type of person who likes to dip, try sweet chilli sauce, or Japanese mayonnaise. I would just eat it with a lemon wedge.
Serving suggestions with popcorn chicken
If you serving popcorn chicken as a snack, I would serve popcorn chicken in a takeaway cardboard with parchment paper lined with Renkon lotus root chips. When you serve popcorn chicken as a side dish, I would serve with Japanese potato salad and some green salad leaves.
Other Karaage related recipes
If you liked my recipe for Popcorn Chicken Karaage infusion, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
If you liked my recipe for Popcorn Chicken, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
- 250 g Chicken thigh
- 250 g Chicken breast
- 1/2 cup Katakuriko potato starch (enough to cover all the chicken)
- Vegetable oil amount depends on the size of your pan or fryer
- 2 tbsp Sake
- 2 tbsp Soy sauce
- 1/2 tbsp Minced ginger
- 1/2 tbsp Minced garlic
- Cut the chicken meat into mini bite sized pieces.
- Mix sake, soy sauce, ginger and garlic all together in a ziplock bag.
- Add the chicken to the bag and massage the bag. Marinate the chicken in the bag and leave it aside for about 20 minutes.
- Place the potato starch in a shallow container or in a bowl and roll the marinated chicken pieces in it to coat them. Shake off the excess starch.
- Fill a deep saucepan with the cooking oil (or an electric deep fryer, which is what I used) about ⅔ full and heat to about 180 c degree. Dip a chopstick into the oil and if tiny bubbles form at the bottom of the pan, then it is ready to deep fry the meat.
- Cook the chicken meat until the outside is golden brown and crispy.
- Take the chicken out and leave it on a plate with a paper towels placed under it and over it to absorb the excess oil.
- Serve with any condiments you like, such as lemon, mayo, or salt and pepper.