Simple Chicken Karaage

Karaage is shatteringly crisp, simply delicious, snackable fried chicken. And best of all, the crunch holds up. The Japanese bar staple has started to make appearances around the US given that – because of the pandemic – so much of the restaurant business is takeout only. You’ll see it appearing on sandwiches, dropped in ramen or rice bowls, rolled into sushi, and in all sorts of other preparations.


I like it simple. A plate of Chicken Karaage – maybe with a really simple dipping sauce- and a very cold pale beer.

This simple recipe makes crunchy, tender, juicy chicken bites you can use in whatever way you want – and best of all, it’s fast and uses ingredients you may already have in your pantry. The chicken is quickly marinated in soy and water or dashi (i use dashi to give it a little extra umami kick) with garlic and ginger. It’s then dipped in a simple breading of corn starch and little baking powder (just to help with browning) before quickly fried up until it’s crunchy and juicy and perfect.


Simple Chicken Karaage

Recipe by DrewCourse: Main, SnacksCuisine: Japanese


Prep time


Cooking time




  • Karaage Chicken
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce

  • 1/2 cup water, or prepared instant dashi

  • 1 cup corn starch

  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

  • 1/2 tsp crushed or microplaned garlic

  • 1/8 tsp baking soda

  • oil for frying

  • Sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar

  • 2 drops toasted sesame oil

  • 1 scallion, minced


  • Chicken
  • Cut the chicken into 1-2 inch pieces
  • Mix soy and dashi (or water) with the ginger and garlic.
  • Add the chicken to the marinade and allow to rest at lest 30 minutes and up to 3 hours.
  • Mix the cornstarch and baking soda.
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade and working one piece at a time, dip into the corn starch.
  • Arrange on a rack on top of a sheet pan and allow 30 minutes to hydrate.
  • Prepare a deep fryer or dutch oven with clean oil.
  • Fry at 350°F until crispy and brown.
  • Allow to cool slightly before serving as this will make the crust crispier.

Be sure to check out my other food project, The Weekly Menu!


  1. Drew,
    ThankQ for your website. I found it today and am very happy I did. Chicken thighs are my go to dinner. I can eat them every day and never get tired of them.
    Your recipe for Simple Chicken Karaage lists ⅛ tsp baking soda, however it’s not used in the directions. How is the baking soda used?

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