Karaage is a class of Japanese dishes made primarily with breaded fried fillets of meat or fish. The fillets are cut into bite-size pieces, marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, citrus juice, rice wine and ginger, dredged in flour then fried.
This chicken dish was cooked in exactly that manner except that the condiments I used to complete the dish were very un-Japanese. See, I topped the fried chicken fillets with mayo, Dijon mustard and Sriracha rather than serving them with a traditional Japanese dipping sauce on the side. Why didn’t I? I was in the hurry and this was the best I could do.
A la Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
- 8 to 9 chicken thigh fillets (I used skinless), cut into two-inch cubes
- 2 generous plashes rice wine
- 1/8 cup light soy sauce
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup tapioca starch or corn or potato starch
- 2 to 3 cups vegetable cooking oil
- Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely sliced scallions to garnish
Place the chicken fillet cubes in a bowl. Add the rice wine, soy sauce, lemon juice and ginger. Mix well. Cover and allow to marinate in the fridge for about an hour.
Heat the cooking oil.
Dredge each piece of chicken in starch and cook in batches over medium-high heat. Depending on the size of your frying pan, you may need to cook all the chicken in three to four batches. If the temperature is correct, each batch should cook in about five minutes without the chicken pieces turning too dark.
Drain the fried chicken fillets on a rack or a stack of kitchen paper. Transfer to a serving platter.
Drizzle the mayo, mustard and Sriracha over the fried chicken. Sprinkle with finely sliced scallions.