This is one of my family’s favourite meals.  At a decent Japanese restaurant, a serve of kara-age will set you back about $12, but you tend to get about 6 small pieces of fried chicken; delicious chicken yes, but not a terribly large serve. Kara-age is really easy to prepare at home and is excellent for school and work lunches the next day. A batch of kara-age will last up to 3 days if kept properly wrapped in the fridge and cooked chicken can keep in the freezer for 2-3 months. The key to this dish is good marination time and the light coating of potato starch. This recipe is naturally gluten free. This recipe serves 4 people generously and also enough leftovers for 4 lunches.


800gs of chicken thighs
1 piece of ginger about 2cm in length
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons mirin
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 cup potato starch

4 cups neutral oil for frying
kitchen towel for draining chicken


  1. Dice the chicken thighs into bite size pieces, about 3cm in length.
  2. Grated the ginger and garlic and combine with the soy sauce, mirin and sugar in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken.
  3. Combine the chicken with the marinated, cover with plastic wrap and leave for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  4. In small pot, heat the oil to 170 degrees Celcius. You can do the bread cube test: a cube of bread will turn golden brown in the oil in 20 seconds. Too fast and the oil is slightly too hot or if it takes longer than this and you need to let it come to a higher heat.
  5. Place the potato flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge each piece of chicken in potato flour just before you are about to fry it, to ensure a crispy coating. Make sure you leave enough room between pieces of frying chicken; don’t crowd the pot. Cook between 6-10 pieces at a time depending on the size of your pot. If you cook too many at the time, the oil temperature drops and your chicken will be soggy.
  6. Fry each piece of chicken for 4-5 minutes before removing and draining on a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat cooking with remaining chicken.
  7. Serve chicken hot. It goes well with Japanese kewpie mayonnaise. For dinner I serve the chicken with brown rice, salad and Japanese mayonnaise.


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