Fiction-Food Café

January 6, 2014

Karaage (Fried Chicken Bites) | Various Anime & Manga

          Seen in anime (Japanese animation) and manga (Japanese comics), often in bento lunches or at festivals, karaage (kah-rah-ah-gay) is a simple and delicious fried chicken dish, kind of like chicken nuggets, only better. Karaage is technically a cooking style of deep frying small pieces of meat but the meat is very often chicken, so when karaage is mentioned, it's often assumed to mean chicken.

Note: The main ingredients are typically the chicken, the soy sauce, garlic, and ginger for the marinade, and then the starch for the crispy outside plus oil for frying. The other ingredients listed below are wonderful to zazz up the flavor (they are what I add when I make this dish), but they aren't essential, so if you don't have, say, aji-mirin on hand, no worries! And there's not a catastrophic difference between chicken thighs and breasts but fried thigh meat is more moist and is thus the preferable choice for this recipe.

Karaage (Fried Chicken Bites)

5-6 Boneless Chicken Thighs (or 3-4 large Boneless Chicken Breasts), cut into 1" pieces
2 Cups Cornstarch (or Potato Starch)
Canola Oil for frying
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
1 tsp. Grated Fresh Ginger (or 1/4 tsp. Ginger Powder, but fresh is best)
1 Tbsp. Minced Garlic
Pinch of Pepper (optional)
1 tsp. Sugar (optional)
1 tsp. Aji-Mirin (optional)

1. Place the little chicken pieces into a large ziplock bag (I actually use the free plastic bags often found in the meat section of the grocery store). In a medium bowl whisk together all of the marinade ingredients & pour it over the chicken in the bag. Squish the contents around so the chicken gets nice & coated & then place the bag in the fridge for at least 30 mins. In the meantime heat up some oil in your deep fryer, or if you don't have one (I totally recommend getting a little Fry Daddy) heat about 2 1/2 inches of oil in a large pot.
2. Put the cornstarch into a large bowl with a lid (if you want spicy karaage, whisk a little bit of the spice powder of your choice, like red pepper powder, into the cornstarch.). Place several pieces of marinated chicken into the bowl & then close the lid & shake until the chicken it fully coated with starch. Using a silicone or metal spoon, lower a few pieces of chicken at a time into the hot oil. Cook for about 2 minutes or until they are crispy & golden brown. Remove from the oil onto a paper towel or a wire rack set over a paper towel lined tray (they'll remain crispier using the rack). Repeat these steps until all of the chicken is fried. Serve as a yummy pile or skewer several for portable party food. Pair with your favorite dipping sauce (I really like this German one). Wonderful with a few squirts from a fresh lemon.

* For more food from anime & manga, try my recipe for tamagoyaki (grilled rolled egg)! *


  1. I tried this recipe out and it was so delicious! The instructions were easy to follow, and I had a fun time making this! :)

    1. Oh wonderful! I'm so glad you liked it!

  2. Hi there! I was wondering something...

    ...How do you exactly cook the meat? Do you just let it stay in the pan or sit in the spoon until the time is up? I've never really fried anything before and I just want it to be right the first time...Sorry if it sounds a bit foolish.

    1. No worries! You simply lower the pieces in so they don't splash and then let them free float until cooked, and then fish them out with the slotted spoon.

  3. Keep posting the good work. Some really helpful information in there. Bookmarked. Nice to see your site.legion free streaming


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