Who doesn’t love a bit of fried chicken? It’s got to be the ultimate comfort food; after all nearly every country I can think of has their own version of crispy, golden fried chicken. Each one varies in the herbs, batter or even the cut of chicken they use, but in the end it’s all about delicious, crispy chicken in one form or another. One of my favourite versions is this Japanese style fried chicken also known as tori kara-age. Sometimes the baked version just doesn’t cut it and for all those times, this is the place to go!
I first tried Japanese style fried chicken in Wagamama ages ago and I was hooked from the first bite. I’ve since started making it at home and it goes down a treat every, single time I make it. We don’t eat it too often (ok maybe a bit more often than we should) but it’s a fab treat when we need some crispy comfort, and what a treat it is. I especially tend to make this chicken when we have friends over as it’s loved by any age from 1 to 100! I like to serve it with a wasabi, lime mayo which complements the chicken perfectly.
300 gms boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh (thigh is better but I’ve often used breast too)
1½ tsp freshly grated ginger
3 cloves garlic minced
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs sake
50 gms potato starch
10 gms plain flour
¾ tsp dried oregano (optional)
Oil for deep frying
Lime wedges for serving
3 tbs mayo
1 garlic clove minced
1 tsp lime juice (add more for more zing)
¼ tsp lime zest
¼ tsp wasabi paste (add more for a hotter kick)
pinch of salt
Cut the chicken in to small bite-sized pieces. Mix together the soy, sake, ginger and garlic and marinate the chicken in this for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, to make the wasabi-lime mayo just mix all the ingredients together. Taste and add more wasabi if you like it hotter.
Heat the oil to deep fry the chicken. While the oil is heating up, mix the potato starch with the plain flour and add the oregano to the flour mixture, if using. Drain the chicken from the marinade and dip each piece in the flour mixture making sure all the chicken is well coated. Drop in the hot oil. Once the pieces turn a darkish golden brown, they are done (note: thighs take a little longer).
Drain the chicken on kitchen towel, transfer to a plate and serve with lots of lime wedges and wasabi-lime mayo.
Tip: These are best eaten immediately however if you want to avoid deep frying at the last minute, they do heat up nicely in the oven. Keep them on a wire rack after cooking and put in a moderate oven for about 10-12 minutes.
This Japanese style fried chicken is so moreish and disappears quickly whenever I make it for a crowd. So now, I always make more than I think I’ll need. It’s an indulgent treat but when you’re in need of golden fried chicken comfort, this is the place to go – crispy and soft, salty and sharp and just so darn delicious!
Do you have a favourite fried chicken dish? Do share…