Chicken karaage

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 02 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 August, 2012, 10:46pm


This is a dish I make whenever I need to cook something quickly to pack into the bento boxes I take to work. I just add cooked rice, Japanese or Korean pickles and some fruit, which makes a balanced meal.

If you plan, it's easy enough to make chicken karaage, even without leaving the house, assuming you have staples such as soy sauce and rice wine in your pantry. I buy boneless chicken thighs, divide them into 300 gram portions, double-wrap them in cling film, then freeze. To thaw the chicken quickly, put the meat (still wrapped in the cling film) in a bowl of warm water for about 30 minutes; in my experience, this works much better than defrosting in a microwave, which heats the meat too much.

Although it's not traditional (and not nearly as delicious), you can use chicken breasts to make this dish. If you do, though, take care not to overcook it, or the meat will be dry.

If you have enough time, mix the chicken with the marinade ingredients, then leave it at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

Ingredients300 grams boneless chicken thighs

20ml soy sauce

10ml rice wine

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 tsp grated ginger

A pinch of finely ground white pepper

30 grams cornstarch

Cooking oil, for frying

Cut the chicken into 2cm pieces, place in a bowl and add the soy sauce, rice wine, garlic, ginger, pepper and cornstarch. Combine thoroughly. If it seems too wet, add a little more cornstarch so the chicken has a light but sticky coating.

Pour cooking oil to the depth of 2cm in a skillet or pan. Heat the oil to 180 degrees Celsius. Fry the chicken in batches until medium brown, then drain on paper towels. Cool the chicken before packing into a bento box.