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Chicken Karaage | Japanese Fried Chicken

Employees at Union Square Tokyo have developed their own family meal repertoire. Their version of fried chicken has the requisite crunch thanks to potato starch, which is found in the baking or kosher food section of most supermarkets. Boneless chunks of marinated chicken are lightly coated in egg white and potato starch, then twice-fried briefly until crisp. The first frying cooks the chicken through, and the second frying, at a higher temperature, turns it to golden brown perfection.–Michael Romano and Karen Stabiner

LC Gluten-Free Godliness Note

After trying this chicken karaage (pronounced kah rah ah geh), we’ve newfound respect for potato starch—and a newfound fried chicken fix. Talk about gluten-free godliness (uh, provided you use a soy sauce that’s expressly labeled g or substitute tamari, mind you).

Special Equipment: deep-fry or candy thermometer

Chicken Karaage Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 35 M
  • 1 H, 40 M
  • Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons grated garlic cloves (from about 8 cloves)
  • 4 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari, preferably low-sodium
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, preferably dark meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 3 large egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Directions

  • 1. Combine the garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sake, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken and stir until the sugar dissolves. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • 2. About 30 minutes before you intend to cook the chicken, remove it from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature.
  • 3. Drain the chicken, discard the marinade, and then return the chicken to the bowl. Add the egg whites and stir and turn to coat all the pieces. Add the potato starch and mix well.
  • 4. Heat 2 inches oil over medium heat in a wok or heavy, deep-sided pot until it reaches 325°F (163°C) on a deep-fry or candy thermometer. Fry the chicken in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan, just until the chicken is cooked through on the inside and golden brown on the outside, about 4 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels or a brown paper bag. The chicken will look done, although it will not be fully crisp yet. Wait until the temperature of the oil returns to 325°F (163°C) before frying the next batches.
  • 5. Heat the oil to 375°F (190°C). Using the slotted spoon, return the chicken to the oil in batches and fry until crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on clean paper towels and serve immediately.
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