Kona Mai Tais

Japanese Karaage Popcorn Chicken

Crunchy, crispy, tender, flavourful, fried chicken bites that make you smile, with every single nibble.  Oishii!

I've always so enjoyed having Chicken Karaage when we're out for Japanese food, I mean who doesn't like fried chicken, right?

And, of course, I quite relish when my cooking thoughts like to scoot away from the usual.  Don't you?  Anyway, as I scooted this time around, it hardly took anytime at all to get started playing around in the kitchen with boneless, skin-on chicken thighs. Yup!

It sometimes tickles my taste buds to do things up a bit differently than the norm.  So, as I adventured online I found some food blog recipes and chitchat, about Karaage.  Inspiration and I-want-that, won me over.  

And, guess what?  Japanese Karaage Popcorn Chicken is fun to make.  And eat!  Of course! 

Pop, pop, pop!  Oh, oh, 3 tasty, crispy, fried chicken just disappeared!  Boom-shaka-laka!

Marinating pieces of cut-up, boneless, skin-on, chicken thighs in a handful of ingredients that speak fluent Japanese creates flavour-popping 'Yes, please-ed-ness!'   Soy sauce, garlic, ginger root, sake, mirin = happy Karaage.

Oh wait, I forgot the crunch.  Potato starch is the trick that forges the crispy, crispy, golden coating. 

I finish our karaage sprinkled with flaky sea salt, and serve with fresh lemon wedges (for squeezing), Kewpie mayo (Japanese mayonnaise) and/or Thai sweet chili sauce.  Finger licking good!

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Arigato to Tasty, She Knows and Salu-Salo food blogs
for the delicious inspiration for The Last Wonton.

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6 boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons sake
1 tablespoon ginger root, minced or finely grated
1 tablespoon mirin
Good sprinkling of black pepper.
1 cup potato starch
Sunflower, peanut, or corn oil, for frying
Sea salt flakes, lemon wedges, Kewpie mayo, Thai sweet chili sauce for serving - You pick!

In a medium bowl, or large-ish Ziplock bag mix the soy sauce, minced garlic, sake, minced ginger root, mirin and black pepper.  Add chicken, mix, mix.  Marinate, refrigerated, a minimum of 1 hour, but 2-3 hours mo' bettah, and overnight, just fine.

Add potato starch to a bowl or large pie plate, add chicken pieces.  Dredge, mix, coat, coat, coat.

Heat oil in a deep frying pan, to 350F-360F.  Fry the chicken in batches, (don't crowd the pan) for 6-8 minutes, until golden brown.  Drain/rest the chicken on crumpled paper towels.

Sprinkle chicken with sea salt flakes and serve with your choice of fresh lemon wedges, Kewpie mayo, Thai sweet chili sauce, or??   POP! POP! POP!