Hed Chef: Japanese-style fried chicken
Marinated in beer, these golden pieces of chicken karaage make for a flavoursome snack
In the mood to indulge? Check out this recipe for Japanese-style fried chicken karaage.
I was inspired by beer-marinated fried chicken that I chanced upon at a Japanese bento takeaway counter and decided to try making my own.
Kirin is one of my go-to beers on the occasional weekend afternoon when the insufferable heat provides the perfect excuse to enjoy a chilled can of beer.
Light-tasting and smooth, it lends flavour to the marinade and batter for the chicken. I added mirin (a rice wine) for sweetness to balance the beer's slightly bitter edge.
The garlic and ginger add aromatic sharpness.
Go for boneless chicken thigh for easy handling. I kept the skin and a little of the fat on for a crispier texture.
I added cornflour to the marinade as it gives extra smoothness to the texture of the meat.
For the batter, I used Japanese potato starch from Hokkaido.
Done right, the resulting chicken pieces should be crispy and not greasy on the surface.
- 480g boneless chicken thigh
- 2 tbsp mirin
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- Dash of pepper
- 30g garlic, ground into a paste
- 30g ginger, grated
- 50ml Japanese beer
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 50g potato starch
- 400ml cooking oil
1. Cut the chicken thigh into large pieces, around 6cm by 6cm. Place in a bowl.
2. Add the mirin, light soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of salt, pepper, garlic paste, grated ginger and beer. Mix well.
3. Add in one tablespoon of cornflour.
4. Marinate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably for two hours.
5. Remove from fridge 30 minutes before deep-frying.
6. Add the potato starch and the remaining salt. Mix well.
7. Heat the oil in deep-frying pan or wok. To check if the oil is hot enough, submerge the ends of a pair of cooking chopsticks and see if it bubbles around them.
8. Gently place the chicken pieces in the oil to deep-fry. Fry up to three pieces at a time.
9. If the chicken browns too quickly, lower the heat.
10. Fry each piece of chicken until golden brown. This should take 3 to 4 minutes per piece.
11. Remove and place the fried chicken on kitchen paper to drain off excess oil.