KA RA A GE !! (Japanese style fried chicken)

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I think FRIED CHICKEN is one of the national dishes in here.

Many people love it, and we Japanese also love American style fried chicken!

However Japanese don’t cook American style fried chicken at home.  We go to Kentucky Fried Chicken…

It might be because American style fried chicken doesn’t go well with white rice or we can’t find butter milk (which is sometimes necessary to make good fried chicken) in regular grocery stores in Japan.

I hope we could get buttermilk in Japan someday soon for not only chickens, but also for pancakes or muffins.

I love the flavor of buttermilk.

Anyway we don’t cook American style fried chickens at home, but instead we cook Japanese style fried chicken very often at home.

This is one of typical Japanese home cooking dishes and also it is very popular for OBENTO, lunch box.

We call Japanese style fried chicken as KA RA A GE.

My husband loves KA RA A GE very much.

He might jump with joy if he knew I am going to cook KA RA A GE for tonight’s dinner.

KA RA A GE, is so easy to make, and also they are bite sizes, so it is easy for us to bring them to the mouth by chopsticks.

They go well with white rice as well.

Today I would like to introduce how to make KA RA A GE!

Here are what you need for Ka Ra A Ge.

  • 3/4 lbs chicken thigh
  • 1 piece of ginger
  • 1-1 1/2 table spoons of sake
  • 1-1 1/2 table spoons of soy sauce
  • white flouer
  • potato starch (optional)
  • garlic powder (optional)

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Of course we need chicken thigh.

I usually purchase a family pack and freeze them in plastic bags in a small portion.

Recently I found a very good way to freeze meat without getting freeze burn thanks to America’s Test Kitchen!


After portioning meats in a bag, you can submerge it in the water slowly with  the bag opening at the corner.

Try to push out all the air in a bag. Then,,,


TA DA–!!

We don’t need to buy an expensive vacuum machine!

OK, return to the cooking.

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Dry the chicken with paper towel,and take fat if you want. ( I WANT!)

Next we marinate those chicken.

We usually use a mixture of sake and soy sauce for Ka Ra A GE, but today I use a secret weapon, one of traditional Japanese condiments, SHIO-KOJI.

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Shio-koji is KOJI  which is cooked rice that have been inoculated with a fermentation culture.

It is a live food that is rich in enzymes and brings out the UMAMIi in foods.

I am very glad that the word UMAMI is used often these days.

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We could use this SHIO KOJI in place of salt in any dishes or as an ingredient in sauces.

The saltiness is mild and sweet, and because of its enzymes, when you mix this with meats, meats get very tender.

This is one of my favorite Japanese condiments.

You might be able to find SHIO-KOJI in Asian grocery stores.

ME?   I ask my mom to send them…….

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After cutting chicken thigh in a bite size, I put 1 or 2 tea spoons of SHIO-KOJI.

You can add sake and soy sauce here.


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grate ginger.

Sorry for this old tool.

I got this when I got married……still it  works perfect for me!

You can use,,,

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We could use entire grated ginger, but I would rather do ,,,,,

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like this.

Squeeze the grated ginger, and use only ,,,,

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its liquid for smooth texture.

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Now you have cut chicken, sake and soy sauce ( in my case SHIO-KOJI), and ginger liquid in a bowl.

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Rub gently, and

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put them in a plastic bag to keep in the fridge at least 3-4hours.

It can be overnight.

When you open the fridge in other reasons, if you could rub the chicken over the bag, it would be wonderful!

Well, the phone is ringing!

My husband called me as KAERU call (KAERU=I am coming back!), so it is frying time!

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You could use only flour, and if you like garlic flavor, add garlic powder in it.

I sometimes use only flour, sometimes use only potato starch.

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Today I do mix both of them.

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Here again, I use a small plastic bag to flour the chicken.

It is an easy way!

Before adding chicken in a bag, don’t forget to dry the chicken with paper towel!

Otherwise it gets soggy after frying.

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Coat the chicken evenly with flour and potato starch mixture, then fry!

Put canola oil in a pot and heat it at 340-350F.

Now put the chicken in oil.

Don’t overcrowd the pot with chicken.

Turn once and fry until they get golden brown.

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Ohhhhh, smell so well!

My husband came back, and before greeting TADAIMA ( I am home!), he screamed I SMELL YOU FRY SOMETHINIG!!

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Of course he enjoyed them very much! and he asked me if there were more left in the kitchen.

I hope you like Japanese style chicken fry!

For tonight’s dinner, I made ICHI JYU SAN SAI ( 一汁三菜 features soup, one main dish and two side dishes. Not counted but always served with rice).

ICHI JYU SAN SAI is very basic rule for preparing meals.

Today’s ICHI JYU is of course, miso soup!

Today’s SAN SAI are Ka Ra A Ge, HIYA YAKKO (TOFU) with kombu, and cucumber salad.

I will introduce what I made today next time!

9 thoughts on “KA RA A GE !! (Japanese style fried chicken)

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