|Karaage (Japanese Style Fried Chicken)
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 4 thighs), trimmed of excess fat, and cut into rough 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, finely minced on microplane or pressed through garlic press
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 quart peanut oil
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 scallion, sliced fine, slices stored in ice water until ready to use (optional)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Combine chicken, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in medium bowl and toss until chicken is thoroughly coated in marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, and up to 8 hours.
Heat vegetable oil in large Dutch oven or wok set over high heat until it reaches 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, combine corn starch and flour in medium bowl. Remove chicken pieces from marinade and toss in flour mixture until well coated. Place in strainer basket and shake to remove excess flour. Add chicken to oil. Oil temperature should drop to around 300 degrees F. Adjust burner to maintain 300 degree temperature and cook, stirring occasionally with chopsticks or wire mesh spider until chicken is cooked through and burnished golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.
Drain chicken pieces on paper towel-lined plate and season immediately with salt. Serve immediately, garnished with scallion and lemon slices.
- serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer, or a dozen at a party -
Note: I strongly recommend using chicken thighs for this recipe, though chicken breasts can be substituted if desired.
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt