From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I don't often serve deep fried foods, but when I do no holds are barred. I was introduced to Karaage Chicken four decades ago, and it was a case of love at first bite. The salty marinade and crisp crust for which this dish is famous makes for an unforgettable taste treat. The chicken is inexpensive to make, easy to prepare and guaranteed to make your socks go up and down as long as you keep a couple of things in mind. Cornstarch is absolutely necessary to the success of this dish. Flour simply will not produce the crispy crust that has made this chicken famous. It is equally important to keep the temperature of your oil constant. Don't overcrowd your fryer and make sure to bring it back to temperature before frying the next batch. Quickly drain the chicken and get it to the table while it is hot. That constraint makes it next to impossible to serve this dish to guests, but friends and family are fair game and will love you for your effort and the introduction to this dish. You'll find that lemon adds enormous flavor to the chicken and helps to keep the saltiness of the soy sauce in check. These days I actually use a low-sodium sauce to make the marinade, but I urge those of you who have access to tamari to use it instead. Japanese tamari is thicker, richer, and less salty than most soy sauce and it is wonderful in this marinade. Because the dish is made with chicken thighs it is inexpensive to make and well within the reach of most budget conscious cooks. I love chicken prepared in this manner and I highly recommend it to all of you. Here is how it is made.
Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Japanese cooks everywhere
1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, each cut in 4 pieces
2 cups cornstarch
2 quarts vegetable oi for deep frying
1 lemon, cut into wedges for serving
1) Combine soy sauce, ginger and garlic in a blender jar. Puree to make a marinade.
2) Place chicken in a large freezer bag and cover with marinade. Refrigerate for 3 to 24 hours, turning pieces occasionally.
3) Drain chicken and roll in cornstarch to coat.
4) Heat oil to 350 degrees F in a Dutch oven.
5) Drop chicken, a few pieces at a time, into hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Remove from oil with a skimmer and drain on paper towels. Yield: 3 to 4 servings.
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