Karaage is a favorite bento "main", and probably the most popular style of fried chicken in Japan. The delicious karaage flavour is created by the marinade which includes garlic, ginger and soy sauce.
I certainly don't feel like deep-frying chicken in the morning, so I make a large batch of karaage one evening, serve some of it for dinner with a big leafy salad, and freeze the rest in small bags.
Since we're mainly making this karaage for freezing and re-heating for super-fast bento, this is the recipe for soft karaage (not super crunchy) - I'll do that karaage in a later post.
Karaage Marinade Ingredients:
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
1/2 Tbsp finely grated ginger
3 Tbsp sake
2 Tbsp shoyu
1 Tbsp sesame oil (or vegetable oil)
900g~1200g chicken thigh fillets, skin on (2~2.5 lb) (I used 1200g this time)
1/4 cup cornflour
1/3 cup flour
generous sprinkle of pepper and a little salt
Oil for deep frying
- Slice chicken into randomly shaped pieces around 3x4x1.5cm (2"x1"x0.5")
- Place in a large snaplock bag with all marinade ingredients, massage a little and refrigerate 30min
- Add egg, both flours and massage the bag to mix. The marinade should turn into a thick batter.
- Heat oil for deep-frying. Fry in batches, turning once. When golden-brown, drain on a wire rack or absorbent paper. Make sure you cook the chicken right through, but don't overcook - you want to keep them moist.
Separate into small freezer bags and lay out on a baking tray to freeze. (I freeze 3 per bag)
When frozen, place in a sealed plastic container to keep them fresh up to a month.
Re-heat in the microwave until hot before putting in your bento.
Use good hygiene and touch the karaage as little as possible at all stages after deep frying to help minimize bacteria and keep your bento safe. (Use chopsticks, not fingers, to put your bento together!)
1. Slice the chicken.
2. Marinate the chicken with garlic, ginger, sake, soy sauce and sesame oil for 30 min.
3. Add egg, cornstarch and flour. 4. Deep fry until golden.