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Japanese Popcorn Chicken (Karaage)

from the video Fried Chicken from Around the World ▶︎

by Alvin Zhou


for 2 servings

  • 3 boneless chicken thighs, chopped into 1-inch chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup (80 g) potato starch
  • oil, for frying

To serve

  • lemon wedge
  • fresh parsley


  1. Combine the chicken with the garlic, ginger, soy, sake, sesame oil, and sugar in a bowl until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
  2. Heat oil in a pot over high heat until about 340°F.
  3. Give the chicken a stir to re-incorporate the marinade, then sprinkle the potato starch on top. Lightly toss until somewhat combined, but do not mix until each chicken piece is evenly coated because the uneven pockets of potato starch will give the chicken its signature unique texture.
  4. Fry half of the chicken at a time, until light golden and bubbly, about 5-7 minutes. The oil temperature will drop to about 320°F. Rest the chicken on paper towels and increase the heat.
  5. Heat oil to about 390°F, then fry the chicken again for about 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Drain the chicken on paper towels.
  6. Serve with lemon and parsley.
  7. Enjoy!
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