Updated: December 03, 2019
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Essential Japanese Foods: Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Karaage is a Japanese word that refers to boneless, bite-sized pieces of fried meat (usually chicken). It's one of the most popular foods in Japan and can be found at restaurants and convenience stores everywhere. This article will tell you all about karaage, including how to pronounce it, links to great restaurants, and a recipe!

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How do you Pronounce Karaage?

beautifully_cooked_karaage
Karaage is a 4-syllable Japanese word that is pronounced (ka・ra・ah・ge). Karaage

The name in Japanese is written 唐揚げ or 空揚げ. In Japanese, the kanji 空 means 'empty' and karaage was originally made by frying the meat without any flavoring or flour (the name, therefore means 'empty fry'). Nowadays, karaage is known for having a rich, delicious flavor that comes from the meat being marinated in seasoning, so it's far from 'empty,' but the name hasn't changed.

What is Karaage Made From?

karaage_cooking_in_oil
Karaage is most commonly made from chicken, although other types of meat are also used. The meat is cut up into pieces before cooking and marinated in flavoring that varies by recipe. The marinated chunks of meat are then coated in flour or potato starch (or a special mix of various flours) and deep-fried in oil.

What is tori karaage?

In Japanese, 'tori' (鶏)means 'chicken.' Thus, 'tori karaage' means 'chicken karaage.' Chicken is the most common type of karaage, and the word karaage when used alone typically refers to chicken. However, as noted above, karaage is not exclusively made with chicken. 'Tako karaage,' for example, refers to octopus karaage.
tako_octopus_karaage
tako (octopus) karaage

What's the Difference Between Katsu and Karaage?

beautiful_chicken_katsu
Chicken katsu
Whereas karaage is deep-fried, bite-sized pieces of meat, katsu is a deep-fried, large piece of meat that is cut into strips after cooking. In addition, katsu typically is fried with a bread-crumb (panko) coating, whereas karaage is typically fried with a flour or potato starch coating.

What does Karaage Taste Like?

karaage_tasting
Karaage will taste different based on the marinade that the meat was soaked in before frying. Some karaage is fairly mild, while other karaage can be spicy or flavored with other strong ingredients like garlic. The things that all delicious karaage have in common, however, are the delicious crispy outside and the juicy, tender inside. Also, unlike normal fried chicken, karaage is boneless, making it amazingly enjoyable and easy to eat.

Make your Own Karaage at Home!

Karaage is easy to make, but difficult to make perfectly. It'll probably take some practice to be able to make delicious karaage that is crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. There are a lot of recipes on the internet or check out this youtube video that shows you how to make good karaage step-by-step:
DeLong
I live in west Tokyo and spend most of my time thinking about food or going bouldering.

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