You might have tried some kara-age (pronounce each syllable separately, ka-ra-a-ge) chicken at a sushi restaurant. It is the one of the most popular Japanese foods in the U.S.
I would love to share the recipe of my hometown, Hokkaido. This is actually easier than regular Kara-age recipe and has more enhanced flavor. You want beer with this.
Interestingly, Hokkaido people call this recipe Zangi and insist its difference and independency from kara-age. I actually got friendly complaints from Hokkaidians through Twitter and requested to add this note for broader popularization of Zangi . Love.
The original recipe can be found here (in Japanese. By Mrs. Esunohara. ) .
Chicken thigh, boned 2 pounds
Soy sauce 6 tbs
Japanese sake or wine 4 tbs
Grated ginger 1 tbs
Grated garlic 1 tbs
Flour 4-5 tbs (or 3 tbs flour and 2 tbs corn starch for crispier finish)
Oil for frying
How to cook
1) Cut chicken into 1 inch cubes.
2) Put chicken, ginger, garlic, say sauce and sake in a large bowl and mix well.
If you have an opened bottle of Japanese sake, just use it. But you don’t have to buy one only for this recipe. I have tried red and white wine instead and both worked fine.
3) Marinate it for 2-3 hours or overnight. You can make a large amount of this and freeze for quick dinner later on.
4) Add eggs and flour in the bowl.
Usually a Kara-age recipe tells you to coat chicken with flour but my hometown recipe mixes all in the bowl. It holds the flavor better and easier to fry.
5) Heat oil in a large pan and fry until appetizingly brown.
Oil temperature should be about 350 F.
A kitchen drinker enjoying sizzling hot fried chicken.
Hokkaido Zangi should ideally be as brown as Hokkaido grizzly bear. Mine this time had too light color.. can only be a Hokkaido fox.
6) Cut lemon in wedges and serve.
I suggest to have some tofu and tomato salad with this. Enjoy!
I have the recipe in Japanese, too.