Karaage Chicken – Osaka

Fried Chicken – Karaage
I received this recipe from an engineer from Osaka.  He said it was the ONE dish he could make and he fixes this dish after a busy week.  He and other Japanese engineers and their spouses get together and bring food they get homesick for while here in the States.  He said this was also good made with chicken wings.  I agree!!!  Karaage chicken is very popular in Japan, often enjoyed as a snack on the way home from work with a beer.  I found this dish to be equally yummy with Southern Sweet tea.  NOTE:  I add a sliced scallion to the marinade.

Ingredients
4 chicken thighs, each cut into about 8 pieces or 4 whole chicken wings, disjointed into 8 pieces

Marinade
3 Tb light soy sauce
2 Tb sake
1 inch fresh ginger, grated finely
4 Tb Corn Starch
Oil for deep frying (I use peanut oil because it can be heated to a nice bubbling high without burning or smoking)
Lemon or lime slices to garnish
Sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

Dipping sauce:
4 Tb light soy sauce
1 Tb granulated sugar
2 Tb sake
1 star anise
Simmer the above in a small pot for 5 minutes.

Pat chicken pieces dry, and marinate in the soy sauce, sake and fresh ginger for at least 10 minutes (longer is fine). Heat oil in a small pot suitable for frying, pan or wok to a medium heat. Drain off marinade and toss chicken with the corn starch to coat. Shake off any excess and then cook pieces in batches, being careful not to overcrowd the cooking vessel. Cook until they are crispy and cooked through – about 4-6 minutes each. Serve with small bowls of dipping sauce and lemon or lime wedges.

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