Japanese Fried Chicken Karaage With Onion Ginger Relish

"In the past most chicken karaage (Japanese style fried chicken) recipes were marinated chicken pieces which were deep fried and simply served. Now in Japan, fried chicken karaage recipes often come with different sauces or relishes. One of my favorite is onion sauce, but this one is equally good. If difficult to get leg sections, boneless thighs work very well too. Make several small cuts (not skin side) to flatten the thighs so they lay flatter."
photo by Rinshinomori photo by Rinshinomori
photo by Rinshinomori
photo by ToniMV photo by ToniMV
photo by ToniMV photo by ToniMV
photo by Pneuma photo by Pneuma
photo by Vicki in CT photo by Vicki in CT
Ready In:
1hr 15mins




  • Massage chicken pieces with 1/2 tsp salt (to remove any unpleasant smell) and wash under cold running water and pat dry.
  • If using bone in chicken legs, cut thigh meat (not skin side)in several areas to make leg sections lay flatter. Using the dull side of knife, pound slightly to flatten more. If using boneless chicken thighs, pound lightly to flatten for quick frying.
  • Combine marinade/coating mixture thoroughly in a large bowl and marinate chicken for 30 minutes. Because this coating is thick, it is best to use your hand to coat the chicken pieces. In Asia, we call these types of coating marinades as simply marinades since it does impart taste to the food being marinated.
  • While chicken is marinating, make vinegar sauce by combining all sauce ingredients and set aside.
  • Make relish by combining all relish ingredients and set aside.
  • With ample oil (about 1 inch in depth) in a wok or deep fryer, heat oil to medium high. Fry chicken turning them occasionally and adjust heat for even frying. They are done when nicely browned and crunchy, and no longer red in the center. This takes approximately 30-40 minutes for bone-in leg sections and about 15-20 minutes for boneless thigh sections. Timing will depend on how high the temperature is.
  • Remove and cut in bite size pieces using a cleaver for bone in chicken or cut in bite size pieces using a regular kitchen knife for boneless chicken. Usually one leg section will yield 4 to 5 cut sections. Arrange on large platter and drizzle vinegar sauce over the chicken pieces and arrange a mound of relish on top.

Questions & Replies

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  1. ToniMV
    This recipe was amazing I tried cooking it tonight for my parents and they loved it! I substituted the thighs or drumsticks for chicken breast tenders, and it worked great. Thanks for this amazing recipe!
  2. tara portee
    I did enjoy this. I was surprised by how thick the coating was; I had to add a little extra egg, but it did stick to the chicken well. The relish was nice and the sauce was an excellent compliment. I was a little disappointed in the chicken, it didn't seem as tasty as I would have liked. I kept thinking that something added to the coating would have helped.
  3. marisk
    I hesitated to try this because I'm not very strong on vinegar type meals but it looked interesting so here I am :D I followed the instructions exactly except that I used chicken thighs and I didn't cut them down to size. Vicki in CT was right, the sauce is the icing on the cake; it didn't hurt that I love cilantro, green onions, and ginger. This meal was so tasty (and easy to make) that I made a plate to give to one of my neighbors who lives alone! MAHALO! My neighbor stopped by. He couldn't stop raving about the chicken! He said it was the BEST chicken he had EVER tasted!
  4. Pneuma
    These are delicious! Crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside and very tasty too! Followed recipe as is, pouring the sauce over the karaages.DH at first didn't want to eat it coz it's fried but when he tasted it, he changed his mind. That's how good this is. Thanks for posting this, Rinshimori.
  5. Gerry
    What a wonderful recipe - a deliciously different chicken recipe to add to our family cookbook! The ingredients came together making for flavorful crisp and tender chicken - the sauce and the relish just as good as I thought it would be. One of those recipes to have on hand when having special guests. Made as posted - excellent instructions. A great recipenap!


  1. ToniMV
    This recipe was amazing I tried cooking it tonight for my parents and they loved it! I substituted the thighs or drumsticks for chicken breast tenders, and it worked great. Thanks for this amazing recipe!
  2. Vicki in CT
    This was very good. The vinegar sauce is the icing on the cake. I dipped instead of pouring over the chicken. I subbed cilantro instead of parsley as a personal preference. The batter was very thick so I added an extra egg. The chicken fried up nice and crisp. May use the sauce just with grilled chicken. This recipe would be great with boneless chicken tenders.


You can find me reviewing book, magazine and online recipes with a name of Rinshin at eatyourbooks.com.
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