Noob Cook Makes Chicken Karaage – 100% Foolproof!

As much as I love food, I’ve never been much of a cook.

When I was younger, the kitchen was my mom’s domain (still is), and now that I’m older I just don’t have much interest in it. Since I live with family, making meals that I actually like (usually Western – pastas, pizza, steaks) is also difficult because I have to consider what my fam would eat (dad and bro have super Asian palates so every meal must have rice, dad doesn’t like cheese, mom dislikes fried food and can’t eat raw veggies, etc.).

Since I’m no longer dining out as much due to the pandemic, I haven’t had Japanese food in ages – so I thought of making some chicken karaage. As I’ve mentioned, I’m not much of a cook and I wasn’t expecting it to be anything wow, but I was pleasantly surprised at how much they tasted like the ones you can get from actual Japanese restos.

I adapted the original recipe from Rasa Malaysia, with a couple of tweaks. If a noob like me with little to no cooking experience can whip them up, I’m sure this will be a breeze for everyone else!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken thighs, deboned
  • 3 inches ginger – grate and squeeze to get 2 tbsp ginger juice
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • a teaspoon of sugar (substitute for cooking sake)
  • cornflour

Method:

  1. cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces.
  2. combine ginger juice, soy sauce and sugar. Allow chicken to marinate overnight.
  3. coat chicken with cornflour. (I used a ziploc bag so it would coat evenly)
  4. Shake off excess cornflour.
  5. Heat oil to boil in a pot / wok. Fry chicken at medium heat until they float. Remove and allow to rest for a few minutes.
  6. Adjust to high heat. Fry chicken again until crispy and golden brown.
  7. Place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Serve.

And that’s it! It’s super simple; and I was so happy the chicken turned out juicy and well-flavoured – didn’t need extra seasoning or anything. Is this what they call ‘the joys of cooking’? Or maybe I’m just excited because it’s fried chicken ha

The original recipe says to use four chicken thighs (about a lb), but because the thighs I bought were humongous (wtf are they feeding the chickens?), I only used two. You can use breast meat, but thigh meat tends to be more tender and juicier. Cooking sake helps to break down the meat, but if you’re going for a halal recipe / don’t have cooking sake, sugar works as well. The portion was enough for our fam of four (mom doesn’t like fried food and only had a bit) but I think I could have polished off this entire plate by myself lol. I think judging by regular portions, it’s good for 2-3 people.

If you’re trying this recipe, let me know how it turned out. Happy cooking! 🙂

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