Make your own karaage chicken at home in the air fryer. Chicken thighs are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sake, ginger & garlic, then air fried to crisp golden brown perfection.
Karaage Chicken (Japanese Fried Chicken) is one of the most popular Japanese dishes around the world. Traditionally it is deep fried twice (or sometimes three times!) to give it it's signature crunch. This air fryer version skips deep frying completely but still results in a deliciously crisp karaage chicken that has plenty of flavour.
Given this deviation from the original cooking method this recipe is by no means traditional. But it is absolutely moreish and a firm favourite in our house. I can't wait for you to try it!
This recipe is perfect for anyone who is...
- A bit nervous deep frying at home.
- Looking for a healthier version of karaage chicken to enjoy (no deep frying).
- An air fryer enthusiast who loves finding new ways to get the most out of their machine.
WHAT IS KARAAGE?
Karaage is a Japanese cooking technique where food (chicken, fish, vegetables etc) is marinated, dredged in flour and deep fried.
In this recipe for karaage chicken we skip deep frying and cook the chicken in the air fryer instead. Although this is not traditional, the results are still delicious and crisp.
Here's what you'll need to make this delicious karaage in your air fryer (measurements are listed in the full recipe at the bottom of this post)...
- Chicken Thighs - skinless & boneless.
- Soy Sauce
- Sake - this will generally be located in the Asian food aisle of bigger supermarket chains but if you're having trouble tracking it down I recommend trying your closest Asian supermarket.
- Ground Ginger - you can sub for fresh ginger if you have it on hand.
- White Sugar
- Potato Flour / Potato Starch - as with the Sake, it is common to find potato flour (also called potato starch) in the Asian food aisle of supermarkets but if you're unable to locate it there I recommend a trip to your closest Asian supermarket.
- Olive Oil Spray - feel free to use alternative oil sprays if you prefer.
- Kewpie Mayonnaise, to serve
Chop chicken into bite sized pieces then combine in a bowl with soy sauce, sake, ginger, sugar and garlic. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Lightly spray or brush oil onto the air fryer basket / tray.
Place potato flour onto a large plate. Take the chicken out of the marinade and dredge it in the flour, one piece at a time.
Shake any excess flour from the chicken and place in the air fryer basket / tray in a single layer. Leave the chicken to stand, uncovered for 5 minutes before putting into the air fryer.
Spray the chicken liberally with oil and cook on 200C / 380F for 12-15 minutes, flipping the chicken pieces halfway, or until golden and crisp. You may need a few extra minutes depending on your air fryer and how big your chicken pieces are.
Serve with kewpie mayonnaise.
HOW TO SERVE KARAAGE CHICKEN?
Karaage chicken can be served alone with some kewpie mayonnaise as an appetiser (or even a main!). You can also put karaage chicken into a rice bowl with veggies (cabbage, cucumber, carrot, pickled red onions etc) for a more complete meal.
- Potato starch or potato flour as it’s sometimes called can generally be found in the Asian food aisle of all major supermarkets. If you’re having trouble tracking it down, it can be easily sourced from any Asian Food Market.
- Be sure to only dredge chicken pieces one at a time in potato starch. Adding the chicken pieces one at a time stops excess marinade being poured onto the flour and also stops the chicken from sticking together. One of the keys to crisp karaage chicken without deep frying is coating individually in potato starch.
- Letting the chicken pieces stand for 5 minutes before air frying allows the potato flour to absorb the flavour of the marinade and dry slightly before cooking. This is a trick I learnt from Adam Liaw and it is key to achieving crispy and delicious karaage in the air fryer.
MORE CHICKEN RECIPES IN THE AIR FRYER
If you’ve tried this recipe I’d love to hear how you enjoyed it! Pop a comment and a star rating below!
- 500g Chicken Thighs, skinless & boneless
- 3 tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 tablespoon Sake
- 1 tablespoon Ground Ginger
- ½ teaspoon White Sugar
- 1 Garlic Clove, minced
- 1 cup Potato Flour / Potato Starch (more if needed)
- Olive Oil Spray (can sub for alternative oil sprays)
- Kewpie Mayonnaise, to serve
- Chop chicken thighs into bite sized pieces then combine in a bowl with 3 tablespoon soy sauce, 2 tablespoon sake, 1 tablespoon ground ginger, ½ teaspoon of sugar and 1 minced garlic clove. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Lightly spray the air fryer basket / tray.
- Place potato flour onto a large plate. Take the chicken out of the marinade and dredge it in the flour, one piece at a time. Shake any excess flour from the chicken and place in the air fryer basket / tray in a single layer.
- Leave the chicken to stand, uncovered for 5 minutes before putting into the air fryer.
- Spray the chicken liberally with oil and cook on 200C / 380F for 12 minutes, flipping the chicken pieces halfway, or until golden and crisp. You may need a few extra minutes depending on your air fryer and how big your chicken pieces are.
- Serve with kewpie mayonnaise.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 435Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 927mgCarbohydrates: 38gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 34g