Hairy Bikers' chicken karaage

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Hairy Bikers' chicken karaage
Hairy Bikers' chicken karaage
  • Serves: 4

  • Prep time:

  • Cooking time:

  • Total time:

  • Skill level: Easy peasy

  • Costs: Cheap as chips

Karaage are Japanese-style chicken nuggets and are really simple to make. The light, flavoursome batter will make nice change from your usual chicken dish and you can serve them with mayonnaise or Japanese yellow mustard for dipping. They're easy to make but require a little marinating before cooking.


  • 500g boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 large garlic cloves, grated or crushed
  • 20g fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1tbsp miso paste
  • 2tbsp soy sauce
  • 2tbsp sake
  • ½tsp shichimi (Japanese 7-spice seasoning)
  • 1tsp sugar
  • 175g rice flour
  • Vegetable or groundnut oil, for frying
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • Mayonnaise and Japanese yellow mustard, for serving
  • Flaked sea salt

Try using different cuts of chicken instead like breast or wing. You could even swap the chicken for cuts of turkey instead


  1. Cut the chicken thighs into quarters, making sure that they are all about the same size so they cook evenly.
  2. Put the garlic, ginger, miso paste, soy sauce, sake, shichimi and sugar in a large bowl. Season with a good pinch of salt and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and mix well so they are all thoroughly coated with the mixture. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave the chicken to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour but overnight is even better.
  3. When you’re ready to cook the chicken, put the rice flour in a shallow bowl and add a good pinch of salt.
  4. Pour the oil into a large deep saucepan or a wok until it is about a third full – you need enough oil to deep-fry the chicken. Heat the oil to 180°C. Do not allow the oil to overheat and never leave hot oil unattended.
  5. Dip the chicken into the bowl of flour to coat it and place a few pieces in the oil – you’ll probably need to fry the chicken in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pan. Fry for 4–5 minutes until the chicken is golden and crispy, then drain it on kitchen paper. Keep each batch warm in the oven while you cook the rest, then serve at once with lemon wedges, mayonnaise, and Japanese yellow mustard.

Recipe from THE HAIRY BIKERS’ ASIAN ADVENTURE published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in hardback at £20 (eBook £10.99) Image by: Andrew Hayes-Watkins

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