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Japanese Fried Chicken (Tori No Karaage)
(recipe, Matthew Amster-Burton)
The traditional accompaniment for this dish is lemon wedges. Feel free to skip making the sauce and serve the chicken just with lemon instead.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound)
- 6 Tbsp. shaoxing rice wine or sake
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 tsp. sesame oil
- Refined vegetable oil for deep-frying (such as peanut, canola, soybean, or safflower)
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp. mirin
- Steamed rice and fresh lemon wedges, for serving
- Cut each chicken thigh into six pieces. (Cut it in half lengthwise, then cut each strip into thirds.) Put it in a bowl, stir in the rice wine, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil, and marinate for 1 hour.
- Heat the oil to 325 degrees in a deep fryer. Strain the chicken, reserving the marinade. Roll the chicken pieces in the cornstarch, shaking off the excess. Working in two or three batches, fry the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes, until light golden brown, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Meanwhile, place the reserved marinade in a saucepan, add the mirin, and bring to a vigorous boil (there was raw chicken in there, after all). Reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened and glossy, about 2 minutes.
- Heat the oil to 360 degrees. Again working in batches, fry the chicken again until deep golden brown and crispy, about 1 minute. Drain and serve immediately with steamed rice, fresh lemon wedges, and the sauce.