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Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken Thighs) with Yurinchi Tare

Servings: 4

This dish uses boneless skin-on chicken thighs. Debone the chicken yourself or ask your butcher to do it. The salty, slightly sweet tare sauce is the perfect accompaniment to the crisp chicken pieces.


For the yurinchi tare

  • 1/4 cup plain rice vinegar
  • 3 Tbs. thinly sliced scallion
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

For the chicken

  • 1 cup katakuriko or potato starch
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 lb. boneless skin-on chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbs. mashed fresh papaya or pineapple (optional)
  • 3 Tbs. sake
  • 2 Tbs. mirin
  • 1-1/2 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 10 to 12 cups canola oil, for frying

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 690
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 450
  • Fat (g): 51
  • Saturated Fat (g): 11
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 12
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 25
  • Cholesterol (mg): 280
  • Sodium (mg): 1030
  • Carbohydrates (g): 4
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Sugar (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 49


Make the yurinchi tare

  • In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, scallion, soy sauce, oil, and ginger. Set aside.

Make the chicken

  • Whisk the starch and flour in a small bowl, and set aside.
  • Pierce the chicken all over with a paring knife, cut into 1-1/2- to 2-inch pieces, and transfer to a medium bowl. Massage the following ingredients into the chicken one at a time in this order: 1 Tbs. salt and 1 Tbs. pepper, the garlic, ginger, sugar, papaya, if using, sake, mirin, soy sauce, and egg. Add 1 Tbs. of the flour mixture, continuing to massage until incorporated. Add the sesame oil and mix well. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours. Drain the excess marinade, and lightly pat the chicken dry with paper towels.
  • Position a rack over a large rimmed baking sheet and set aside. Pour the oil into a large Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot until two-thirds full.
  • Heat the oil to 310°F. Lightly coat a few pieces of chicken in the remaining flour mixture, shaking off any excess. Pinch the edges of each piece of chicken together to form a pouch, skin side out. Drop into the oil and fry in batches until light golden-brown, about 3 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and transfer to the prepared rack. Repeat with the remaining chicken.
  • Once all the chicken has been fried, increase the oil temperature to 370°F. Fry the chicken a second time in batches until deep golden and crisp, about 1 minute. Return the chicken to the rack. Serve with the Yurinchi Tare.


Rate or Review

Reviews (1 review)

  • rosemack | 08/16/2020

    My husband and I loved this dish and the sauce was a wonderful addition. I made two changes: 1) fried the chicken only once at 350 degrees for about 3 - 4 minutes and 2) removed the skin before dredging the chicken with the flour. I will definitely make this again.

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