The crunch! The crackle! The juiciness! This bitesize chicken karaage – aka Japanese-style fried chicken – is pure bliss. Add a creamy yet tangy potato salad and this is a recipe for success. And guess what? Not only is potato starch the traditional coating to use, but it’s also gluten-free.
500g (1.1lb) chicken thigh fillets, cut into small bit-sized pieces
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
1 garlic clove, finely grated
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
1 cup potato starch*
vegetable oil for deep frying
lemon wedges to serve
Japanese-style potato salad:
3 potatoes (about 800g/1.7lb), peeled and cut into chunks
½ small cucumber, thinly sliced
¼ cup carrot strips or coarsely grated carrot
2 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
½ cup Japanese ‘Kewpie mayonnaise*
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp hot mustard
¼ cup sliced spring onion (scallions)
For the potato salad, place potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Season water generously with salt. Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Drain potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.
While the potatoes are cooking, place the cucumber and carrot in a bowl and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes. Then gather the vegetables with your hands and gently squeeze and discard any excess liquid. Add the vegetables, boiled eggs and spring onion to the potatoes. Lightly mash the potatoes while mixing with the other ingredients. Add the mayonnaise, vinegar and mustard and mix well. Set aside until ready to serve.
Mix together the chicken, ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sake in a large bowl.
Heat enough vegetable oil in a saucepan for deep frying. When the oil is hot (it’s ready when you place a wooden spoon into the oil and you can see little bubbles), dip the chicken pieces in batches into the potato starch and then cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes or until the chicken is crisp and cooked through. Drain on paper towel and season with salt while the chicken is still hot.
Serve the chicken with the potato salad and lemon wedges on the side.
– Potato starch is the traditional ingredient to use here and gives a really lovely crisp, light coating. Find it in the baking section of most supermarkets. Or substitute cornflour (cornstarch) or plain flour.