The key to outrageously crunchy karaage is frying the chicken twice – totally worth the effort!
¼ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sake
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 thumb fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 teaspoons caster sugar
700 grams boneless chicken thighs, skin-on if you like
TO COOK AND SERVE
2 cups potato starch (I bought mine at an Asian supermarket)
3 cups vegetable oil
½ cup Japanese mayonnaise, e.g., Kewpie
togarashi seasoning or sea salt
EQUIPMENT: Line an oven tray with baking paper and a cooling rack with scrunched-up kitchen towels.
MARINADE: Put everything except the chicken in a bowl and whisk to combine.
Remove the skin from the chicken or leave it on. Traditionally it is left on, but I prefer it removed. Cut each thigh into 2-3 pieces. Add the chicken to the marinade and mix well to ensure each piece is well coated. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 hours.
TO COOK: Use tongs or chopsticks to drop the chicken into the potato starch and coat well, then put on the lined tray until needed.
Heat the oil in a large pot until a piece of bread dropped in rises to the surface and turns golden in about 30 seconds.
Fry the chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes, until cooked through. Drain on the kitchen towels, then use a slotted spoon to scoop out any batter that has dropped off into the oil. Fry the chicken a second time, just for a minute, until golden and super-crunchy.
Serve immediately with Japanese mayonnaise and a sprinkling of togarashi seasoning and/or sea salt.