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  • Writer's pictureChef Yohei Kamiya

Fried Chicken Japanese Style

Try Karaage at Ichi Kaku Japanese Street Food

Have you ever had fried chicken Japanese style? It is called karaage and it is served at Ichi Kaku Japanese Street Food in Fayetteville, NC.

In this post we will discuss:

What is Karaage?

The History of Karaage

How is Karaage prepared?

Can I prepare fried chicken Japanese style at home?

Where can I get Karaage in Fayetteville, NC?

What is Fried Chicken Japanese Style?

If you eat fried foods you probably have eaten fried chicken at some point. As Americans it is a big part of our cuisine here in the states but extends to many counties as a popular dish.

It is interesting to learn about how fried chicken is prepared all over the world. Different styles and flavors add regional touches.

Japan is home of Umami and I am so glad that fried chicken landed in Japan when it did. At present there are dozens of ways to prepare fried chicken in Japan.

If we break down the word Karaage it is pronounced; Cara-AG-Eh. It’s a reference for a method of preparation.

Karaage can be anything; octopus, gobo, banana fish or squid but is often recognized as a style of fried chicken as it is prepared in Japan.

Japanese fried chicken is seasoned, hand breaded, and deep fried. The oil temperatures are similar to what you would fry chicken on the bone but Karaage uses boneless chicken pieces.

A standard karaage uses chicken thigh pieces cut into small bite size pieces. This is how it is served at Ichi Kaku Japanese Street Food. But there are many other parts of the chicken and styles of preparation that we will chat more about in the next few paragraphs.

History of Karaage

Fried chicken became popular in Japan during the 1920s. In Bepppu, Japan. One restaurant; Toyoken began serving the dish.

Much like many other dishes after WWII the creation was a result of food shortages. There was a specific shortage of chicken during that time.

This new method of preparation made chicken easier to cook and we can assume also spread the portions further.

Although this technique became popular in Japan in the 1920s the origins go all the way back to China. “Kara” refers to the Kang Dynasty.

After the 1920s the dish spread throughout Japan where every region developed their own flavor and style of preparation.

The dish has permeated every bit of Japanese culture. The most notable reference is in the manga and anime Shokugeki no Souma. The series is a cute story about a young aspiring chef. His dishes are centered around his roots in family restaurant food.

Chef Yohei is from a small town near Nagoya which is known for one of the most popular versions of Karaage. The regional flavor is referred to as Tebasaki however he serves a more standard version at his restaurant in Fayetteville, NC.

The dipping sauces available are a completely new conversation. There are so many variations of sauce they could make a new blog post.

Leave a comment if you would like a breakdown of some basic Japanese sauces that are used for dipping.

At Ichi Kaku Chef Yohei prepares his white sauce and barbecue sauce from scratch weekly.

Definitely come by to try them out! Soon they may be available to purchase so that you can enjoy them at home.

Home Preparation

You can totally make this dish in your home. You may need to purchase a few supplies and of course chicken so let’ see what you will need and what the process entails.

Home cooks will marinate the thigh pieces in garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sake. The marinated chicken will then be tossed in flour and deep fried in vegetable oil. Cook the chicken until golden brown.

The best way to drain your karaage is on a wire rack or some paper towels. This wire straining tool is the traditional tool used in Japan to take the chicken from the oil once fried until golden brown.

You may also want to try these Japanese oil absorbing papers for the most traditional experience. It is a completely different texture from paper towels we are used to in the United States.

In an authentic Japanese restaurant like Ichi Kaku Japanese street food marinating ingredients may vary to include a secret ingredient for a proprietary flavor.

If you are not that confident about your seasoning skills but still want an authentic flavor there are packets of karaage seasoning that you can buy to assist you when cooking Japanese fried chicken at home.

If you’d like to make this dish at home, watch Chef Yohei prepare it in his home. The videos are often relaxing and very encouraging when trying food not native to you and your kitchen.

Where can I get Fried Chicken Japanese style in Fayetteville, NC?

Japanese style fried chicken is served 7 days a week in Fayetteville, NC at Ichi Kaku Japanese Street Food. Try Karaage at Ichi Kaku Japanese Street Food.

We are open 7 Days a week except for holidays and once a month Tuesday closures for restock, planning and deep cleaning. Please check with Google for hours of operation.

Read more about our signature dish Ichi Kaku Ramen here on the blog. If you have never had Ramen in a restaurant you will be super shocked at the difference between store bought noodles and chef prepared Ramen. Learn about why Ramen is not soup.

If you are unable to visit Ichi Kaku you can always buy merch like our Ichi Kaku emoji mug and have it sent directly to your home.

Please let us know what your favorite dish is by leaving a comment.

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