Baked Chicken Karaage

Baked Chicken Karaage

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 60 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
346 Calories
12g Fat
24g Carbs
40g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 346
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 16%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 184mg 61%
Sodium 860mg 37%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 40g
Vitamin C 72mg 360%
Calcium 61mg 5%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 759mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Chicken karaage is a traditional Japanese dish of marinated fried chicken, but this variation is baked in the oven as a healthier alternative.

Karaage can often be found as an appetizer, on the menu of Japanese restaurants, or izakaya (tapas style restaurants), but it can also be found in bento boxes at the deli section of Japanese supermarkets.

The Japanese term "karaage" is a type of cooking technique where foods are seasoned with ingredients such as soy sauce, ginger, or garlic, then coated with potato starch and deep fried. 

The karaage style of cooking is sometimes used interchangeably with the term "tatsutaage," which is also a Japanese cooking style for seasoning, coating, and deep frying foods.

To make chicken karaage, the chicken is first marinated in a savory blend of soy sauce, ginger, and seasonings. Because the soy sauce is quickly absorbed, the time required to marinate the chicken is minimized and can be completed within 15 to 20 minutes for a mild to medium flavor. Of course, marinating time also depends on your taste preferences. The meat can be marinated for up to 2 hours, but expect the chicken to be quite salty.

This baked version of the traditional chicken karaage recipe, calls for katakuriko (potato starch or arrowroot powder), which is commonly used as a thickener in Japanese cooking. Substitutes for potato starch include corn starch or even flour, but where the potato starch is light, both cornstarch and flour are slightly thicker. For the purpose of this recipe, all three ingredients may be used interchangeably, although potato starch offers a more authentic texture.

Baked chicken karaage can be enjoyed as an appetizer, side dish, main dish, or as an item in a bento (lunch box). It is kid-friendly and also proves to be a great dish for parties or potlucks.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons sake

  • 1 tablespoon mirin

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced

  • 1 clove garlic, chopped, optional

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

  • 1/4 cup potato starch (or cornstarch or flour)

  • Lemon wedges, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather all ingredients.

    Baked Chicken Karaage ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine soy sauce, sake, mirin, ginger, and garlic in a bowl.

    sauce ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add chicken to mixture and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes. Turn occasionally to marinate chicken evenly.

    chicken in a bowl with marinade

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. In a separate bowl, add potato starch. When chicken is done marinating, add to potato starch and coat evenly.

    add potato starch to the chicken mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Line baking sheet with foil and cover with cooking oil spray to prevent sticking. Lay chicken on foil, spread apart.

    chicken on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until fully cooked.

    chicken on a baking sheet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Serve chicken immediately with fresh lemon wedges.

    Baked Chicken Karaage, lemon wedges

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck