Baked Chicken Karaage

Baked chicken karaage

The Spruce

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 40 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
407 Calories
20g Fat
11g Carbs
43g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 407
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 127mg 42%
Sodium 754mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 11g 4%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 43g
Calcium 68mg 5%
*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.


  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cooking sake
  • 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet cooking sake)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (minced)
  • Optional: 1 small clove garlic (chopped)
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs (boneless, skinless, cut into small bite-sized pieces)
  • 1/4 cup potato starch (or cornstarch or flour)
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather all ingredients. Preheat oven to 350 F.

    Gather the ingredients
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  2. Combine the soy sauce, cooking sake, mirin, ginger, and garlic in a bowl.

    Combine sauce
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  3. Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces and marinate for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on desired flavor. Turn occasionally to marinate chicken evenly.

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

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

    Line baking sheet
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  6. Then bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until fully cooked.

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  7. Serve chicken immediately with fresh lemon wedges.