Karaage [から揚げ] This is a Japanese technique that consists of frying some types of food, most of the time chicken, but it is also common to find other fish and meat.
Why is Karaage so hot?
What differentiates a karaage from a normal fried and breaded chicken? What do the Japanese do to make this chicken and other meats so delicious?
Usually its seasoning is based on soy sauce, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sake and coated with a layer of seasoned wheat flour or corn starch and fried in a light oil.
The karaage is totally crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, its flavor is enhanced and improved with the use of spices and sauces. The meat is also marinated for more than half an hour, making the taste even more special.
Karaage is usually served alone or with rice and chopped cabbage
What is the origin of karaage?
Some claim that Karaage became popular in the 1920s through a restaurant called Toyoken in Beppu, a tourist town quite popular for its onsens.
It became popular mainly because of the scarcity of food in the period of the second world war. The chicken, being cheaper, ended up being the target of daily recipes of the season, thus evolving the flavor and technique.
The karaage has a Chinese origin, like many other dishes of Japanese cuisine, such as Gyoza and Ramen, falling into the category of Wafu-Chaka (Chinese dishes adapted to the Japanese taste).
Karaage, also called Tatsutaage, literally means "fried Tang" (referring to the Chinese Tang dynasty). Today you can find it in stores like Lawson, Family Mart, Seven Eleven and in stalls all over Japan.
Different types of karaage
Karaage is a free dish, you can do it with anything and even change the flavor of the crunchy dough or the sauce in which you marinate the meat with ingredients of your choice.
There are some patterns in Japan of regional karaage that we will mention below. It may be interesting to try each region in Japan and enjoy its unique flavor.
Angry This Karaage is located in the Hokkaido region and is usually served with a spicy sauce.
Tebasaki- From the Nagoya region, it is made with chicken wings sprinkled with sesame seeds and a special sauce.
Dakgangjeong - Style similar to Korean fried chicken. usually made with milk and a kind of sweet spicy sauce.
Toriten- From the Oita region coated in wheat flour and generally used as a udon topping.
Nanban - From Miyazaki province soaked in sweet vinegar and topped with tartar sauce.
Gurukun no kara-age - Gurukun is an Okinawan fish, often called “banana fish”, usually served with lemon.
Konbini's famous Karaage
While in Brazil we find several bakeries and snack bars with fried snacks, in Japan it is more common to find in convenience stores called konbini the famous karaage in addition to breaded sausages and nikuman.
Konbini Karaage usually comes on a spit or in a container like fast-food fries. It usually costs about 100 to 300 yen, where it can have different variations and flavors.
Some prefer Karaage to restaurants or homemade, but I personally liked konage konage a lot and ate almost every day with the Nikuman.
What is the difference between Karaage and Tempura?
In Japanese foods that are fried covered in a dough are called Anemono [揚げ物]. The Japanese usually fry several covered with a crunchy batter. Eggplants, potatoes, asparagus, pumpkin, mushrooms, fish, shrimp, squid and meats.
Tempura it is usually made to be dipped in the sauce, while karaage usually comes seasoned from its marinade. And the experience between the two dishes is totally different.
Generally, the dough used in tempura is very thin and tends to fry faster than karaage. There is also Kakiage which consists of vegetables mixed in the tempura batter and fried together.
Karaoke is one of the recipes that best suits the Brazilian palate, even the most difficult to convince accept this idea. Something that makes this dish even more admirable is its easy preparation and low cost.
You can make your Karaage yourself using the recipe below:
- 2 chicken thighs (try also using other types of meat and fish)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 spoon of potato starch
- 1/2 spoon of wheat flour
- Frying oil
- 2 tablespoons sake (Japanese rice wine)
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce (soy sauce)
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 clove of grated garlic
- 2 tablespoons of grated ginger
- 1. Cut the meat and season it;
- 2. Stir the ingredients well by hand;
- 3. Refrigerate for twenty minutes;
- 4. Mix egg with chicken and add the flour;
- 5. The pieces must be covered with grease;
- 7. Fry in hot oil and be careful not to stick;
- 8. Remove when golden;
- 10. Serve with lemon;
There are other techniques for making karaage. You can try making a karaage by following the recipe in the video below: