Chicken Tatsutaage (aka Karaage)

Chicken tatsutaage

Chicken marinated for a distinctive Japanese taste, then fried to crispy-juicy perfection.

  2  people
Ready In min (Prep   + Cook 

Tatsutaage is a type of karaage, an umbrella term for deep-fried food. Both karaage and tastutaage usually refer to chicken, although fish and other ingredients can also be used.

There are two purported differences between the two:
  1.  tatsutaage is always coated in katakuriko (potato starch) before frying, whereas karaage can be coated in potato starch, corn starch, flour, or a mixture of these, AND
  2.  tatsuaage should be marinated before coating and frying, whereas karaage doesn’t have to be.

In reality though, most homemade and store-bought karaage in Japan these days uses katakuriko and is marinated prior to cooking… so there isn’t much of a difference anymore.

But I think it’s nice to know the origin of things. Such as that of the word karaage, which actually means Tang fried, or fried à la Tang (as in the Chinese dynasty!). And as for tatsutaage, it gets its name from the Tatsuta river in Nara, Japan, famous for its fiery red and gold autumn colours. So when your frying tatsuaage starts looking like the colour of Japanese maple leaves in November, it’s ready!

Chicken thigh . . . 250 grams
Katakuriko (potato starch) . . . enough to coat – about 1/3 cup
Vegetable oil . . . enough for frying
Lemon or sudachi . . . 2 wedges
Soy sauce . . . 1 1/2 tablespoons
Sake . . . 1/2 tablespoon
Ginger juice (squeezed from freshly grated ginger) . . . 3/4 teaspoon
Remove the excess fat from the chicken’s skin (but no need to remove all the skin).
Prick the chicken all over with a fork and cut into large bite-sized pieces.

Step 1

Mix the marinade ingredients together, then pour over the chicken. Rub it into the chicken, then put in the fridge to marinate for at least 15-20 minutes, turning the pieces over occasionally to make sure they all soak in enough marinade.

Step 2

Pour 2-3 cm of vegetable oil into a heavy-bottomed pot and heat to about 170C (340F).
Take the chicken out of the fridge and remove excess moisture from marinade with a paper towel (this will make it crispy!)
Put the katakuriko in a bowl and add a few chicken pieces at a time to coat.

Step 3

Deep fry the chicken in batches until a nice golden brown colour, and transfer to a paper towel lined rack or plate to drain off the excess oil.
Put on plates and serve with lemon or sudachi wedges.