Kuwayaki Chicken


Flour-coated, pan-fried chicken is covered in a thin sweet glaze to create a juicy balance of sweet and savoury goodness in every bite. Great for bentos too!

Kuwa is the Japanese word for hoe. Legend has it that Japanese farmers would cook this dish directly on the flat part of their hoes! No idea why… But luckily, it cooks just as well (and possibly much better) in a frying pan in the comfort of your own kitchen.

The chicken needs to be cooked through before adding the glazing sauce, but it can be hard to tell when it’s done from the outside. First of all, make sure to cut the chicken into pieces as similar in size and thickness as possible, so they all cook at the same pace. After the chicken has browned on the outside, test for doneness by poking a toothpick or thin wooden skewer into a thick part of a piece of chicken. With time you will get used to the right texture to look for (the toothpick should slide through to the bottom, and you should be able to feel the fibres of the meat, not a kind of gelatinous resistance). If uncertain, here’s a cool trick: poke the stick into a thick part of the meat for 10 seconds, take it out and touch it to the inside of your wrist to check the temperature. It should be burning hot – warm doesn’t cut it! If not hot, cook a little longer and test again.

This is a great Japanese recipe for days when you’re craving some yummy fried chicken right now, but don’t want to deal with deep-frying and its subsequent clean up. It’s also a much appreciated addition to any bento!

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Kuwayaki Chicken

Servings 2 people
Prep Time 4 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
Total Time 15 mins


  • 300 g chicken thigh
  • 1 naganegi (welsh onion)
  • floour for coating
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sake
  • 1 tsp sugar


  • Cut away the excess skin and fat from the chicken, leaving almost all the skin on. Prick it on both sides with a fork and cut into large bite-size pieces.Cut the naganegi into 4-5cm long pieces.Mix the sauce ingredients.
    Kuwayaki Chicken - Preparation
  • Coat the chicken with flour.
    Kuwayaki Chicken - Step1
  • Heat up a frying pan to medium-high and add a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the chicken and negi and fry on both sides, 3-4 minutes per side. Make sure to cook the chicken through (check the story section for tips).
    Kuwayaki Chicken - Step2
  • Remove the chicken and negi and wipe the pan with a paper towel to get rid of the excess oil. Return everything to the pan and add the sauce, tossing to coat. Simmer until glazed, about 30 seconds. Serve and enjoy!
    Kuwayaki Chicken - Step3
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Meat

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