How to Make Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken) + Gluten Free Option-Japanese Taste

How to Make Gluten Free Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

by Ayumi Matsuo

Main dish Gluten Free Alternative

Karaage is a typical Japanese home-style deep-fried dish consisting of chicken thighs seasoned with soy sauce, garlic, and other seasonings. They are then coated with flour or starch and deep-fried in hot oil. Once fried, the chicken's coating becomes crisp to perfection, while the meat remains tender and juicy.

Beloved by both adults and children throughout Japan, karaage first made its appearance around 1930. Originating from Oita prefecture, its popularity quickly spread across the country, especially after WWII.

Today, karaage is often enjoyed as a main dish at home. It pairs well with rice, salad, and miso soup. Additionally, it's commonly used as a side dish for children's lunch boxes or as a drinking snack to accompany beer for adults. Outside of the home, karaage is served at Japanese restaurants and can be found in convenience stores or in the deli section of supermarkets. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of karaage-specialty shops in cities, making it easy to take out and enjoy authentically delicious karaage.

The most popular seasonings used for karaage are soy sauce and salt with a squeeze of lemon, but each household has its own variation of seasonings, such as curry or even seaweed. The texture also varies depending on the flour or starch used. Wheat flour makes the karaage coating thick and coarse, while potato starch makes it a little moist, and rice flour makes it thin and light.

Find your favorite flavor and texture! Today, we will introduce a recipe for karaage that combines flour and potato starch with the classic soy sauce flavor. Serve freshly made hot karaage with lemon wedges or your favorite dipping sauces on the side!


Prep time: 45 mins

Cook time: 15 mins

Total time: 60 mins

Total servings: 2

Difficulty: Easy

  • 250-300g Chicken Thighs
  • 2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce (can substitute with 1 tsp of salt)
  • 1 tbsp Sake
  • 1/2 tsp grated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  • 3 tbsp Rice Flour
  • 3 tbsp Potato Starch

Expert's Tip

How to Make Gluten Free Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

This is a seasoning sauce for karaage from Fundokin. It has soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other spices already mixed in, making it very easy to prepare fried chicken even when you do not have garlic or ginger at home. This recipe comes from Oita prefecture, the birthplace of karaage. It is very easy to use. Just substitute the seasoning given in this recipe with Fundokin Karaage Chicken Seasoning Sauce if you're in a hurry. You'll have delicious karaage!


1) Cutting the Chicken

Cut chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces. They should all be uniform in size so that they cook evenly.

2) Seasoning and Marinating the Chicken

Combine the chicken and seasonings in a bowl and mix well. Use your hands to make sure the seasoning has thoroughly coated the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the chicken to marinate.

3) Adding the Rice Flour and Potato Starch

Once the chicken has marinated, add the rice flour and potato starch into the bowl and use chopsticks or a spatula to thoroughly coat the chicken.

4) Deep Frying the Chicken

Add 2 or 3 cm of oil into a deep-frying pot and fry the chicken at 170°C for about 4-5 minutes, until it is crispy, golden brown, and cooked through.

5) Serving the Karaage

The karaage will be very hot when it comes out of the fryer, so please be careful. Serve with lemon or your favorite dipping sauces and enjoy!

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