Note: If you can only find bone-in, skin-on thighs and would like to debone them: (1) Place the meat skin-side down on a cutting board. Using the tip of a small, sharp knife, slice along one side of the bone, going no deeper than the depth of the bone. (2) Repeat on the other side. The bone should now be exposed. (3) Insert the tip of the knife under the middle of the bone with the blade facing away from you. Slice along the underside of the bone, past the end of the bone, detaching it from the meat. (4) Rotate the thigh 180 degrees and repeat with the other side of the bone to detach it fully.
Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
- 2 pounds boneless, skin-on (if possible) chicken thighs (see Note), cut into quarters
- 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 3 garlic cloves, grated
- 1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- 1/4 cup sake
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 large egg
- Canola or other neutral oil, for deep-frying
- 3/4 cup cornstarch or potato starch
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Place the quartered chicken thighs in a large bowl or a resealable plastic bag.
- In a bowl, mix the ginger, garlic, salt, sake, soy sauce, and egg together until well blended. Transfer the marinade to the container with the chicken and mix to coat. Marinate, covered, in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. The longer the chicken marinates, the more tender and flavorful it will be.
- Line a baking sheet with two layers of paper towel. Pour 2 inches canola oil into a Dutch oven and heat over medium high heat to 350ºF on a deep-fry thermometer.
- Drain the chicken in a colander to get rid of excess liquid. In a shallow bowl, whisk the cornstarch with the flour. Dredge 4 or 5 pieces of chicken at a time, dusting off any excess. Using dry, heatproof tongs or wooden chopsticks, place the dredged chicken carefully into the hot oil, taking care not to splash.
- Fry 4 or 5 pieces at a time (depending on the size of the pot) without overcrowding. Turn after 3 minutes and cook for 3 minutes more. The color should be a nice and golden brown. Transfer to the paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve with lemon wedges.