Crisp pieces of hot chook with a tangy home-made tartare and a fresh, simple salad all make for this irresistible bite-sized beauty from Japan's Miyazaki prefecture.






Skill level

Average: 5 (1 vote)


  • 150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all‑purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp salt, plus extra to taste
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus extra to taste
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 125 ml (4¼ fl oz/½ cup) neutral oil, for frying
  • 100 g (3½ oz) mixed salad leaves

Basic salad dressing

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp ground sesame seeds

Nanban tare

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt

Tartare sauce

  • ½ onion, chopped
  • 1 boiled egg, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cornichons, chopped
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise (preferably Kewpie)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


  1. Combine all of the nanban tare ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer to dissolve the sugar and salt. Transfer to a large mixing bowl or container and set aside.
  2. To make the tartare sauce, soak the chopped onion in water for 5 minutes, then drain, thoroughly dry with paper towel, and combine with the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside in the refrigerator until required.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and pepper. Coat the chicken in the flour mixture, dust off any excess, then dip in the beaten eggs.
  4. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat until the temperature reaches 180°C (350°F); a pinch of flour dropped into the oil should sizzle on contact. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding if necessary, fry the chicken until golden brown on both sides, approximately 3 minutes each side. Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm; the oil can be reserved for reuse another time.
  5. For the dressing, mix all the ingredients together until the sugar dissolves and serve. Dress the mixed salad leaves.
  6. Toss the cooked chicken through the tare to coat, then place on a serving dish. Top with the tartare sauce and serve with the salad.


Recipe from Tokyo Local by Caryn Liew and Brendan Liew, Smith Street Books, RRP $39.99