For maximum flavour, marinate the chicken overnight.


Skill level

Average: 3.5 (20 votes)


  • 2 (about 400 g) chicken thigh fillets, cut into 4 cm pieces
  • 2 tsp Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 tsp cooking sake (see Note)
  • 1 tsp Japanese sesame oil (see Note)
  • 35 g (¼ cup) katakuriko (see Note) or potato flour
  • vegetable oil, to deep-fry
  • Japanese yellow mustard (karashi) (see Note) and mayonnaise, and lemon wedges, to serve
  • daikon and carrot salad (kohaku namasu), to serve

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.


Combine chicken, soy, sake and sesame oil in a bowl. Cover and marinate for at least 30 minutes, preferably overnight. Drain and discard marinade, and place chicken in a plastic freezer bag with katakuriko. Holding top firmly, shake to coat chicken.

Fill a deep-fryer or large pan one-third full with oil and heat over medium heat to 170°C (or until a cube of bread turns golden in 15 seconds). Working in 3 batches, gently drop chicken into oil and fry, turning halfway, for 4 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towel. Serve with mustard, mayonnaise and lemon wedges.


• Cooking sake is from Japanese food shops.
• Japanese sesame oil, available from Japanese and selected Asian food shops, is lighter in viscosity and flavour than the Chinese variety.
• Katakuriko, from Japanese food shops, is similar to potato flour, and gives Japanese fried food its characteristic 'white' colour.
• Japanese mustard is from Japanese and selected Asian food shops. Substitute hot English mustard.

As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 8, pg86.

Photography by Brett Stevens.