Tatsuta Age vs Karaage: What is the Difference?

“Agemono (揚げ物)” is the Japanese generic term for deep-fried foods such as Tempura, Kakiage, and Karaage.

As you may know, these three fried dishes are representative types of Agemono that are widely enjoyed in Japan.

Among them, when it comes to the variety of Karaage, “Tori no Karaage (鳥の唐揚げ)”, or chicken (thigh) Karaage is the most common.

Other than chicken thighs, various ingredients are prepared for the dish, which includes seafood, like flatfish and shrimps, and vegetables, like potatoes and asparagus.

Tatsuta Age vs. Karaage

Actually, in Japanese cuisine, there is an Agemono dish very similar to Karaage which is called “Tatsuta Age (竜田揚げ)”. 

Since the dish looks very much like Karaage, many Japanese can’t tell the difference between them.

And that is why, today, let me explain how the two fries differ.

Tatsuta Age (竜田揚げ)

Chicken Tatsuta-AgeChicken Tatsuta Age

First off, “Tatsuta Age (竜田揚げ)” is an Agemono dish whose main ingredient is like Karaage, including the chicken thigh, and fish kirimi such as mackerel and whale fillets.

The meat is usually seasoned beforehand, with soy sauce and mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), then coated with Katakuriko potato starch and deep-fried in oil.

As seasoned ingredients are cooked, Tatsuta Age typically has a browner color than Karaage.

Karaage (唐揚げ)

Chicken KaraageTori no Karaage

Unlike Tatsuta Age, the traditional cooking process of Karaage is; first, ingredients are thinly coated with Katakuriko/wheat flour and then deep-fried in high-temperature oil.

As I mentioned above, in Karaage, various ingredients can be used.

Originally, the preparation doesn’t involve pre-seasoning. But in modern times, the ingredient is often seasoned before cooking, like Tatsuta Age.


Therefore, it is generally said that the primary difference between Karaage and Tatsuta Age comes from

  • Karaage has a thin deep-fried coating of wheat flour or Katakuriko or the mixture of the two.
  • Whereas the coating of Tatsuta Age only consists of Katakuriko flour.

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia から揚げ, Rakuten Recipe )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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