Tatsuta Age vs. Karaage: What is the Difference?
Agemono (揚げ物) is the Japanese generic name for deep-fried foods such as Tempura (天ぷら), Kakiage (かき揚げ), and Karaage (唐揚げ).
As you may know, these three fried dishes are representative types of Agemono 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.
Additionally, we prepare various ingredients for the dish, which includes seafood, like flatfish and shrimp, and vegetables, like potatoes and asparagus.
Tatsuta Age vs. Karaage
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 like Karaage, many Japanese can’t tell the difference. And that is why, in this article, I will explain how the two fries differ.
Tatsuta Age (竜田揚げ)
First, Tatsuta Age (竜田揚げ) is an Agemono dish whose main ingredient is like Karaage, including chicken thighs 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.
Since such seasoned ingredients go into oil, Tatsuta Age typically has a browner color than Karaage.
Unlike Tatsuta Age, the traditional cooking method of Karaage is; first, ingredients are thinly coated with Katakuriko/wheat flour and then deep-fried in high-temperature oil.
Traditionally, the preparation doesn’t involve pre-seasoning. But in modern times, the ingredient is often seasoned before cooking, like Tatsuta Age.
In conclusion, today, the primary difference between Karaage and Tatsuta-Age generally only comes from
- Karaage wears a thin deep-fried coating of wheat flour, Katakuriko, or a mixture of the two.
- Whereas the covering of Tatsuta-Age only consists of Katakuriko flour.