Karaage vs. Fried Chicken: What’s the Difference?

When we Japanese think of fried chicken, the first thing that comes to many people’s minds would be Karaage or KFC’s fried chicken.

But what is Karaage? Further, how does it differ from Western-style fried chicken?

Karaage vs. Fried Chicken

American Fried ChickenKaraage vs Fried Chicken

Karaage (から揚げ/唐揚げ) is a Japanese food that belongs to the Agemono (揚げ物) category, similar to Western fried chicken.

However, they are different in some respects, primarily, the main ingredient and the preparation or the seasoning method.


Tori no Karaage (鶏の唐揚げ)Tori no Karaage

In the Japanese dish, Tori no Karaage (鶏の唐揚げ: Chicken Karaage) is the representative variety, but the main ingredient is not limited to chicken.

Besides chicken thigh/leg, breast fillet, or wings, we sometimes prepare for Karaage, seafood, like fish and shrimps, or vegetables, like asparagus.

Karaage using Mebaru FishMebaru Fish Karaage


The cooking of Tori no Karaage is typically like this; As preparation, marinate chicken in a liquid of soy sauce and sake (rice wine).

Then, thinly coat the seasoned meat with Katakuriko/wheat flour and deep-fry in a high-temperature oil.

Karaage Cooking

In contrast, Western fried chicken usually doesn’t pre-season the meat like that, but its coating contains herbs and spices. 

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia から揚げ, フライドチキン, 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: