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