Batter for Karaage: The Ratio and How to Make It Crispy

Karaage is the soul food of the Japanese. Each family has their own flavoring and what they use for the batter must be different.
I make sweet karaage without mirin, without cooking sake, and with lots of brown sugar. For the batter, I usually use potato starch to make it crispy.
Japanese Chicken Karaage, No Sake, No Mirin
One of the most famous and popular Japanese foods is no doubt chicken karaage. Here's a perfect and easy recipe, without sake and mirin!

However, I thought there can be a better recipe, so I made the batter with different proportions of potato starch and flour.


Batter Ratios and Appearance

I de the following five kinds of batter.
Potato starch only
Potato starch : Flour = 2 : 1
Potato starch : Flour = 1 : 1
Potato starch : Flour = 1 : 1
Flour only
I used a tablespoon to measure each and mixed by volume ratio.
I seasoned them with my usual recipe for karaage, and fried them in oil at 180 degrees Celsius until the oil made little noise.
Japanese Chicken Karaage, No Sake, No Mirin
One of the most famous and popular Japanese foods is no doubt chicken karaage. Here's a perfect and easy recipe, without sake and mirin!

Let’s check the appearance first.

The higher up you go, the more starch there is, and the lower down you go, the more flour there is. You can see that the more starch there is, the whiter the batter becomes. The result is a beautiful gradation.

Difference in Texture

In terms of texture, the batter with only potato starch is more crispy, while the batter with more flour becomes more moist. The ones with only wheat flour had almost no crunchiness.
The ones made with only potato starch peeled off easily from the meat and became soggy as they cooled. As more flour was added, it stuck more firmly to the meat and was less powdery.
The texture of the batter is a matter of taste, but I found a 1:1 ratio of flour to potato starch to be a good balance.

Other Big Difference

What surprised me the most was the difference in the way the oil stains. When I used only flour for the batter, the oil did not get dirty at all. As the amount of starch increased, the amount of batter residue left in the oil after frying increased. And those using only starch needed to be scooped out very carefully. I was very surprised to see how clean the oil was with flour, since I always use only potato starch. I was very surprised.

How to Make a Crispy Batter?

I found out that changing the ratio of flour and potato starch changes the texture of the batter. However, I think I would like to eat something with a little more crunchy texture.
In karaage, the batter is applied directly to the meat. Fried chicken, on the other hand, is covered with an egg solution before being coated with batter. I thought that the batter would tend to be thinner in karaage. As a result, the texture of the batter would be stronger and more crispy in fried chicken.
However, I don’t want to use egg solution when making karaage because it is too much work. So, I added water to the batter, lumped it beforehand, and sprinkled it on the meat. This method resulted in a fairly crunchy texture, and here is the recipe.
I used a mixture of potato starch and flour in equal amounts. You can enjoy two different textures by first frying the meat in regular batter and then adding water to make it crispy.

Karaage with Crunchy Batter

The batter for karaage is flour or potato starch. You can change the crispiness by the ratio.This recipe is for a more crispy texture karaage.
Prep Time5 mins
Rest Before Cook20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Servings2 people
  • chicken (prep here) 400 g
  • flour 3 Tbsp
  • potato starch 3 Tbsp
  • chicken marinade liquid 2 Tbsp
Use 2-3 times as much flour and starch as you would if you were frying with just flour. Do not discard the marinade, but save it in case you run out.
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