Here’s another Japanese dish that is absolutely delicious—and easy to make. “Toriniku” means “chicken meat” in Japanese, and “tatsuta-age” is a frying technique. You get the idea. It’s one of my favorite Japanese dishes, along with agedashi-dofu (deep-fried tofu).
This recipe is based on one found in an older Japanese cookbook “Japanese Cooking” by Lesley Downer and Minoru Yoneda. It was first printed in the 1986, and reprinted in 2005. All in all, it’s a great basic Japanese cookbook without all the pomp and circumstance. Used copies can be found at a ridiculously low price on Amazon.
What you’ll need:
For the marinade
- 4T soy sauce (shoyu)
- 3T sake
- 1T sugar
- 1T ginger juice—can be a little hard to find, but the dish still tastes great without it
For the chicken
- 1.15-2 lbs boneless chicken thighs—if you can get them with the skin on, all the better
- About 2-3oz cornstarch
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- 1 lemon
How to make it:
- Combine the soy sauce, sake, sugar and ginger juice (if you have it) in a bowl. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
- Cut up the chicken in to 1.5-inch pieces and marinade for 30-120 minutes in the fridge.
- Thoroughly drain the marinade from the chicken.
- Put some cornstarch in a shallow bowl or rimmed plate.
- Dredge each chicken piece in the cornstarch and put on a separate plate. Tip: use tongs, if you have them, to keep your fingers from getting all encrusted with cornstarch.
- Fry the chicken in 350-degree oil for a few minutes, until the cornstarch coating is crisp. You’ll have to do a number of batches.
- When pulled out of the oil, chicken can be drained on either paper towels or a rack, though it will not be greasy.
- Serve with lemon wedges for adding a bit of lemon flavor.