Air Fryer Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)

Air fryer chicken karaage
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
4 servings

If there’s chicken karaage on the menu, we will almost always order it. It is Japanese-style deep fried chicken served as an appetizer, side item or in a bento. As it turns out, making karaage at home is incredibly easy in an air fryer! Juicy chicken thigh pieces are marinated in a simple and tasty marinade, and tossed in potato starch, which creates a light crispy exterior when air fried. We love air fryer chicken karaage (Japanese fried chicken) with a hit of fresh lemon juice and dipped in Japanese mayo and shichimi togarashi chili pepper powder.

Related: Air Fryer Chicken Katsu is the Ultimate Comfort Meal



lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-1½” cubes
Tbsp soy sauce
tsp sake
tsp mirin
tsp grated ginger (tip: freeze ginger for easier grating)
tsp salt
A few dashes of white pepper powder
cup potato starch or corn starch
High heat oil spray

To serve

Japanese mayonnaise
Shichimi Togarashi (Japanese 7-spice chili pepper powder) or other pepper powder
Fresh lemon wedges


Step 1

In a medium bowl, toss chicken, soy sauce, sake, mirin, ginger, salt and white pepper together. Marinate at least 30 minutes, ideally 3 to 4 hours up to overnight in the fridge for the best flavour.

Step 2

Preheat air fryer at 390°F. Toss chicken pieces in potato starch and shake excess off.

Step 3

If using parchment, place it in air fryer basket. Spray a thin layer of oil. Transfer chicken pieces into air fryer in single layer, not touching. I did this in two batches. Spray top with oil.

Step 4

Air fry for 8 minutes. Flip, spray again with oil, and air fry another 6 to 8 minutes, or whenever internal temp is 165°F and exterior is golden brown. Make sure not to overcook so chicken is juicy. Rest on wire rack if doing batches.

Step 5

Serve chicken karaage right away with mayo, togarashi (if using) and fresh lemon wedges. If reheating is needed, do it in the air fryer at 350°F until heated through.

Air fryer chicken karaage

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