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Kara Age

So last week we closed our small but mighty yakitori joint in Brighton to make way for Coronavirus - not happy about that AT ALL - we plan to re open as soon as possible.

We have been amazed by the messages of support we have had from many of our regular customers telling us how much they miss the food so with a bit of extra time on our hands its time to return to Blood and Wasabi .

We though we'd kick things back off with an old favourite and Japanese classic

In Japan Karaage is EVERYWHERE. High end restaurants, pubs, street food festivals, supermarkets, convenience stores and rightly so, Its delicious and universally loved.

Its started to make its way over to the UK supermarkets but approach with caution, the version I recently tried from Waitrose was piss poor and I urge anyone tempted to buy it to try to make it first as its really easy.

Basically Karaage is a Japanese cooking method that involves a short marination, a coating of potato flour or corn flour and then deep frying.

It dates back to war time when food was in short supply and meals became faster and simpler, Marinading not only enhances the flavour but also allows it to keep for longer.

There are many different versions, some using fish or other meat instead of chicken, various marinades containing chilli or garlic. It's serious business with much regional rivaly. in Oita every September there is an annual Karaage festival where the karaage masters compete .

Our version is a classic Tokyo Karaage

2 Chicken legs boned and cut into bite size pieces

{You can use breast if you wanted to kid yourself that your being healthy, for flavour and texture choose thighs or legs}


6 tbsp sake

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tsp spring onions fine chopped.

1” piece of grated ginger

{ just a quick note on grated ginger, I recommend using a very fine grater which will enable the ginger juice to be extracted, Releasing the juice into the marinade massively improves the flavour. We us a Japanese grater called an Oroshi pictured below}

Marinade chicken 30 minutes to one hour.

Remove from marinade and squeeze dry in your hands. Coat liberally in potato flour [the Japanese flour called katakuriko is best} and deep fry at 170 degrees until done. Its important not to fry too hot to retain the fragrence of the marinade.

How you serve it is up to you, Simply with lemon wedges, qewpie mayonnaise or like we do in the restaurant with a soy citrus dip called Ponzu.

Basic ponzu

4 table spoons soy sauce

4 table spoons lemon juice

4 table spoons rice vinegar

So that's it, and if you are making it for kids just double everything, you will realise why after.

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