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  • Chicken Karaage with Yuzu Aioli

    Chicken Karaage with Yuzu Aioli

    I love fried chicken, yet I feel like I have spent my life saying that Southern food cannot be defined by fried chicken and ranch dressing. When I was living in Japan and a little homesick, I wanted ranch dressing and couldn’t have it, but I could certainly go find some good Japanese fried chicken—chicken karaage. It was just as good as any fried chicken that I'd ever had in the South and it was super comforting. Yuzu is a Japanese citrus that is bright without being sharp, acidic, or bitter. Its somewhat-floral flavor is more complex than lemon or lime and it lends the brightest, most refreshing note to aioli, cutting through the fat.

    Servings & Time

    • Servings 2 main-dish or 4 to 6 appetizer
    • Prep 30 minutes plus marinating time
    • Cook 10 minutes


    For the Chicken Karaage
    • 2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon sake
    • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces  
    • ⅓ cup quick-mixing flour (preferably Wondra)
    • ⅓ cup potato starch
    • Peanut Oil
    For the Yuzu Aioli
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • Large pinch coarse sea or kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
    • 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
    • 1 tablespoon yuzu juice
    • 2/3 cup canola oil
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper


    For the Chicken Karaage

    Combine the ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and sake in a large, nonreactive bowl. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerate for at least 1 hour but no more than 2. (This is a great time to make the Yuzu Aioli.)

    Remove the chicken from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.

    Heat 2 inches of peanut oil in a Dutch oven to 360°F.

    Combine the flour and potato starch in a shallow dish. Add 5 to 7 pieces of chicken to the flour mixture and coat evenly. Place the chicken in the hot oil.

    Fry until crispy and cooked through, for 2 to 3 minutes.

    With a spider or slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a paper towel–lined bowl. Coat and fry the remaining chicken.

    For the Yuzu Aioli

    Place the garlic and salt in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, or in a blender. Pulse once or twice. Add the egg yolk and yuzu juice, and pulse until blended. With the machine running, begin adding the canola oil in a thin stream. If it becomes too thick, thin it out with some room-temperature water and continue adding oil until you've used it all. Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Immediately serve the chicken, with the aioli on the side.

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