What is it about fried and crispy that is so irresistible? The hardest part of doing a low-carb diet is that crispy things like chips and crackers are all flour-based and are complete no-nos. This weekend the craving for Japanese was on, and as I had just picked up some cheap boneless chicken thighs I decided to try to make low carb chicken karaage (since kid #1 hates teriyaki chicken and kid #2 likes it, but with chicken karaage, at least both will eat the dish.
Chicken karaage is the Japanese answer to chicken nuggets. The great part about this dish is that it isn’t just fried chicken bites, the chicken itself is really tasty – little flavor bombs. This was the dish that was finished the fastest at dinner, and I am pretty chuffed – the recipe was easy to do and quick. It was low carb and the arrowroot flour (which is my low carb go-to for flour substitution) fried really well and the chicken stayed relatively crispy for a good duration of time (at least till the end of dinner!). For my non-low carb friends, potato flour/starch is what the Japanese usually do to make this chicken dish.
By the way on a completely separate note, people have been asking me how I cook, blog and work a really busy job at the same time. I’m starting to be a little embarrassed as it may seem that I am slacking off work 😱! It is very simple though – I cook on weekends and dream of what to cook the other days of the week. And like most of the other stuff I do, I plan my cooking spree into my schedule, eg dropping off kid #2 early at school them running to the wet market and then dumping groceries in the office fridge. And there are many times, like today, that I need really simple recipes to feed the family quickly. It’s great when I can figure a recipe that is easy and low carb (since kid #1 is suddenly into eating low carb and checking his weight 3 times a day on my bathroom scale…I wonder if there is a girl he is trying to impress…).
Low Carb Chicken Karaage
- 4 boneless chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 1/4 cup sake
- 2 inch knob of ginger, peeled
- 6 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 6 – 8 tbsp arrowroot flour
- 1 cup of vegetable oil
- Cut the chicken meat into 1-2 inch pieces. I was naughty and left the skin on.
- Using a food processor, finely chop the garlic and ginger, scraping down the sides and getting as fine a mince as possible.
- Add the soy sauce, sake, mirin and ground pepper and pulse further.
- Marinate the chicken with the above and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
- Heat up the vegetable oil in a wok or pot over medium heat.
- Place the arrowroot flour into a bowl and lightly coat each piece of meat with the arrowroot flour, shaking off the excess flour.
- Fry the chicken pieces, turning the pieces over periodically. Fry till the chicken is golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes. Drain oil on paper towels.
- Serve hot. The chicken goes great with mayonnaise or a squeeze of lemon.