Japanese Fried Chicken

Publish date:
japanese fried chicken

Recipe by Matt and Ted Lee, authors of The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern

"A 3 1/2-pound chicken is the perfect size. Any larger and it won’t cook through by the time the skin is golden. If that happens, transfer it to a 300° oven to finish." – Matt and Ted Lee

  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings


  • 1 whole chicken (3 1/2 lbs.), breastbone and backbone removed, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp. garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups corn starch
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable oil (or 2 lbs. lard)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Chopped scallions


1. To prepare marinade, mix 1/2 cup each water and soy sauce, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar and 1 tbsp. each grated ginger and garlic. In a resealable plastic bag, soak the chicken in the marinade for 30 minutes (or up to 12 hours). 

2. In a medium bowl, combine the corn starch, salt and pepper. Remove the chicken pieces and coat them evenly with the corn starch mixture; transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and let stand for 15 minutes. Coat the chicken again in the corn starch mixture.

3. Meanwhile, in an extra-large, heavy skillet, heat the oil to 350°. Carefully add the chicken to the pan and partially cover. Lower the heat to medium-low and fry the chicken, turning occasionally, until the crust is gold-brown and the meat is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes. (Lower the temperature if the chicken is browning too quickly.) Transfer to paper towels to drain.

4. Boil the sauce for 3 minutes; strain. Add honey and rice vinegar; brush onto fried chicken. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions.

Try our Classic Fried Chicken