This Keto Chicken Karaage recipe boasts a crispy, delicious coating and a sweet and spicy sauce. Surprisingly authentic, you’ll never miss the carbs in this Keto version of the classic Japanese Fried Chicken recipe!
Karaage (pronounced Kha-Ra-A-Geh) is a Japanese preparation of small pieces of protein (typically chicken, pork, or seafood) that are marinated and then coated in flour, potato starch or corn starch and deep fried. Served piping hot with lemon wedges and a mayonnaise based sauce, it’s a popular street food in Asia that makes for great party food (I’m looking at you Super Bowl) because the bite sized chunks are easy to eat with your hands.
This Keto Chicken Karaage is coated in a seasoned blend of coconut flour, psyllium husk powder, and smidge of potato starch (not that hard to find, Bob’s Red Mill makes it and I was even able to get it here in Honduras) for authenticity and crispness.
Don’t freak out, the carbs are negligible and it’s totally worth it for the amazing texture it gives.
Thanks to the flavorful marinade containing ginger, garlic, soy sauce and a few other ubiquitous Asian ingredients, this keto chicken karaage is super tasty on its own – buuuut the creamy Sriracha dipping sauce really takes it over the top. I mean, what are fried chunks of chicken made for if not for dipping?
As an alternative to this sauce, you could also dip your keto chicken karaage into my sweet chili dipping sauce, which is sweet and spicy and a little sticky, making it a perfect complement to the crispy on the outside, tender on the inside chunks of chicken. The sweet chili sauce also doesn’t contain mayonnaise, so if you have an egg allergy it’s a better fit for this egg free chicken recipe.
You won’t need the egg to keep the coating on because of the liquid marinade, and the sticky nature of the potato starch and psyllium husk powder make this coating adhere like a champ. Just make sure your oil is hot enough to sear it immediately, otherwise nothing will keep that coating from sloughing off into the oil.
You may be wondering, what is the best kind of chicken to use for keto chicken karaage?
So glad you asked. 😂 While you can use boneless, skinless chicken breast, and I did because it’s all our grocery store on the island had, the preferred cut to use traditionally is boneless thighs. Chicken thighs are much more luscious and flavorful than the breasts, and will stay much juicier as well.
If you can get them with the skin on it will be even better, because crispy chicken skin for the win! 🙌🏻 🤤
Inquiring minds might also want to know….
What is the best oil for frying keto chicken karaage?
Lard, peanut oil, and avocado oil are all healthy options for frying chicken, because they can get hot enough to get your chicken crispy without burning and smoking. Vegetable oils such as corn and canola are highly processed and not very healthy, but will produce a nice crusty result. They are also less expensive than the other options, so there’s that to consider.
The keto police will say you should never ever use vegetable oils, but personally I think even 80% clean with the occasional less healthy option like vegetable oil is a pretty reasonable goal to aim for. So you do you.
Either way, this keto chicken karaage is a dish you should put on your list to try ASAP! Then be sure to report back with what you thought of it!
- 2 pounds boneless chicken thighs (skin on if possible)
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce (Tamari)
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened rice wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons granulated erythritol
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1 teaspoon psyllium husk powder
- 1 tablespoon potato starch
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Oil for frying
- real mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s or Dukes for store-bought)
- Sriracha hot sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- granulated erythritol sweetener (I use Swerve)
- Cut the chicken thighs (or breasts if using) into bite-sized chunks (about 1 1/2 inch pieces.)
- Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the chicken chunks and stir to coat.
- Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours.
- Remove the chicken from the refrigerator.
- Combine the breading ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.
- Fill a large saucepan with about 2 inches of oil.
- Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 350 degrees (takes about 6 – 8 minutes.) You’ll know the oil is hot enough when a drop of water sizzles and pops when you flick it into the oil.
- Meanwhile, transfer a few pieces of chicken at a time into the breading, and turn to coat. Don’t put it all in at once or the breading will get gummy and not adhere.
- When the oil is hot, add 8 to 10 pieces of the breaded chicken to the pot and cook for 3 – 4 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Remove the cooked chicken pieces to a wire rack (preferred to maintain crispness,) or a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
- Repeat with the remaining chicken pieces until all of the chicken is cooked. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon and some creamy sriracha dipping sauce.
- Combine the mayonnaise, Sriracha, Worcestershire sauce, and sweetener in a small bowl and stir well until smooth.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Will keep for up to 5 days.