Karaage | Articles on Japanese Restaurants | Japan Restaurant Guide by Gourmet Navigator
Karaage is a dish where ingredients are dipped in a batter and fried in oil. The ingredients are marinated beforehand, and covered with flour or katakuriko, and fried. The batter for tempura uses eggs, but eggs are not used in karaage. When one imagines karaage, it is mostly "chicken karaage" but there are various ingredients that are used. It is a dish that Japanese people love, and chicken karaage is frequently seen and eaten as a side in bento and in home meals.
Wasyoku(Japanese Cuisine) encyclopedia : Karaage
The "chicken karaage" is also a regular set menu at teishoku restaurants(restaurants that offer set menus). It is a popular and perfect accompaniment of alcohol, and the chicken karaage is almost always in the menu at the izakaya restaurants(a hybrid of the pub and a restaurant). It can be enjoyed like fast food, and there is an emergence of karaage specialty shops. It is generally bite sized, and karaage that is eaten with 2-3 bites is considered large. For seasoning, it differes depending on the home, and the cooking restaurant, and garlic or leeks can be added to the sauce, and the amount of time it is marinated can be considered. "Karaage powder" is a popular and common product which is essentially a mix of seasonings, and when meat is covered with it, it allows anyone to make the karaage easily, and helps people enjoy karaage without much effort at home.
From the way of cooking, fried chicken can be put in a similar grouping. Nakatsu city in Oita prefecture is called "the holy land of karaage", it is known as a competitive market for karaage shops. In Hokkaido karaage is called "zangi". There are some who think that zangi and karaage are strictly different, but the difference is very subtle. Besides chicken, for vegetables, root vegetables such as gobou(burdock root) and renkon(lotus root), fish, and squid is popular as a karaage. Among the karaage, those marinated with sauces such as soy sauce or mirin, and katakuriko as the only batter use and fried is called the "tatsutaage". It becomes more crunchy than ones that use flour. For local Okinawan food, there is a "gurukun karaage" which uses the prefectural fish gurukun, and is popular among the tourists