RECIPE: Ume Shio Koji Chicken Karaage

  • 3 min read

Ume Shiokoji Chicken Karaage (March 2019 and Dec 2018 Nourishing Essentials and Winter 2018 Winter Seasonal Delights Care Packages)

Crispy, crunchy, juicy - chicken karaage is an internationally famous Japanese food for good reason!

Simply described, chicken karaage is Japanese deep fried chicken. Chicken karaage is very popular with Japanese people and can be found in many restaurants, homes, and grocery stores all over Japan. Chicken karaage is a favorite comfort food for many people in Japan and is an easy home cooked meal for you to prepare in your own kitchen!

The beauty of chicken karaage is its versatility with seasonings and flavorings. It can be simply cooked for the chicken to shine through or can be dressed up with layers for complex, bright flavors. You can add as many or as little seasonings as you would like to make chicken karaage exactly to your liking!

For this recipe, we recommend trying chicken karaage with shio koji to complement the chicken with an umami flavor. The shio koji touch will bring out the comforting taste of the chicken while enhancing the aroma and complex flavors. Due to its complex and multifaceted flavors, shio koji is the perfect one-stop seasoning if you have limited time. We recommend keeping it in your kitchen cabinet for quick use in many recipes. As a bonus, shio koji is healthy for your gut and digestion!

The other dimension of this chicken karaage recipe is the ume paste. Ume is a plum that is a popular traditional Japanese ingredient used to liven up many dishes. Marinating your chicken in the ume paste will invigorate your taste buds with a unique twist. The ume paste will strike a balance between the fried chicken and fresh plum flavors!

This delicious recipe is simple to make with just a few ingredients. We recommend you eat the chicken karaage as soon as possible after frying. Nothing is more satisfying than fresh, crisp chicken karaage!


Serves 2


  • 400g chicken thigh
  • 1 tbsp neri ume (Japanese plum paste)
  • 1 tbsp shio koji*
  • 3 tbsp potato starch
  • 3 tbsp corn starch


  1. Cut chicken into large bite size pieces.
  2. Season the chicken with the neri ume and shio koji and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a pot. Mix potato and corn starch in a bowl.
  4. Coat chicken with the mixture of potato and corn starch. Deep-fry until golden brown.

* Available in our Creative Beginnings: Redefining "Wa" Care Package


Recipe courtesy of Mayuko Okada of Mayuko's Little Kitchen

Mayuko's class is well suited for people who would like to enjoy local Japanese culture and a homestyle Japanese meal cooked in an actual Japanese home. It's an entirely different experience from a "studio-type" cooking class, and we are sure you will enjoy the personal attention.

Mayuko's Little Kitchen has won the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for each of the past three years, awarded to only the top 10% of service providers. She was chosen as one of the TOP 10 activities in all of Japan ("Foreign visitors' favorite experiences/tours in Japan 2018" on Trip Advisor). Her cooking class has also been featured on national TV programs.


Introduction courtesy of Kimberlee Laney

Kimberlee Laney

As a Japanese-Korean-American, my love for Japanese food first came from my grandmother's kitchen! Japanese food feels like home and I love being able to cook it anywhere in the world to connect with Japan in my own little way. I love diving deep into the layers of Japanese food and always marvel at the food diversity between prefectures. I'm currently eating my way through Tokyo and taking up photography with my Instagram account @capturingkim!

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