When you think of fried chicken, what’s the first image that comes to mind? A Kentucky colonel? Cajun style chicken from Louisiana? Some cows with a poor grasp of grammar and spelling? Chances are, none of these can match these exotic styles of fried chicken found in Asian cuisine. As delicious as sesame chicken or sweet and sour chicken are, they’re only the tips of the chicken wing.
In Japanese, karaage means “Chinese style, deep fried.” Essentially, this means that the chicken has been fried without the use of batter. Easy to find in pubs, lunchboxes, and convenience stores all over Japan, karaage is also sweeping major American cities like New York and Los Angeles. Karaage carries some of the hallmarks of Asian cuisine: where dark meat chicken is marinated in soy sauce and seasoned with sake before being coated in flour and cornstarch and fried in a lighter oil. This technique produces chicken that is juicy and tender on the inside while also light and crispy on the outside.
Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
Taiwanese popcorn chicken is a massively popular street food. Even so, it shouldn’t be confused with greasy American-style fast food chicken. It makes a fantastic snack while meandering through Taiwan’s famous night markets. Or, you could munch on it while sipping some bubble tea at the nearest cafe. Chicken thighs are chopped up into small chunks and given a wide variety of marinades, such as:
- Soy sauce
- Rice wine
- Powdered Chinese five spice
- White pepper (the key ingredient!)
Potato starch is used for the coating, and even though they’re typically bite-sized, you can also get full-sized slabs of chicken that you carry in a napkin and a thin sheet of plastic.
Korean Fried Chicken
Korean fried chicken, or the other KFC, is becoming increasingly popular with foodies all over North America. This chicken is double-fried, which makes it extra crispy. Younger chickens are carefully chosen for their outstanding tenderness. Seasonings such as spices, garlic, and ginger are essential for this style of Asian cuisine. Unlike American fried chicken, which is often served as a full meal in itself, Korean fried chicken is paired with pickled radishes and served with beer or soju, a clear Korean liquor.
Malaysian Fried Chicken
In Malaysia, this fried chicken is called mamak, which refers to its fusion of Indian and Malay flavors. Curry powder, yogurt, ginger, flour, and even more curry are the primary components of this lesser-known Asian cuisine.
Thai Fried Chicken
Thailand’s fried chicken is called Hat Yai, after the city where it was created. Paired with plain or sticky rice, this chicken depends on its wild flavors gained from coriander seeds, fish sauce, cilantro, and shallots, among others.
Get All Your Asian Groceries at Lotte Plaza Market
Lotte Plaza Market is your one-stop shop for all of your Korean and Asian grocery needs. With more than 10 locations in Maryland and Virginia, this growing market is always expanding and opening new markets to better serve our customers. Opened since 1976, our goal has always been to provide the best customer service and groceries to our customers. For answers to all of your questions, email us at LottePlaza.com.