Recipe adapted from Just One Cookbook

Difficulty: Moderate
Cooking Time: 60 mins (excl. ingredient preparation and marinate time)
Serves: 5-8


  • 5-10 chicken thighs, deboned, deskinned, cutt into 2-inch pieces
  • 125 g or more corn starch
  • oil for deep-frying
  • a couple of lemon wedges  (I used lime)
  • Ichimi Togarashi (Japanese red chilli pepper flakes), optional
  • green onion, garnishing, optional

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1/4 onion, grated
  • 1/2 tbsp or 1.5-inch ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tbsp cooking sake  (I used Chinese rice wine with a dash of sugar)
  • 1 tbsp soysauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


  1. Put marinade ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Put chicken in a ziploc bag, add marinade ingredients and mix well.  OR  like what I did, I just add chicken into marinade ingredients and made sure that they’re well mixed.  Cover bowl with plastic foil.  Keep in fridge for at least 1 hr, preferably 3-4 hrs.  (I kept chicken marinating in fridge overnight.)
  3. Put oil in a deep wok and heat it on medium high heat. To test if oil is hot enough, put the end of a chopstick into oil. If bubbles appear around tip, then oil temperature is around 180C and is ready for deep-frying.
  4. When oil is ready, remove chicken from fridge and transfer into a boil. Discard marinade liquid. Add corn starch and mix quickly. It doesn’t need to be even coz the uneven coating gives each piece of chicken a unique texture.
  5. Place each piece of chicken separately and carefully into oil. Don’t overcrowd wok!! If you put a lot of chicken pieces into oil at once, temperature will drop quickly and chicken pieces end up soggy and not crunchy. Make sure oil temperature stays around 180C at all times.
  6. Deep fry for 90 seconds and remove chicken to a wire rack or plate with kitchen paper to drain oil for 4 mins. Then return to wok and deep fry for another 45 seconds till golden brown.
  7. Remove chicken from wok and leave on a wire rack or plate with kitchen paper to drain oil.
  8. Before starting on the next batch, skim/remove leftover crumbs from oil in order to keep it clean.
  9. Serve chicken with lemon (or lime) wedges.
  10. Squeeze lemon (or lime) on chicken before eating. Dip in Ichimi Togarashi for a spicy version.

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