Japan Eats

Recipe: Tebasaki no karaage (deep-fried chicken wings coated with soy sauce and sesame seeds)

Nagoya’s contribution to the world’s great bar snacks.

Tebasaki chicken – deep-fried chicken wings coated with soy sauce and coated in sesame seeds – is a dish closely associated with the city of Nagoya, where it is a popular form of otsumami (dish to be eaten while drinking). The wings are full of flavor, thanks to the ingredients of the tare: vinegar, soy, sake, mirin, a little sugar, garlic and ginger.

The key to the dish is deep frying the chicken twice. This gives the skin it’s distinctive crispy texture.

Here we’re using the traditional seasoning, but feel free to experiment. Cumin, roughly-grated red peppers, cayenne pepper or Japan Eats favorite yuzukosho will add even more flavor.

While usually eaten hot, they can also be refrigerated eaten the next day.

Tebasaki chicken

Ready to eat: tebasaki chicken

Ingredients (for 2 – 4 people)

  • 10 chicken wings
  • 2 – 3 pinches of salt and grated black pepper
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons of potato starch
  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Tare

  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 table spoons of sake
  • 2 tablespoons of mirin
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 tea spoon of vinegar (rice vinegar)
  • 5 – 10 g of garlic (1 clove, crushed)
  • 5 g of ginger (sliced)

Seasoning

  • 2 – 3 tablespoons of white sesame seeds
  • 2 – 3 pinches of roughly grated black pepper

Method

First, remove the chicken wings from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature.

While waiting, prepare the tare, or sauce. Place a small pan with all of the tare ingredients on a low heat and warm slowly. Maintain the level of heat and reduce for 5 minutes, during which you’ll see small bubbles rising from the bottom of the pan. Pour the tare into a cooking tray and allow it to cool down naturally.

Next come the chicken wings. Remove any excess water with kitchen paper. Sprinkle 2 or 3 pinches of salt and grated black pepper evenly over both sides of the chicken wings and gently rub it into the chicken.

Use a teaspoon to coat the chicken in the tare.

Use a teaspoon to coat the chicken in the tare.

Now warm the vegetable oil in the deep-fryer on a medium heat until it reaches 160 – 165°C.

Coat the chicken wings with a thin, even layer of potato starch (pour the starch through a strainer) just before deep-frying.

Deep-fry the chicken wings in oil at 160 – 165°C for 5 minutes before removing and resting them for 3 – 4 minutes. Next, heat the oil to 175°C and deep-fry the chicken wings a second time for about a minute.

Once you remove the chicken wings from the oil, remove the excess oil carefully and place the wings into the cooking tray. Add the seasoning and mix well. Finally, coat the chicken with the tare using a teaspoon and serve. Preferably with a cold drink!