Japanese Fried Chicken, or Tori no Kara-age as it is called in Japanese, is bite-sized chicken marinated with ginger, soy sauce, and garlic, then lightly coated with a mixture of flour and cornstarch and deep fried. Bright and delicious, it's a great snack or meal!
Combine bite-sized chicken with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Add a little salt (only if using lower sodium soy sauce) and black pepper. Let marinate for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat your vegetable oil in a large skillet on the stove, or in a deep fryer. If using a skillet, use about 1 inch of oil, place a candy thermometer in the oil (with the bulb not touching the bottom), and heat the oil to 350F. It will take at least 10-15 minutes, if not longer, for your oil to come to temperature. I recommend medium to medium-high heat on the stove, but you will have to make adjustments as you cook.
Combine flour and cornstarch in a bowl or on a plate. If you can handle chopsticks, use them to pick the chicken pieces from the marinade (there won't be much left) and roll them in the flour mixture. (If you can't use chopsticks, use your fingers or a fork; the chopsticks make this process much cleaner, though.) Set aside in a single layer, not touching if possible. I recommend flouring just as much chicken at a time as you can fry in one batch, then flouring the next batch of chicken. Flouring it in advance doesn't work very well; the breading can become a little damp.
Fry chicken in batches in 350F oil for 4-5 minutes. If I fry them on the stove, I like to give them a gentle stir once. Do not crowd the pan. Remove chicken from the oil with a strainer, and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
Repeat with remaining chicken. Serve with a twist of lemon if desired.
You can fry the bite-sized chicken on the stove, but your heat will be most consistent in a deep fryer if you have one available.
For a delicious variation, swap the cornstarch for cornmeal, which is a mistake I made when I first started cooking and didn't know what "corn flour" was. It makes the chicken crunchier, and gives it a Southern flair.
Cooking note: You may have to adjust the stove temperature to keep the oil temperature at 350F. The temperature can drop dramatically. How much will depend on your pan size, the amount of oil in it, the amount of chicken in the pan, and the strength of your stove burners. Start with the burner on medium or medium high, and adjust from there.
Adapted from Bento.com