This page may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. This post is about a Japanese Fried Chicken recipe for Yurinchi Chicken!
We recently came back from 3 weeks in Japan. The trip was an experience of a lifetime. I was especially pleased because I had the opportunity to try so many different foods. A Japanese Fried Chicken dish called Yurinchi Chicken was one of my favorites!
What is Yurinchi Chicken?
Yurinchi chicken is the Japanese version of Chinese style fried chicken. It is usually made with chicken thighs with the skin on, coated with potato starch, then deep fried to a crunchy and crispy golden brown. It is served on a bed of lettuce, with a superb tasting Yurinchi sauce poured over it, and then topped with loads of sliced scallions!
We enjoyed the Yurinchi Chicken at this small izakaya in Narita, Japan. Tanoshiya is the name of the izakaya. An izakaya is a Japanese bar where small snacks are served alongside and to accompany alcoholic drinks. Along with great food, we made some new friends and had a LOAD of fun!
The Yurinchi Chicken, made extra super spicy by a spice powder that we were given to shake on top, was so amazingly delicious, that we ordered a second helping. We also enjoyed Bali Feather Dumplings (gyoza) and some super healthy and delicious edamame in addition to the chicken. 😊
You may ask what Bali feather dumplings are? "Bali Hane Gyoza", a specialty of "Tanoshiya", is an original gyoza made entirely by hand, not only its skin but also its contents outside is crispy and the inside is full of gravy (from the Tanoshiya website). Since the taste and garlic are effective, please enjoy it simply with vinegar and citron." They were EXQUISITE!
Ingredients You Will Need To Make Yurinchi Chicken
I wanted desperately to be able to make Yurinchi chicken when I got home. I begged (with the help of a translator) for the recipe, and I got it! Well, I got the great recipe for the sauce at least!
The ingredients needed for this Asian fried chicken dish are:
- Chicken thighs with skin on (thighs are preferred over chicken breasts for this recipe)
- Potato starch - will help give you the crispiest of chicken skins!
- Vegetable oil for deep frying (can also sub canola oil)
- Green onions (as garnish)
- Iceberg lettuce (can sub romaine)
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Rice vinegar
- Chili oil (optional but very nice!)
- Nanami Togarashi or Ichimi Togarashi for the finishing touch (these are both types of Japanese chili peppers optional but again very nice!)
- Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
The potato starch is the key ingredient which will result in such crispy and crunchy chicken skin. It is not recommended to use all purpose flour for this recipe. Biting into Yurinchi chicken reminds me of eating pork cracklins. It's heavenly!
This is a super easy fried chicken recipe to put together and I promise you will be delighted!
So let's make some amazing and crispy Yurinchi chicken!
Instructions To Make This Japanese Fried Chicken
As far as Asian fried chicken recipes go, this couldn't be easier to make!
Add the chicken thigh pieces (with skin on) and the potato starch to a large bowl. Coat the chicken pieces with the potato starch and shake off the excess. Each piece of chicken should be well coated with the potato starch.
Please note: I had a hard time finding boneless chicken thighs with skin on! So, I bought bone in chicken thighs with skin on, and cut off bits of the chicken leaving the skin on and discarding the bones. It's a bit finicky to cut pieces leaving the skin intact, so do the best you can with this!
Heat up your vegetable oil in a deep large skillet or your deep fryer. Once the oil is HOT (oil temp should be around 350 degrees) place the chicken pieces in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. You may need to turn the chicken over, and the cooking time should take between 5-10 minutes depending on how large the pieces of chicken are. Please adjust the time accordingly so that chicken is cooked to a golden brown. Fry in small batches so that the chicken isn't crowded when frying, for best results. Remove once cooked and drain on paper towels to get rid of the excess oil.
Be sure to marvel at the crispy coating on your chicken!
Meanwhile prepare your yurinchi sauce. In a small separate bowl combine the yurinchi sauce ingredients (sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and chili oil to your taste). The chili oil is optional, but if you love heat you will love the resulting spicy sauce!
Please note that you can easily halve the sauce ingredients and still have enough for this recipe. You could also make using the quantities indicated in the recipe. This way you'll have enough for another go round of Yurinchi Chicken!
How To Serve This Japanese Fried Chicken
You will serve the Yurinchi Chicken on a bed of iceberg or romaine lettuce, and douse with a few spoonfuls of delicious Yurinchi Sauce after frying the chicken. Also add some Nanami Togarashi or Ichimi Togarashi for the finishing touch and a little freshly ground black pepper! White rice is the perfect accompaniment.
Enjoy Yurinchi chicken, one of the BEST Asian fried chicken dishes in the world!
For A Spicy Version Add Some Extra Spice!
This chicken is served "spicy" at Tanoshiya. We sprinkled a pepper powder over it, and best we could tell it included Carolina Reaper pepper. Boy it was HOT!
That HOT Pepper Powder was incredible! Unfortunately I have no idea how to acquire it! So instead of that we sprinkled some Nanami Togarashi (assorted chili pepper) over ours and it was DELICIOUS!
Nanami Togarashi is a Japanese 7-spice blend includes red chile pepper, roasted orange peel, yellow and black sesame seeds, Japanese pepper, seaweed, and ginger. You can use this to spice up ANYTHING, but it is particularly great on Yurinchi Chicken, rice, and ramen...YUM! You can get it here on Amazon.
I hope you will give this Yurinchi Chicken a try!
Finally, a HUGE thank you to our friends that we met at Tanoshiya! Thank you for the recipe and if you are in Narita, Japan you MUST visit Tanoshiya for great hospitality and great food!
Yes! The best way to do this is with an air fryer if you have one. Remove from your fridge an allow the chicken to come to room temperature. Air fry at 375F for around 3 minutes and your chicken should be heated through and still be crispy! This does assume that these pieces were not doused with Yurinchi sauce though.
I have not experimented with other cuts of chicken, however I do think that chicken drumsticks or chicken wings with the skin on should work nicely. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time for wings and cook to at least an internal temperature of 165F.
If you have any leftover fried chicken, place it in an airtight container and store it in your refrigerator.
Some Other Recipes You May Enjoy!
You may also enjoy these other Japanese dishes!
Easy and Delicious Gyudon Japanese Beef Bowl
Delicious Japanese Pork Katsudon and Rice Bowl
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- Deep fat fryer or deep frying pan
- 2 lb Chicken thighs with skin ON
- ½ cup potato starch add potato starch if needed
- 24 oz vegetable oil or more if using a deep fat fryer
- Nanami Togarashi to your taste
- iceberg or romaine few leaves for serving
- 4 green onions sliced for garnish
- black pepper (freshly ground) optional
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ cup soy sauce
- ⅛ cup sesame oil
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- chili oil a little to your liking
- Add the chicken thigh pieces (with skin on) and the potato starch to a large mixing bowl. Coat the chicken pieces with the potato starch and shake off the excess.
- Heat up your vegetable oil in a deep pan or your deep fat fryer. Once the oil is HOT (around 350 degrees) place the chicken in the hot oil and fry until golden brown. You may need to turn the chicken over, and it should take between 5-10 minutes depending on how large the pieces of chicken are. Please adjust the time accordingly so that chicken is cooked to a golden brown! You may need to fry in batches so that the chicken isn't crowded when frying. Remove once cooked and drain on paper towels.
- Meanwhile prepare your yurinchi sauce, by combining the yurinchi sauce ingredients (sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and chili oil to your taste).
- To serve, place a few iceberg lettuce leaves on your plate, top with the yurinchi friend chicken, and a few spoonfuls of the yurinchi sauce. Sprinkle loads of green onions on top and some Nanami or Ichimi Togarashi for the finishing touch! A little freshly ground black pepper is also a lovely addition!
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