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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. One of my favorites was Yurinchi Chicken!
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. The name of the izakaya, which is a Japanese bar where small snacks are served alongside and to accompany alcoholic drinks, is Tanoshiya. 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!
How 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 recipe for the sauce at least!
All you will need is chicken thighs, potato starch, vegetable oil, scallions, iceberg lettuce, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, and chili oil.
You’ll dip the meat into potato starch after cutting the chicken thighs with skin on!) into bite sized pieces. Next fry for around 3-7 minutes or so until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
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!
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 for the finishing touch!
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!
You may also enjoy these other Japanese dishes!
Come along with me on this journey to discover new foods and have fun in the kitchen and beyond! Please join me by signing up here. 🙂
- 2 lb Chicken thighs with skin ON
- 1/2 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
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/8 cup sesame oil
- 1/2 cup rice vinegar
- chili oil a little to your liking
- Cut the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.
- Coat the chicken thighs potato starch and shake off 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 3-7 minutes depending on how large the pieces of chicken are. Please adjust the time accordingly so that chicken is cooked to a golden brown! 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 Togarashi for the finishing touch!