If you’re looking for a new way to make karaage, or Japanese-style fried chicken, how about taking some inspiration from the underground student council vice president of hit manga/anime/TV drama Prison School? We liked how character Meiko Shiraki’s karaage, coated with kaki-no-tane rice crackers, looked in the manga and anime, so we decided to give it a shot!
The extremely voluptuous Meiko has also been well-endowed with talent in the kitchen. Even on paper, her dishes looked so interesting and delicious that we just had to give it a try ourselves. Throw out your old karaage recipe; it’s time for some kaki-no-tane Japanese fried chicken!
For those wondering what kaki-no-tane are, they’re a thin, crescent-shaped rice cracker coated with soy sauce and chili powder. Often packaged with peanuts (and called “kaki peanuts” or “kaki-pea”), the slightly spicy, crunchy little guys make for a great snack when drinking. But why devour them as snacks, when you can elevate them to a main course? The vice president says that when kaki-no-tane are used as a crust, it’s all the seasoning you will need.
Since we didn’t really have a recipe to follow, we looked at Chapter 42 of the manga and Episode 7 of the anime to get as close as possible to her recipe. Our ingredients were:
For five pieces of karaage
● Chicken: 300 grams (10.6 ounces)
● Eggs: 1 egg
● Flour: enough to coat the chicken
● Kaki no tane: 40 grams (1.4 ounces)
1. Crush the kaki no tane into smaller pieces. Don’t pound them into a fine powder, but leave the pieces still large enough to give the coating texture.
2. Dredge the chicken in flour and then dip it in the beaten egg.
3. Coat the chicken with the crushed kaki-no-tane.
4. Fry or bake!
Karaage is traditionally fried in a pan of oil, but the kaki-no-tane burn easily, so you have to watch them very carefully. We recommend frying the chicken twice, the first time at 180° Celsius (about 350° Fahrenheit) for one minute, allowing them to rest for five minutes and then frying again at 160° Celsius (about 325° Fahrenheit) for 30 seconds. For those who’d like to avoid an oily mess, you can try baking them in the oven at 220° Celsius (about 430° Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes.
This simple dish is packed with flavor and has a satisfying balance between tender meat and crunchy coating. You can’t ask for anything more from fried chicken. Colonel Sanders’ combination of 11 herbs and spices be damned, all you need is this kaki-no-tane recipe from Prison School!
[ Read in Japanese ]