From Our Kitchen: Chicken Karaage and Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders

In this week’s edition of “From Our Kitchen,” chef Chelsea shows off a couple of ways to prepare delicious deep fried chicken tenders using a cornstarch-based batter, so you can feed a party without worrying about gluten sensitivity among the crowd. Chicken karaage is a sweet, sticky, spicy, and crunchy Japanese fried chicken. Usually made with smaller, cut-up pieces of chicken thigh or breast, Chelsea suggests leaving the tenders whole to keep them nice and juicy while frying. The breading is simply cornstarch, so they are totally gluten free! The karaage flavor preparation is one of many directions possible once you become comfortable around hot oil, and tuned in to some of the nuances of temperature control and doneness. Below the karaage recipe, find a preparation for a more Southern-style fried chicken, sweet and crunchy while remaining gluten-free.

Chicken Karaage

Ingredients for 2 packs Rosso & Flynn Chicken Tenders (2lbs)

  • Cornstarch (4-5 cups)

  • 1 liter frying oil (peanut, grapeseed, or canola)


  • ½ cup tamari

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • ¼ cup orange juice

  • 4 tbsp sambal chili sauce


  • Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce

  • cilantro

  • green onion

  • sriracha

  • mayonnaise


Marinate chicken tenders for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat 1 liter of oil to 350 degrees (use a frying thermometer for best, and safest, results).

Chicken karaage is a sweet and crunchy Japanese standard.


Remove tenders from marinade and toss in corn starch. Shake off excess starch. Carefully place tenders in hot oil, and fry until golden and crispy. If you’re unsure if the chicken is done, temp meat until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Work in small batches for organization, and to maintain temperature of oil (placing too much meat in oil will drop temperature and affect cooking time). Make sure the oil stays at 350 degrees between rounds. Stop and allow oil to return to temperature between rounds. Use tongs or mesh skimmer for safety.

Land the fried tenders on a towel and allow excess oil to drip, then quickly toss in a large bowl with a drizzle of Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce, cilantro, and green onion. Serve with extra sweet chili sauce and sriracha mayonnaise.

Gluten Free Fried Chicken

Ingredients for 2 packs Rosso & Flynn Chicken Tenders (2lbs)


  • 1 cup yogurt or buttermilk.

  • A few dashes vinegary hot sauce

  • 4 tbsp salt


  • 2 cups cornstarch

  • ¼ cup sugar

  • 3 tbsp smoked paprika

  • 2 tbsp black pepper

  • 1 tbsp mustard powder

  • 1 tbsp dry thyme


Combine marinade ingredients. Marinate chicken tenders for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.

When ready to fry, combine dredge ingredients. Remove tenders from marinade and toss in dredge.

Follow the same frying instructions as above, taking care to maintain oil temperature and practice safe handling around the hot oil.

When tenders have dried and cooled, drizzle with honey and toss in a large bowl. Serve with preferred dipping sauce.

Simple fried chicken with cornstarch. Perfect with any preferred dipping sauce.

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