Why you’ll love this recipe:
A local favorite in Hawaii, mochiko chicken is named after its two main ingredients, chicken and mochiko flour. Mochiko flour is a type of rice flour made from a short grain, sweet rice called mochigome. It has a high starch content, which makes it a crucial ingredient in the Japanese dessert, mochi. It’s also what gives this mochiko chicken its signature crunch & chewy texture.
- Crispy, golden brown fried chicken
- Juicy and tender chicken thighs
- Only 10 minutes of cook time
Mochiko fried chicken is a versatile main dish that pairs with any side dish. Try a classic duo of mac salad and white rice, or serve alongside pasta salad, onigiri, namasu, mashed potatoes, or french fries.
Key Ingredient Notes:
- Chicken thighs have a higher fat percentage than chicken breasts, which makes them moist and forgiving. They are hard to mess up and overcook, plus they’re juicy and tender! Boneless, skinless chicken breasts work too though. Just be sure to cut the chicken into pieces so the insides cook through.
- Soy sauce adds a salty, umami-packed flavor to the marinade. A little bit goes a long way! If you don’t have it, fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce make good swaps.
- Ginger garlic paste – This paste, made from fresh ginger root and garlic, packs a flavorful punch. Find it in the produce section or the international aisle of your local grocery store. Or you can always use freshly grated ginger and garlic.
- Mochiko flour – This crucial ingredient gives mochi chicken its signature chew and crunch. Find it at your local Asian grocery store, or online. Avoid swapping mochiko flour with regular rice flour, a flour made from long grain rice with a lower starch content.
- Cornstarch – The secret to crunchy fried chicken that’s never soggy? Cornstarch. The combination of all-purpose flour and cornstarch create a super crisp, golden brown exterior.
How to make this recipe:
Marinade the chicken:
- In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, seasoning, sriracha, ginger garlic paste, cornstarch, mochiko flour, and egg. Whisk until well combined.
- Add the chicken thighs to the marinade and mix until well coated. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.
Coat the chicken:
- In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, corn starch, black pepper, and salt. Stir the flour mixture. Drop the marinated chicken pieces and toss them in the dredge, coating them thoroughly.
Fry the chicken:
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. I prefer a dutch oven because it distributes the heat evenly with no hot spots.
- Carefully place the chicken pieces into the hot oil without touching each other. And avoid dropping the chicken pieces into the hot oil, lest it splatter.
- Deep fry until chicken is golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes per side. The internal temperature should register 165°F on an instant thermometer.
- Transfer the chicken onto a wire rack, lined with a paper towel.
- If the chicken browns too quickly or burns, turn down the heat. Your oil is too hot. For a more exact approach, use a deep-fry thermometer and aim for a temperature of 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- For best results, use a heavy-bottomed skillet or a dutch oven. It has a thicker base which distributes heat evenly so you don’t end up with hot spots.
- Fill the pot with at least 1 inch of oil, so the chicken cooks without sitting on the bottom of the pot.
- Use a pair of kitchen tongs to carefully flip the chicken so all sides are golden and crisp.
- Wait until the oil is completely cool to dispose of it. Never pour oil down the drain, because it can clog your pipes. Instead, pour it into a plastic bag or sealed container and trash it.
- Mochiko chicken is best served immediately! That being said, if you want to make it ahead of time and refrigerate it for later, you can do that.
- Wait until the chicken is cool before transferring to an airtight container and placing in the fridge.
- To reheat, place the chicken onto a wire rack placed on top of a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan into a 375°F oven until hot and crispy – about 10 to 12 minutes. Enjoy immediately.
- You can also freeze mochiko chicken. To reheat, place frozen mochiko chicken in an air fryer basket in a single layer and cook at 375°F for about 7-10 minutes, or until fully thawed and crispy.
- Store leftover mochiko chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Reheat the chicken as directed above.
Mochiko fried chicken is made of boneless, skinless pieces of chicken that marinate overnight in a mixture of soy sauce, spices, and mochiko flour to create a chewy and crisp exterior. The marinated pieces of chicken are dredged in flour and cornstarch, then deep fried until golden brown and crispy!
It depends on the recipe. Mochiko flour also known as glutinous rice flour does not contain gluten. It’s named that due to its high starch content and thus gluten-like chew and sticky texture. However, mochiko chicken is dredged in all-purpose flour as well, making it not gluten-free.
Mochiko flour on its own is not sweet. It’s neutral in flavor, just like regular rice flour. It’s the starch content and texture that makes it notably different from regular rice flour.
Always reheat mochi chicken in the oven and not the microwave. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and place the fried chicken pieces on a wire rack. Set the wire rack on a sheet pan and place the sheet pan into the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the chicken is hot and crispy.
- Large bowls
- measuring cups & spoons
- Heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- ¼ cup mochiko flour Note 1
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound chicken thighs cut into pieces, Note 2
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon table salt
- oil for frying
- In a large bowl, combine egg, soy sauce, sriracha, ginger garlic paste, cornstarch, mochiko flour, salt and pepper. Whisk thoroughly until smooth.
- Add chicken into the marinade and mix well. Cover and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
- In a large bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper.
- Drop the marinated chicken pieces and toss them in the dredge, coating them thoroughly.
- In a large deep skillet (or Dutch oven), heat oil (at least 1-inch deep) until shimmering over medium high heat.
- Carefully add the chicken pieces in a single layer without touching each other and cook until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes.
- Using a pair of kitchen tongs, flip each chicken and cook another 5 minutes or so, or until internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Transfer the cooked chicken onto a wire rack, lined with paper towel. And repeat with the remaining chicken pieces.
- Serve Mochiko chicken with white steamed rice and vegetables of your choice.
– Store leftover mochiko chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
– To reheat, place the chicken onto a wire rack placed on top of a sheet pan. Place the sheet pan into a 375°F oven until hot and crispy – about 10 to 12 minutes.
– You can also freeze mochiko chicken. To reheat, place frozen mochiko chicken in an air fryer basket in a single layer and cook at 375°F for about 7-10 minutes, or until fully thawed and crispy.
* Disclaimer: All nutrition information are estimates only. Read full nutrition disclosure.
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