Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mochiko Chicken

Is Mochiko Chicken Japanese or Japanese-American?

To me it seems like a fusion of the Korean flank steak recipes that were so popular in the 80's and Japanese-style fried chicken.

In either case,


We always use chicken thighs, they've got a lot of flavor and are not dry.

But you can use the breast, it will be good too.

If you have any left over, you can make a bento box to give away.
Recipe at the end of the post.

I bought two of these packages of chicken thighs, bone in, skin on, and trimmed them myself.

Start out with one piece of meat.

Take the skin off,

 and slice off the connecting fat.

Do the same with the other side of the thigh.

And then try not to make any jokes about thighs and fat.

Turn the thigh over and see the bone?

Make a couple of cuts with a sharp knife along the sides of the bone.

I'm showing you this so you'll see the shape of the bone--that will make it easier.

Cut alongside the bone until the bone is almost free.

Then slide your knife under the bone and cut in an upward motion through the end.

One end usually has a joint attached, cut the joint part off.

You can make chicken stock with the bones.

There's your boneless, skinless thigh.

Or, you can leave the skin on, but trimmed.

Slice 3 green onions thinly and 2 cloves of garlic. 

If the garlic has started to sprout, remove that part, it tends to be a little bitter.

Put the garlic and green onions in a bowl.

Add 1/2 cup shoyu--that's soy sauce for the uninitiated.

The recipe at the bottom of the page will be for half this amount, you probably won't want to make this much and feed the whole neighborhood.

1/2 cup sugar.

1/2 cup mirin.

1 teaspoon minced ginger.

1 tablespoon sake.

1/2 cup cornstarch.

1/2 cup mochiko.

Mix well and add two beaten eggs.

Mix the eggs into the marinade.

Pour over chicken, mix well, and marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.

I like to do my frying outside on the patio, it keeps the fried food smell from permeating the house.

Even with the stove hood on, the air gets a little heavy--too much for me.

A caste iron skillet works well for frying on this butane stove.

If you use potato starch, the chicken will look like this.

It doesn't taste bad, but it's not crispy like the ones dredged in flour and mochiko.

My friend Susan came over and tried it.

The flour and mochiko mixture was much better.

Serve with some fresh vegetables and hot rice.

It doesn't really need sauce because the chicken is marinated, so it's already got a lot of flavor.

I had enough for 3 bento boxes!



This is my mom.

When I was little, and our family would go on car trips, she would make the family a bento--take along lunch--for the trip.

She would make onigiri--pressed rice balls--sometimes round and sometimes in triangles, but always with some kind of flavorings--umeboshi, furikake or aji nori.

We would always have fried chicken with onigiri in our bento.

She still makes it for us kids--when my brother comes to visit from Northern California, my mom will make his family a bento for their drive home.

Or when my sister visits from Hawaii, Mom will make them a bento to take to the airport, so they won't be hungry on their long trip home.

I find myself doing the same.

Only today, I made a bento and called my friend Susan, asking if she's got time to come get some food.

She came right over.

I'm going to deliver the other one to my mom.


Mochiko Chicken

2 1/2 lbs. chicken thighs

3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup shoyu (soy sauce)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup mirin
1 tablespoon sake
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
1 beaten egg

1/2 cup mochiko flour
1/2 cup corn starch

1 cup flour
1/4 cup mochiko

Trim chicken thighs, removing skin (if desired) and visible fat. Cut each thigh into 6 pieces, or leave them whole and you can slice it after it's cooked. I like the smaller pieces. Mix all ingredients except 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup mochiko and marinate the chicken for 20 to 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a frying pan to 350 degrees F. Dredge the chicken pieces in 1 cup flour and 1/4 cup mochiko mixture and fry in hot oil until cooked through. It won't take but a few minutes on each side since the pieces are small. Drain on paper towels.


  1. Okay. This I can make. But I don't like messing with all that deboning so I'll make it with boneless chicken breast tenders. Thanks!

  2. Hello
    Great recipes however...

    How about a print button? Cut and paste does not work too well and I am printing to PDF anyway.
    Why print 19 pdf pages when the recipe should not be more than 2, with room to spare.


    Tintin, from Quebec

    ps. an email address to reach you would be useful also

  3. Hello Tintin from Quebec,

    Thank you for your comment.

    I can be reached at

    I am working on making the recipes printable, I agree, printing so many pages is unnecessary, 2 pages max. I'm sorry for the inconvenience. I'm having a bit of trouble inserting the code to tell it where to start printing--but I'm determined to get it, hopefully sooner rather than later. :)

  4. One of my best friends told me that mochiko was a great way to make chicken so I looked it up and found your page! I cannot wait to make looks so good!

  5. In your instructions you indicate 1/2 mochiko and 1/2 cornstarch. But later in the recipe those measurements have both been reduced to 1/4. A typo? because I made it with the recipe listing of 1/4 and the marinade/egg/flour mixture just slid right off, so I didnt have that tasty garlicy,ginger,green onion bits hanging on.
    Also, I noticed after looking at several recipes, this is the only one I found calling for a final dredging in Machiko/AP flour. (Is it necessary?)


    1. Hi Mark, Thanks for your comment. Yes, that's a typo--it should be 1/2 mochiko and 1/2 cornstarch, sorry for the error. The final dredging is not necessary unless you like a thicker coating on the chicken.

  6. There are so many different types of sake which kind did you use

    1. Hi Nikki, I use any kind of sake for cooking, usually an inexpensive one. At Marukai market, I generally spend under $10 for a large bottle. If you're going to drink it, you may want to spend a little more money. Hope that helps. :)