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Out of all the chicken dishes that I prepare, my oldest son’s favorite is Mochiko chicken. He always squeals with delight when I tell him that I’m making it. You see, I don’t really care for fried chicken and I don’t make it very often. However, I do really like Mochiko fried chicken and I don’t mind making this treat for him every once in awhile.
Mochiko chicken is made using sweet rice flour (mochiko) that is mixed with soy sauce and various other ingredients. Unlike regular fried chicken, it has a unique salty and sweet flavor with a chewier, yet crisp crust. Mochiko chicken is a popular dish in Hawaii and you’ll often find it made using chicken wings, but I prefer boneless skinless chicken thighs because it’s a bit more satisfying than a tiny little wing 🙂Delicious Mochiko Chicken Recipe.
When I decided to post this recipe, I stumbled across the Koda Farms (brand I use) website and found the fascinating history of its founder, Keisaburo Koda. He was such an AMAZING man and if you have a chance, go over to the Koda Farms website and read about him. His family history and what happened to his farm/business after World War II sort of stuck a cord with me because my grandparents had a similar experience – I cried a little.
Okay, enough of that. You’re here for the recipe so I’ll get on with it.
Recipe helpers (these can be bought at local Asian stores for less, buy on Amazon only if you don’t have access locally):
- 3 -4 lbs. defrosted boneless chicken thighs, cut in half or thirds and wiped dry
- 2/3 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup mochiko
- 1/3 cup soy sauce *see notes
- 2 T. oyster sauce
- 1/2 tsp. sesame oil
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 T. chopped green onions
- 2 large eggs
- oil for frying *see notes
- Optional - 1/2 tsp. sesame seeds
- Optional - 1/4 tsp. pepper flakes
- In a large sealable container, combine all the ingredients and mix well. It will be on the thicker side, but will thin out as the chicken marinates. Set aside
- Cut chicken thighs into two or three equal pieces. The goal is to cut the pieces into even thickness so they cook evenly. Dry chicken with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Add chicken to the mix and stir to coat well. Cover the container and let the chicken marinate overnight for a thinner crust or 2-3 hours for a thicker crust.
- Remove chicken from refrigerator and stir until all chicken pieces are coated well. Some of the cornstarch mixture may have settled to the bottom, creating a thick paste, but just mix it back up. Note: The mixture will be thinner if marinating overnight as the chicken juices will mix with the marinade. Just make sure you coat each piece with the mix before frying. If doing a quick 45 minute marinade, the crust will be thicker, but can make the crust salty. If doing a quick marinade, use a low sodium soy sauce.
- Place enough oil in your pan to barely cover the chicken when placed in pan. Heat oil on medium high and fry pieces till golden brown. About 6 -8 minutes total cook time, depending on thickness of the peices. Drain on paper towels. Serve.
- Marinating the chicken for 45 minutes will result in a thicker crust, but it can be salty. If doing a quick marinade time, use low sodium soy sauce (I prefer Aloha soy as it is less intense than Kikkoman). If marinating overnight, you can use low or regular soy sauce. The juices from the chicken will help dilute the soy sauce salt and will result in a slightly thinner crust.
- Make sure there is enough oil in the pan to just cover the entire chicken. Too little oil will cause the batter to run off the tops of the chicken when placed in the oil.
- I don't use any pepper flakes (kids won't let me), but you can add 1/4 tsp. to add some heat.
- The 1/2 T. of sesame seeds are optional too, but I like to add them in for some extra sesame flavor without it being too overpowering.