Danielle Sobel's Japanese Fried Chicken with Spicy Citrus Aioli

Japanese Karaage doesn't have to be intimidating. Chef Danielle Sobel of Pacifique Los Angeles shows us how to make the best damn fried chicken you'll ever taste — and with plenty of spicy citrus aioli for dunking.


  • For the chicken:
  • 5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup creamy Shio Koji
  • 1/2 cup yuzu or Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated garlic
  • 2 teaspoons ground porcini mushroom powder
  • Potato starch, for dredging
  • Oil, for frying
  • For the aioli:
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup yuzu kosho
  • 2 teaspoons Meyer lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon porcini powder
  • 17 ounces homemade mayo
  • For the homemade mayo:
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon malt vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Japanese mustard powder (or spicy mustard powder)
  • 2 large egg yolk
  • 1 cup vegetable oil


  1. Cut chicken into small chunks.
  2. Combine Shio Koji, citrus juice, garlic and porcini mushroom powder.
  3. Coat the chicken in mixture and marinate for at least 2 hours. While chicken is marinating, prepare the aioli.
  4. Start by making your mayonnaise. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, malt vinegar, salt and mustard powder, until it is completely dissolved. Place vinegar mixture in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade along with the egg yolks. Pulse to combine.
  5. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in vegetable oil in a thin, steady stream. Set some aside for the aioli and store the remainder in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  6. To make the aioli combine salt, yuzu kosho, Meyer lemon juice, porcini powder and mayo. Set aside.
  7. Lightly dredge the marinated chicken chunks in potato starch. Deep fry at 350 degrees.
  8. Serve with a slice of lemon and spicy citrus aioli.