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Mochiko Chicken

Chicken Mochiko is delicious bite-size pieces of tender chicken thighs dredged in mochiko flour (sweet rice flour) and deep fried. It’s one of many Hawaiian dishes brought the Islands by Japanese immigrants.

Low angle shot of 2 plates of chicken mochiko.

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The Japanese Mochiko flour gives this Hawaiian-style fried chicken an extra crunchy bite to this Hawaiian fried chicken. A simple but flavorful marinade gives the dish tons of flavor, too.

Mochiko chicken is a simple dish of boneless chicken pieces that are marinated in a mix of soy sauce and other seasonings along with Mochiko rice flour (also called glutinous rice flour). Later the chicken is dredged in a seasoned flour-and-cornstarch mixture and then deep fried.

Overhead shot of plates of Mochiko Chicken.

why you’ll love this mochiko chicken

This easy recipe for mochiko chicken is a lot like my Japanese Chicken Karaage. Both are dredged bite-size pieces of boneless skinless chicken that are marinated and deep fried to a crispy golden brown.

The main difference is that Karaage Chicken uses potato starch, while Mochiko Chicken uses mochiko sweet rice flour. Karaage Chicken is also traditionally double-fried for an extra crispy outer shell. I sometimes like to double fry my Chicken Mochiko, too, though. You can never make it too crispy!

Overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make chicken mochiko.

Ingredients you need to make Mochiko Chicken?

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

Here are the ingredients you need to make this Mochiko Chicken recipe:

  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs: I prefer to use chicken thighs over chicken breasts because the meat is more tender and flavorful.
  • Soy sauce: Use regular soy sauce or substitute lower-sodium soy sauce.
  • Salt and pepper: I recommend kosher salt or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Sriracha: You can substitute any chile paste or other hot sauce you like (or even leave this ingredient out if you don’t like any heat.)
  • Ginger garlic paste: (or substitute ½ and ½ fresh minced ginger and fresh minced garlic)
  • Cornstarch: This is also called corn flour. You can substitute potato starch if you like.
  • Mochiko flour: You can buy this flour in any Asian supermarket or Japanese market, or order it online.
  • Egg: Use one large egg.
  • Oil for frying: Any type of neutral-flavored, high smoke point oil works here. Use canola oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, sunflower seed oil, avocado oil, etc.
  • All-purpose flour: This is used in the dredge.I
  • Optional garnishes: Shichimi Togarashi, furikake, lemon juice, lime juice, sliced green onions, sliced chiles, fresh herbs (cilantro, basil, mint), etc.

How to make it

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

This Mochiko Chicken recipe is easy to make. Here’s how:

  1. In a bowl combine the marinade ingredients and whisk to combine thoroughly.
  2. Add the chicken pieces, toss to coat well, and marinate, in the refrigerator, for at least 2 hours, ideally 8 hours.
  3. Combine flour, cornstarch, and seasonings.
  4. Dredge the marinated chicken pieces in the dry mixture.
  5. Heat oil in a heavy, high-sided pan until it shimmers.
  6. Add the chicken pieces and cook, turning occasionally, until they are crisp and golden brown all over.
  7. Transfer the chicken pieces to a paper towel lined plate.
  8. Season your Mochiko Chicken with furikake, shichimi togarashi, or salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Crispy mochiko chicken.

How to serve it

Serve Chicken Mochiko garnished with Shichimi Togarashi, furikake, or just flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Try squeezing lime juice or lemon juice over the top if you like. Or garnish it with thinly sliced green onions.

I like eating this crunchy Hawaiian style fried chicken with steamed rice or Onigiri and a tangy pickled vegetable salad like Sunomono (Japanese Cucumber Salad), Cucumber Kimchi, Vietnamese Pickled Daikon and Carrots, or Takuan (Japanese-style pickled daikon radish). You could even serve it with Pickled Onions or Pickled Jalapenos.

Yield: Serves 4

Mochiko Chicken

overhead shot of a plate of mochiko chicken.

Chicken Mochiko is a Hawaiian fried chicken dish. Delicious bite-size pieces of tender chicken are coated in a marinade made of Mochiko Flour (sweet rice flour) and flavorful seasonings, then dredged in flour and seasonings, and deep fried.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

For the chicken and marinade

  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup Mochiko flour
  • 1 large egg
  • Oil for frying

For the dredge mixture

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl combine soy sauce, black pepper powder, salt, sriracha, ginger garlic paste, corn starch, mochiko flour, and egg. Whisk thoroughly until combined.
  2. Add chicken to the marinade and mix well. Cover and let it rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, ideally 8 hours.
  3. In a large bowl, make the dredge mixture by combining the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, pepper, and salt. Drop the marinated chicken pieces and toss them in the dredge, coating them thoroughly.
  4. In a heavy, high-sided pan, heat about 4 inches of oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers.
  5. Drop the chicken pieces into the hot oil and fry them until they are crisp, golden brown, and cooked through. Once done, transfer the fried chicken onto a plate.
  6. Serve immediately.

Notes

1. Mochiko flour is also called glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour. Don’t substitute another type of flour or even another type of rice flour as the recipe won’t work properly.

2. You can substitute any chili paste for the sriracha.

3. You can substitute half-and-half fresh minced ginger and fresh minced garlic for the ginger garlic paste.

4. Garnish your Mochiko Chicken with furikake, Shichimi Togarashi, flaky sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, sliced red chile peppers, sliced green onions, or lemon or lime wedges.

5. You can store the Mochiko Fried Chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Information

Yield

4

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 413Total Fat 15gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 185mgSodium 1080mgCarbohydrates 37gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 32g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By on July 13th, 2022

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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