Thanks to Trader Joe's desire to be at the forefront of new food trends, fans of the discount grocery have become addicted to quite a few unexpected items. From products like Steamed Pork & Ginger Soup Dumplings to the recently released Beef Birria, Trader Joe's is always introducing us to new items that we excitedly toss into our cart. One of those that we can't wait to try is the new Chicken Karaage.
One of the best Japanese foods you haven't tried, karaage is Japan's signature fried chicken, although other types of meat can also be used. While the technique is similar to American-style fried chicken in that both are essentially meats deep fried in oil, the key differences between karaage chicken and fried chicken is that the small chunks of boneless thigh meat are marinated in the seasoning before they're cooked and then dipped in a potato or corn starch batter instead of flour. Fans attribute the process to its lasting crispiness and exceptional flavor.
Those who have had the fortune of experiencing chicken karaage firsthand or those who are curious about this famed cooking process can now try it for themselves in the Trader Joe's frozen section.
Reviews Have Been Mixed
Trader Joe's devotees who have tried the Chicken Karaage have had mixed reactions. "I air fried for 16 minutes at 400 [degrees] and the crunch was an experience in the best way," wrote one fan on a Trader Joe's subreddit. Many were fans of the chicken itself but thought the breading was uneven and lacked flavor, and others didn't like the accompanying kewpie mayo. "I got 2 different bags, and both had multiple pieces with breading at least 1/2" thick, some pieces had no meat at all, just batter," complained one Redditor. Another wrote, "Now the sauce. I'll just get right to it. Disgusting. Tasted like warm mayo." The majority of those who liked the chicken cooked it in either an air fryer or a toaster oven, which seems to be the key to getting the ideal crispiness. It's also suggested to squeeze some lemon on the chicken before eating.
Trader Joe's Chicken Karaage is $6.49 for an 18.97-ounce bag, which contains four servings of dark meat chicken and kewpie mayonnaise, a condiment that often accompanies karaage. Kewpie mayo is a combination of egg yolks, canola oil, salt, spices, and either apple cider or rice vinegar. The secret to its beloved, rich flavor is thought to be the egg yolks, whereas regular mayo contains the whole egg. One serving of chicken and kewpie mayo has 340 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 730 milligrams of sodium.
Read the original article on Mashed.