Kimchi Karaage

September 10, 2013
2 Ratings
  • Makes about 2 cups
Author Notes

This recipe is my take on a delicious snack served at Biwa in Portland. Biwa is an izakaya that serves a wide array of Japanese drinking food. One of the most addictive dishes on the menu is the Kimchi Karaage. They take house-made daikon kimchi, coat it with a flour/starch/seasoning mixture, and fry it into crispy, tangy, spicy, nuggets of goodness. The daikon maintains some firmness, and it reminds me of a grown-up version of fried dill pickles. It's a dish I sometimes have a serious craving for so I've been working at making a home version. I've tried several flours and flour blends, and think the potato starch gives it the best crust. If you're feeling extra ambitious, Diane Morgan's book Roots, has a recipe for Biwa Daikon Kimchi. If you're not as ambitious use a good quality commercial kimchi like that made by Choi's Kimchi —hardlikearmour

What You'll Need
  • peanut oil (or other high smoke point oil) for frying
  • 3/4 cup potato starch
  • 3/8 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 3/8 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (makes it gently spicy, add more if you want it hot)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (14-oz jar) Daikon/Radish Kimchi
  1. Heat 1-inch of oil in a high sided skillet/pan over med-high heat to about 260º F.
  2. While oil is heating, combine potato starch, garlic, mustard, cayenne, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk well.
  3. Use a fork to scoop the kimchi into the starch mixture. You want the kimchi to be nice and wet, but you don't want all the liquid from the jar in the bowl.
  4. Toss with fork until kimchi is thoroughly coated.
  5. Carefully transfer the coated kimchi to the hot oil. Keep the kimchi in separate pieces and don't overcrowd the pan. Depending on the diameter of the pan the kimchi may need to be cooked in 2 or more batches. Fry for several minutes, flipping pieces as needed, until lightly browned. Use a spider or similar tool to transfer to a paper towel lined plate. Once all kimchi has been fried transfer to a serving dish.
  6. Eat while hot, preferably with chopsticks.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • aargersi
  • lapadia
  • EmilyC
  • hardlikearmour
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

6 Reviews

aargersi September 11, 2013
I am SO happy to see this - been waiting for you to perfect and share your experiments! Yay and yum!!!
hardlikearmour September 11, 2013
I'll probably keep tinkering with it, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out with the spices and potato flour in this version.
lapadia September 11, 2013
I never thought of kimchi as a dish on its own let alone a fried dish, thanks for sharing your home version's "serious craving," HLA!
hardlikearmour September 11, 2013
I wouldn't suggest it as a main meal, but it makes a great snack or starter.
EmilyC September 10, 2013
Yum -- this sounds totally amazing! I was sold when you likened this to fried dill pickles, my very favorite fried food ever.
hardlikearmour September 10, 2013
They're definitely funkier than fried pickles, but they've got that tangy vibe.