Crispy Chicken Karaage and Tangy Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe

When it comes to planning the perfect party, having the right food is essential. As a home chef and lover of throwing parties, I’m always on the lookout for new and exciting dishes to serve my guests. That’s why I’m excited to share my Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe.

This dish is inspired by the delicious flavors of Asian cuisine, specifically Izakaya Sakura, a popular Japanese gastropub in San Diego, CA. It features boneless skinless chicken breasts coated in a crispy, deep-fried batter known as chicken karaage. But what really sets this dish apart is the tangy and refreshing ponzu coleslaw that perfectly complements the savory chicken karaage.

I know firsthand how challenging it can be to find recipes that are both easy to make and crowd-pleasing. But this recipe ticks both boxes, making it the perfect addition to your next party or gathering. So put on your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw
Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw

Are you a fan of Asian cuisine? Then, you definitely need to try this izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe! Its taste will just blow your mind away. Trust me, as a scribe for a home chef who has been cooking for years, I know the best when it comes to delicious food.

This recipe is a perfect combination of traditional and contemporary Japanese flavors. The crunchy and juicy boneless skinless chicken breasts coated in soy sauce and deep-fried until golden brown make for amazing finger food that will keep your guests coming back for more. Throw in the refreshing flavors of the ponzu coleslaw made of cabbage and carrots, and you have an irresistible appetizer.

One reason why you’ll love this recipe is that it is very easy to follow even for newbie cooks. With its straightforward instructions on how to make the karaage ponzu sauce, deep fry the chicken breasts, and assemble the coleslaw, you’ll be able to whip this up in no time. Plus, with the substitution suggestions and variations shared later in this article, it is possible to customize it based on your preference or dietary needs.

Finally, with Winter around the corner, there’s no better way to stay warm than surrounding yourself with friends or family while enjoying this comforting dish. The izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe will keep your guests’ cravings satisfied throughout your party.

Without a doubt, once you taste izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe, this dish will quickly become one of those go-to recipes you’re always craving!

Ingredient List

 Crispy Sakura Chicken Karaage ready to be devoured!
Crispy Sakura Chicken Karaage ready to be devoured!

Here’s what you’ll need to make this Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw recipe:

For the chicken karaage:

  • 1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp sake or dry sherry
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

For the ponzu coleslaw:

  • 3 cups finely shredded green and purple cabbage
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup Japanese mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
  • 3 tbsp ponzu sauce, divided
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

You can easily find the ingredients at your local grocery store or Asian market. Don’t forget a bottle of sake, as it will really bring out the flavor of the chicken karaage!

The Recipe How-To

 Can you handle this Izakaya-style temptation?
Can you handle this Izakaya-style temptation?

Are you ready to learn how to make the delicious Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw? This recipe is easier than it might seem at first glance, so let’s jump into it!


  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Carrots
  • Cabbage
  • Mayonnaise
  • Soy sauce
  • Ponzu sauce
  • Garlic Ponzu sauce


  1. First, we will marinate the chicken. In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of soy sauce with 2 tablespoons of ponzu sauce and mix well.

  2. Slice the chicken breasts into small bite-sized pieces and add them to the mixing bowl with the marinade.

  3. Let the chicken marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

  4. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the coleslaw by thinly slicing 3 cups of cabbage and 1 cup of carrots, then mixing them together in a separate bowl.

  5. In another small mixing bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup of mayonnaise with 2 tablespoons of garlic ponzu sauce until well combined. Pour this mixture over the coleslaw and stir everything well to combine.

  6. Next, we’ll deep-fry the chicken. Heat your deep fryer or a skillet over medium heat until it reaches approximately 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  7. Coat the marinated chicken pieces evenly in a light coating of cornstarch.

  8. Fry in small batches until golden brown and crispy.

  9. Once finished frying, lay out over paper towels to get rid of excess oil.

  10. Serve hot with a side of ponzu coleslaw on your preferred dish or platter!


  • Don’t have cornstarch? You can use all-purpose flour as an alternative.
  • To keep leftovers fresh for longer periods, store fried chicken separately from the ponzu coleslaw in airtight containers.
  • Always be cautious when deep-frying; use long utensils to avoid splattering hot oil on yourself!

Now that you know how to make Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw, you can impress your guests at your next party or enjoy it yourself any day!

Substitutions and Variations

 Add some flavor to your life with this Ponzu Coleslaw!
Add some flavor to your life with this Ponzu Coleslaw!

As with any recipe, there are always substitutions and variations that can be made according to personal preference or dietary needs. Here are some suggestions for this Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe.

Firstly, if you do not have boneless skinless chicken breasts on hand, you could substitute them with boneless skinless chicken thighs instead. This would give the chicken a slightly different texture and flavor that some people may prefer over the breast meat option.

Additionally, while the ponzu sauce is essential for this recipe’s signature zesty and tangy flavor profile, you could substitute it with another citrus-based sauce or dressing of your choice, such as a lemon vinaigrette or lime juice mixed with soy sauce.

For those who want to make the recipe healthier or allergy-friendly, you could swap out the mayonnaise in the coleslaw recipe for a dairy-free or vegan alternative, such as mashed avocado or coconut cream. You could also use gluten-free soy sauce if you have celiac disease or are sensitive to gluten.

Lastly, if you want to change things up with the karaage ponzu dish itself, consider adding some additional spices or herbs to the chicken marinade. For example, grated ginger, minced garlic, or fresh cilantro could add a new dimension of flavor to the dish. You could also try deep-frying the chicken until it is crispy before tossing it in the ponzu sauce for an extra level of crunch.

Overall, don’t be afraid to experiment and put your own spin on this Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe. It’s all about finding what works best for your individual taste buds and dietary needs.

Serving and Pairing

 This is the perfect karaage for a Friday night dinner!
This is the perfect karaage for a Friday night dinner!

Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe is a delicious and nutritious meal that can be served in various ways. One of my favorite ways to eat this dish is by pairing it with some steaming hot rice to round out the flavors. The savory and juicy Sakura chicken karaage with crispy deep-fried texture, drizzled with garlic ponzu or ponzu bonito-based sauce, perfectly complements the refreshing and tangy flavor of the coleslaw. This chicken karaage ponzu paired with irresistibly crunchy coleslaw not only tastes lip-smacking but also makes a vibrant dish to elevate any dinner party.

You can also pair the Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe with other Asian-inspired sides such as edamame, miso soup or a seaweed salad. You may even serve it as a tasty appetizer for larger gatherings – sliced Sakura chicken karaage breast on skewers with individual bowls of dipping sauces will surely impress your guests!

If you want to create an izakaya vibe, try serving this dish with some cold beers or sake! Trust me; it’s a match made in heaven!

Overall, this special recipe can make for an excellent main dish or an appetizer that will leave everyone wanting more. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different pairing options and have fun serving it up in ways that are as appetizing as they are creative!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Nothing beats the taste of homemade Sakura Chicken Karaage!
Nothing beats the taste of homemade Sakura Chicken Karaage!

One of the impressive things about this Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe is that you can prepare both dishes in advance to save time on the day of your event. To make the chicken karaage, prepare the marinade and marinate the boneless, skinless chicken breasts in it overnight. You can also cut up the cabbage and carrots for the ponzu coleslaw ahead of time and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

When it comes to storing leftovers, keep them separated in airtight containers. The chicken karaage should stay crisp in the refrigerator for up to 3 days; however, keep in mind that reheating it may not make it quite as crispy as before. To reheat, use a hot skillet with some oil until warmed through or pop them back into the oven to crisp them up again.

The ponzu coleslaw can be stored separately in an airtight container for up to 2 days without losing its texture or flavor. For best results, don’t add dressing until just before serving.

If you are planning on freezing leftovers, be aware that freezing may cause some loss of texture and flavor. The chicken karaage may become soggy after being defrosted but to enhance its flavorability you can add garlic ponzu or ponzu bonito sauce. To reheat from frozen, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat as suggested above. Instead of throwing out remaining sauce soy sauce or mayonnaise based sauces from your pantry “repurpose” them by using them over another dish like rice, vegetables or meats.

By following these simple tips for make-ahead preparation and storing your Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe properly, you can save valuable time while still delighting your guests with delicious Asian food inspired by Dragonfly Izakaya Fish Market San Diego CA!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Kick off your weeknight dinner with this deliciously crispy chicken!
Kick off your weeknight dinner with this deliciously crispy chicken!

Cooking chicken karaage to perfection might seem like a simple feat, but there are actually several elements that can affect the outcome. Here are some tips for perfect results:

First, be sure to cut the chicken into even-sized pieces so they cook evenly. You don’t want some pieces to be overcooked while others are still raw inside. It’s best to use boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.

Next, when marinating the chicken in soy sauce and garlic, be sure not to overdo it. While you want the chicken to absorb flavor, too much soy sauce can make the chicken too salty and overwhelming. I recommend using equal parts soy sauce and mirin, which is a sweet Japanese cooking wine.

When it comes to deep-frying the chicken, make sure your oil is hot enough (350°F) before adding the chicken. Otherwise, the coating may not crisp up as well as it could. You also want to avoid crowding the pan with too many pieces of chicken at once; this will lower the temperature of the oil and result in soggy karaage.

To ensure that your ponzu coleslaw has just the right amount of tanginess, adjust the amount of ponzu sauce according to your preference. Some people like their coleslaw more acidic than others.

Lastly, if you’re making this dish for a party or gathering, consider doubling or tripling the recipe. Karaage is always a crowd-pleaser and will disappear quickly!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw recipe is a flavorful combination of tender chicken pieces and savory coleslaw that is sure to please any crowd. With the simple ingredients list, easy-to-follow instructions, and adaptability to substitutes, this dish can be a go-to for any host or hostess looking to impress their guests at their next party.

The combination of the sweet and tangy ponzu sauce with the crispy chicken karaage creates a perfect mouthwatering experience that will leave your guests wanting more. The addition of the ponzu coleslaw provides the perfect balance of flavors and textures that complement the chicken.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced cook, this recipe is an excellent choice that will help you build confidence in the kitchen. You can easily make variations or substitutions based on what you have on hand or personal preference.

Overall, this recipe promises a delicious meal which can be served with confidence knowing it will not disappoint. So head to your kitchen to try this recipe, and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed with the results.

Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw

Izakaya Sakura Chicken Karaage and Ponzu Coleslaw Recipe

This recipe is from a local Japanese restaurant.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Calories 888.2 kcal


Ponzu Coleslaw

  • 3 tablespoons ponzu sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cabbage, finely sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup canned corn


  • 1 (3 ounce) package karaage coating mix (Kikkoman KARA AGE Coating)
  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless chicken thighs or 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup vegetable oil


  • Mix ponzu sauce, soy sauce and mayonnaise to make dressing. In a large bowl, mix cabbage, carrots and canned corn. Pour dressing mixture over the vegetables and toss to coat. Chill for an hour.
  • Cut chicken into 1 1/2 inch square pieces. Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat (350 F). Oil is ready when a bread cube dropped in oil turns brown on the bottom in 20 seconds.
  • Pour 1 package of Karaage Coating Mix in a large plastic bag. Moisten chicken in water, allowing excess to drip off. Add a dozen pieces at a time to the bag. Close the top of the bag and shake well to coat all pieces evenly.
  • Pan-fry half of pieces in hot oil, 2-4 minutes or until chicken is cooked, turning pieces over occasionally. Remove and drain excess oil on paper towels. Cook remaining pieces in same way.
  • Serve karaage with coleslaw on side.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 376gCalories: 888.2kcalCarbohydrates: 17.3gProtein: 27.4gFat: 80.2gSaturated Fat: 13.7gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 482.9mgFiber: 4.3gSugar: 6.8g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Chicken, Chicken Breast, Chicken Thigh & Leg, From Scratch, Japanese, Kid-Friendly, Meat, Poultry, Weeknight
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