Take Chicken Kara-age (唐揚げ) for example, the name literally means “Tang fried” (Tang as in the Chinese dynasty). The origin is very hard to track down, but it is likely a Japanese version of some form of fried chicken from China. It is a simple fried chicken (some call it the Japanese Fried Chicken, JFC for short) lightly marinated chicken thigh meat in a potato starch fried to perfection. Crispy, light and an irresistible flavor of soy sauce and ginger, usually complimented with only a slice of lemon. Even though many different versions exist, the basic recipe remains the same, and continues to be the favorite appetizer for most Japanese people.
I recently came across a lovely documentary by Adam Liaw, who travels across all of Japan, finding local delicacies and the people behind each passion, while introducing us to some simple, local recipes that we can try at home. Here is the recipe for his triple fried kara-age, and here is the link to all 10 of the Destination Flavour Japan series that explore the unique cuisines and the people behind them.