Toriten & Karaage Chicken

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The people of Oita Prefecture are reputed to eat more chicken meat than of any other prefecture in Japan. Two particularly popular chicken dishes are Toriten and Karaage. The former, an Oita original, is of bite-sized chunks of chicken seasoned with sake, garlic powder and ginger, rolled in flour and then deep fried in a tempura style. Served with a salad, a garnish of kabosu citrus fruit, mustard and ponzu, a citrus and soya-based dipping sauce, it has a soft bite and makes an inexpensive and filling meal.

The Toyoken restaurant in Beppu is reputedly where this delicacy was first created in the 1920s. However, it is widely available throughout Oita and often listed on menus together with its near cousin karaage, which has popular appeal around Japan. The karaage cooking process differs by coating the chicken chunks in seasoned flour before deep frying leaving a crisp bite.

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