Japanese Inspired Crispy Chicken Rice Bowl

Last updated: June 4th, 2024

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This takeout style crispy chicken rice bowl is a savory and satisfying weeknight dinner you can make in just 45 minutes.

A Japanese inspired crispy chicken and rice bowl with lemon and pickled ginger.

Have you ever fallen in love with a particular dish at a particular restaurant, and one day realized you might never get to eat it again? That’s what happened to us when we moved across the country this year, far away from all our favorite California eateries. So now we’re on a mission to recreate our favorite meals, starting with this Japanese inspired crispy chicken rice bowl recipe.

This crispy chicken and rice bowl recipe was inspired by the chicken karaage bowl from one of our favorite Japanese restaurants, Silverlake Ramen. Our crispy chicken isn’t technically “karaage” (learn more about what karaage is here) since it’s coated in flour, not potato starch. But it most definitely is deep-fried, crispy, and seasoned with savory Asian-inspired flavors.

Paired with white rice, a sticky sesame soy glaze, spicy sriracha aioli, pickled ginger, scallions, and fresh lemon, these bowls are full of flavor in every bite! The best part is, it only takes about 45 minutes to make this recipe – and you can even prep some of the ingredients ahead of time to make for a super easy, thrown together dinner on busy weeknights.

A Japanese inspired crispy chicken rice bowl.

Japanese Style Crispy Chicken Rice Bowl Ingredients

To make these Japanese inspired crispy chicken rice bowls, you’ll need to prepare a few different components: crispy fried chicken, sesame soy glaze, sriracha aioli, and the rest of the fixings for the bowls.

Here’s what you’ll need to make our karaage-inspired crispy fried chicken:

  • Chicken breast
  • Egg
  • All-purpose flour
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Ground red cayenne pepper
  • Ground ginger
  • Salt & pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Then, you’ll need the following ingredients to prepare the sesame soy glaze:

  • Brown sugar
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Lemon juice
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Ground ginger

For the spicy sriracha mayo, you’ll need:

  • Light mayo
  • Sriracha
  • Lemon juice

And then you’ll need the following ingredients to finish building the bowls:

  • White rice
  • Pickled ginger
  • Scallions
  • Lemon wedges

Although this looks like a ton of ingredients, we promise this recipe is fairly simple! Just prepare the individual components and it all comes together into one delicious, savory, spicy chicken and rice bowl that you won’t want to stop eating.

Japanese inspired crispy chicken bowl with rice and pickled ginger.

How To Make Easy Crispy Chicken Rice Bowls

Here’s the thing we love about bowls: they’re super easy for anyone to cook, because all you have to do is prep the components separately, and then plate them together at the end.

To make these crispy Japanese style chicken and rice bowls, simply prepare the sesame soy glaze, the sriracha aioli, the white rice, and the fried chicken. Then the rest is just assembly and digging in!

Here are step-by-step instructions to help you out:

  1. First, prepare the sesame soy glaze. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and powdered ginger to a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, then simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Transfer glaze to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  2. In the meantime, make the sriracha aioli. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sriracha, and lemon juice until well-combined. Refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the bowls.
  3. Then, steam the white rice.
  4. Next, prepare the fried chicken. Pat the chicken dry, slice into 1-inch pieces, and set aside. Beat an egg in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk together the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, ground red cayenne pepper, powdered ginger, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.
  5. Coat the chicken in the beaten egg, then transfer it to the seasoned flour, letting any excess egg drip off before transferring. Toss the chicken in the seasoned flour until it’s well-coated.
  6. Then, preheat about a quarter- to a half-inch of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, fry the chicken until it’s crispy and golden brown, turning it over gently with a slotted spoon once or twice during cooking. Then, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess grease.
  7. Finally, assemble the bowls. Add steamed rice to a bowl, followed by the crispy fried chicken and pickled ginger, then drizzle with about 1 tablespoon each of the sesame soy glaze and sriracha aioli. Top with sliced scallions and serve with a lemon wedge.

You’ll want to squeeze fresh lemon juice over your bowl before digging in – it’s the icing on the cake! The bite of acid brightens each flavor in this chicken and rice bowl and contrasts the heaviness of the fried chicken beautifully.

To cut down on prep time, you can always make the sesame soy glaze, sriracha aioli, and even the white rice ahead of time. Store them in the fridge until needed, then all you need to do is prepare the crispy fried chicken fresh for dinner. Just make sure to let the glaze come to room temperature on the counter before serving.

Storing & Reheating Leftovers

Store leftover components of this dish in separate containers in the fridge to keep them fresh the longest – separate out the rice, the chicken, the two sauces, the scallions, pickled ginger, and any leftover lemon wedges. Then, you can simply reheat the rice in the microwave (about 45 seconds per serving), use the air fryer or microwave to reheat the crispy chicken, and assemble with the remaining ingredients.

You can also store the chicken and rice together if you wish, and simply reheat single servings in the microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes.

Stored in an airtight container, the chicken will keep for up to 4 days. Leftover rice can be kept for about 1 to 2 weeks, and the two sauces (sesame soy glaze and sriracha mayo) can pretty much be refrigerated indefinitely.

When using leftover sesame soy glaze from the fridge, let it come to room temperature on the counter before drizzling over the bowls.

A chicken karaage inspired crispy chicken rice bowl.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Crispy chicken and rice bowls are always a good idea when you’re craving a takeout style dinner that’s equal parts comforting and flavorful. If you’re a fan of Asian flavors and Japanese cuisine, you’re going to love these karaage inspired bowls!

Try our Japanese inspired crispy chicken rice bowl recipe and let us know what you think by rating, commenting, and sharing below.


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5 from 2 votes

Japanese Inspired Crispy Chicken Rice Bowls

This takeout style crispy chicken rice bowl is a savory and satisfying weeknight dinner you can make in just 45 minutes.
Servings 4 bowls
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Equipment

  • Deep frying pan

Ingredients

Sesame Soy Glaze

  • ½ cup light brown sugar packed
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger

Sriracha Aioli

  • ¼ cup light mayo
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Crispy Fried Chicken

  • 1 pound chicken breast sliced into 1-inch pieces and patted dry
  • 1 large egg beaten well
  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • teaspoons ground red cayenne pepper
  • teaspoons powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

Rice Bowl Fixings

  • 2⅔ cups white rice steamed
  • 2 tablespoons pickled ginger optional
  • 4 medium scallions sliced, green parts only
  • 1 medium lemon sliced into wedges

Instructions

Sesame Soy Glaze

  • First, prepare the glaze. Add the brown sugar, soy sauce, lemon juice, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and powdered ginger to a small saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Transfer the glaze to a bowl and let cool to room temperature.

Sriracha Aioli

  • In the meantime, prepare the sriracha aioli. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayo, sriracha, and lemon juice until well-combined. Refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the bowls.

Crispy Fried Chicken

  • Next, prepare the fried chicken. Beat an egg in a medium bowl and set aside. Whisk together the flour, garlic powder, onion powder, ground red cayenne pepper, powdered ginger, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Coat the chicken in the beaten egg first, then transfer it to the seasoned flour, letting any excess egg drip off before transferring. Toss the chicken in the seasoned flour until it’s well-coated. Use your hands to help separate the pieces of chicken as you coat them, to ensure each piece is fully coated in flour.
  • Preheat about a quarter- to a half-inch of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan over medium-high heat. Once it’s hot, add the chicken and fry until it's crispy and golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes, turning it over gently with a slotted spoon once or twice during cooking.
    Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate lined with paper towels to drain the excess grease.

Assembly

  • Finally, assemble the bowls. Fill each bowl with equal amounts of steamed white rice, followed by crispy fried chicken. Then, drizzle each bowl with about 1 tablespoon of the sesame soy glaze, followed by 1 tablespoon of the sriracha aioli. Add pickled ginger (optional), top with sliced scallions, and serve with a lemon wedge for squeezing over the bowls before eating. Serve immediately.

Notes

Pickled ginger: This can be a polarizing ingredient, so feel free to skip it if you’re a bit wary of trying it or you know you don’t love it. These rice bowls are just as delicious with or without it.
Frying the crispy chicken: We recommend using a metal slotted spoon as your cooking utensil when frying the chicken. You can use it to gently turn over each piece of chicken during cooking, which will help to ensure an even golden-brown color without damaging the coating. Then, when the chicken is done cooking, you can simply transfer it out of the pan a few pieces at a time with the slotted spoon, letting excess oil drain out of the slots after scooping the chicken up.
Prep ahead tips: To simplify dinner prep, you can make the sesame soy glaze and sriracha aioli ahead of time. They’ll keep in the fridge pretty much indefinitely in an airtight container. Just make sure to let the glaze warm up to room temperature on the counter before serving – or microwave it for about 15 to 30 seconds to help it become pourable again.
Storing & reheating leftovers: Store leftover components of this dish in separate airtight containers in the fridge to keep them fresh the longest – separate out the rice, the chicken, the two sauces, the scallions, pickled ginger, and any leftover lemon wedges. The chicken will keep for up to 4 days, while the rice will stay good for about 1 to 2 weeks.
Then, simply reheat the rice and chicken and assemble the bowls with the remaining ingredients. You can microwave the rice (about 45 seconds per serving) and reheat the chicken in the microwave or an air fryer.
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Author: Nicole
Calories: 645kcal
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Fusion, Japanese
Keyword: black pepper, cayenne, chicken breast, flour, garlic powder, ginger, japanese inspired, lemon wedge, onion powder, pickled ginger, salt, scallions, sesame soy glaze, sriracha mayo, white rice

Nutrition

Calories: 645kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 121mg | Sodium: 2246mg | Potassium: 864mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 592IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 4mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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