If you've ever visited Hawaii or frequented a Hawaiian cuisine spot, you might have encountered the delightful crunch of Mochiko Chicken. Infused with Japanese flavors and Hawaiian community cooking styles, this fusion dish has gained popularity for its tender texture and savory-sweet taste. Now, it's your turn to bring the aloha spirit to your own kitchen with this step-by-step guide.

Mochiko Chicken

Ingredients You'll Need

Before the magic happens, it's time to gather the ingredients for your mochiko chicken venture:

  • 6-8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup of mochiko (sweet rice flour)
  • 1 cup of cornstarch
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Marinating the Chicken

The secret to tender mochiko chicken lies in the marinade. Begin by placing the chicken in a large bowl.

The Marinade Mixture

In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, green onions, and sesame oil. Pour this mixture over the chicken and toss to coat. Cover your bowl and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours, or ideally, overnight.

2. Preparing the Coating

After the marinating time, it’s time to prepare the coating. You’ll need two large, shallow dishes for this step.

Making the Mochiko Batter

In one dish, combine the mochiko and cornstarch. In the second dish, beat the eggs. Take each piece of chicken, dip it into the egg, then dredge it in the mochiko mix, ensuring it's completely covered. Place the coated chicken on a plate and repeat until all pieces are prepared.

3. Frying Your Mochiko Chicken

Frying the chicken is the most critical step to ensure that it's crispy on the outside and juicy within.

The Right Fry

Heat about 2 inches of oil in your frying pan to 350°F. Carefully add the chicken, being cautious not to overcrowd the pan. It's best to work in batches. Fry for about 4-5 minutes per side or until golden brown and cooked through.

Optional Step: Baking for a Healthier Alternative

Preheat your oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the coated chicken on the baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through, flipping the pieces halfway through the cooking time.

Serving Suggestions

Mochiko chicken is versatile and tasty on its own but here are some serving suggestions to enhance your meal.

Dipping Sauces

Serve your mochiko chicken with a variety of dipping sauces such as sweet chili sauce, teriyaki sauce, or a simple soy sauce and vinegar mix for a tangy contrast.

Side Dish Ideas

Pair your mochiko chicken with jasmine rice, a fresh cucumber salad, or honey-garlic green beans for a balanced Asian-inspired meal.

Tips and Tricks

Achieve the pinnacle of flavor with these tips and tricks:

  • Consistency is Key: Ensure the coating is not too thick or too thin. It should be just enough to coat the chicken evenly without clumping.
  • Temperature Control: Use a kitchen thermometer to keep the frying oil at a consistent 350°F for perfect texture and to avoid oil saturation.
  • Storage Wonders: Cooked mochiko chicken can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Reheat in the oven at 350°F until heated through.


Mochiko chicken is a delightful dish that brings the best of Hawaiian and Japanese flavor profiles to your dining table. With this guide, making it at home is a rewarding culinary experience that you and your loved ones will enjoy. Get ready to savor every crispy bite of this homemade island favorite!

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