Chicken Nanban

Authentic Chicken Nanban recipe, made with fried chicken coated in a crispy egg batter that's soaked in a sweet and sour nanban sauce.
Course Entree
Cuisine Best, Japanese
Level Beginner
Main Ingredient Poultry
Diet Dairy-Free
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 serving


Tartar Sauce

  • 1 hard boiled egg (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon celery (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 scallion (minced)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt (to taste)
  • ground white pepper (to taste)

Nanban Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons usukuchi soy sauce (light color , not low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger (grated)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar


  • vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 450 grams boneless skin-on chicken thighs
  • all-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • 1 egg


  1. To prepare the tartar sauce, add the boiled egg, celery, scallion, mayonnaise, mustard, lemon zest, and lemon juice to a bowl and stir to combine. Add salt and white pepper to taste.
  2. To make the nanban sauce, add the soy sauce, sake, sugar and ginger to a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 1 minute and then add the vinegar. When the sauce returns to a boil, turn off the heat.
  3. Add 2-inches of oil to heavy bottomed pot and heat to 340 degrees F (170 C) and prepare a wire rack and pan.
  4. Trim any excess fat off the chicken and lightly salt and pepper.
  5. Dust the chicken with flour.
  6. Beat the egg in a bowl until uniform and then dip the chicken in the egg to thoroughly coat.
  7. Gently lower the egg coated chicken skin-side down into the hot oil and then drizzle a little of the remaining egg onto the tops of each piece of chicken. The egg will quickly "bloom" and spread out.
  8. Use tongs or chopsticks to fold the egg back over the chicken.
  9. Fry the chicken until it's golden brown and cooked through (about 6-8 minutes). You may need to flip the chicken over once halfway through to evenly brown the top.
  10. Transfer the fried chicken, fluffy side down to the wire rack and drizzle half the sauce onto the smooth side.
  11. Flip the chicken over and then drizzle the remaining sauce onto the fluffy side.
  12. Slice and serve the chicken with the tartar sauce immediately.