Easy Asian comfort food with BIG flavor: Hawaiian Mochiko Chicken. Crisp fried chicken drizzled with spicy mayo and furikake is always going to be a dinnertime favorite!
If you’re looking for an easy chicken dinner — look no further! Mochiko Chicken is simple, satisfying, and so delicious. The big flavors and minimal prep make this one of my favorite go-to chicken recipes.
What is Mochiko Chicken?
Mochiko Chicken is a popular fried chicken dish served in Hawaii. Boneless chicken is marinated with a thin batter made of soy sauce, sugar, eggs, and Mochiko flour. When fried, the chicken becomes irresistibly delicious.
Mochiko Fried Chicken is a well-beloved, Hawaiian classic. Pure comfort food and often served at local cafes and diners with rice, mac salad, or coleslaw.
With a drizzle of spicy mayo and a sprinkle of furikake — this is the ULTIMATE in homey, cozy food!
And it’s just as easy to make at home. A thin, crisp batter. Super flavorful, tender chicken. You’ll be turning to this chicken thigh recipe again and again!
- Chicken thighs. For flavorful, tender bites of chicken that don’t dry out, I recommend boneless chicken thighs. If you can, keep the chicken skin for extra flavor and crunch.
- Mochiko Flour. Japanese Sweet Rice Flour. Also known as Sticky Rice Flour or Glutinous Rice Flour. The most common brand in North America is Koda Farms Blue Star Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour. Made from short-grain sweet rice, it gives a crisp texture with a stretchy, mochi-like bounce. Look in the baking aisle or international section of your grocery store.
- Potato Starch. A gluten-free way to add texture and crunch. Can be subbed with corn starch.
- Soy Sauce. Adds lots of umami depth and flavor.
- Sugar. For sweetness.
- Eggs. Adds body and flavor.
- Garlic + Ginger + Green Onions. The essential aromatics add tons of flavor.
- Mirin. Korean/Japanese sweet cooking wine.
- Spicy Mayo. Drizzle all over or serve on the side, as a dip. I use pre-made spicy mayo from the grocery store but you can also make your own at home with sriracha and regular mayo.
- Furikake. A Japanese condiment that includes crushed nori, salt, sesame seeds, and bonito flakes. Adds lots of flavor and texture. A pantry staple that keeps a long time.
- Marinate chicken. Combine chicken and marinade ingredients in a bowl.
- Deep fry chicken. Cook until golden and crunchy. *Note: this is not a super crispy fried chicken recipe. If you’re looking for ultra-crunchy fried chicken – make Korean Fried Chicken. Hawaiian Fried Chicken is slightly crisp with deep flavor.
- Garnish. Finish with spicy mayo and furikake. Enjoy!
Watch how to make it:
- Marinate overnight. If you can, marinating overnight leads to more flavorful chicken. At a minimum, the chicken should marinate for 1 hour. But it will always taste better when it’s overnight!
- Set up a deep frying station. Deep frying at home is so much easier when you have a dedicated space and routine for it. You’ll need a dutch oven, candy thermometer, and metal spider or tongs. A dutch oven with high walls works best to regulate even, stable heat and to ensure the oil doesn’t splash over. Attach a candy thermometer to accurately gauge the oil temperature. A metal spider or tongs makes removal from the hot oil easier.
- Add enough oil so the chicken can float. The best, most efficient way to deep fry is to add enough oil so the food can float. That way, it won’t stick to the bottom and the oil will fry all the nooks and crannies. Add about 2 inches (grapeseed, vegetable, canola, avocado, or peanut oil all work well) — and you’re set!
- Drain on cooling rack. When the chicken has finished cooking, transfer to a cooling rack fitted over a sheep pan. The air circulation from the elevated rack keeps chicken crispier than paper towels alone. Also, excess oil will drip off.
- Double fry for extra crispy chicken. Optional step. After the chicken is finished cooking, deep fry a second time for 1-2 minutes. This will ensure extra crispy and crunchy fried chicken.
How to eat Mochiko Chicken:
- For dinner. Make the ultimate comfort food platter with rice, mac salad, and/or coleslaw. Also good with kimchi.
- For parties. Serve piled high on a big platter! Don’t forget the extra spicy mayo on the side. Tastes good with beer, spring rolls, nachos, and Kimchi Queso Fundido.
Can I make Mochiko Chicken with another brand of glutinous rice flour?
Yes, you definitely can. However, I recommend Mochiko Sweet Rice Flour as a nod to Mochiko Chicken’s roots and origins.
Mochiko Flour is made by Koda Farms, a Japanese American multi-generational family farm in California. Easy to find in most grocery stores, it’s a classic staple in many Asian American pantries.
Note: Mochiko Flour is milled from short-grain sweet rice. The texture is coarser than other Asian brands (such as Thai Erawan Elephant brand). When cooked, the difference is subtle – it cooks up slightly more sticky and bouncy.
How do I store leftovers?
Store leftovers in the fridge, tightly sealed, for 3-4 days. Reheat in an air fryer or oven at 400F until hot and crispy, about 5 minutes. Make sure to shake the air fryer as it cooks.
Can I make this in an Air Fryer?
Yes, Mochiko Chicken is Air Fryer friendly. It won’t taste quite the same as deep-fried, but it’s a doable substitute. Make sure to shake the basket while cooking. A parchment liner also helps to catch drips, but make sure it’s not too close to the heat source.
Can I pan-fry Mochiko Chicken instead of deep frying?
If you’re squeamish about deep frying — yes, this recipe can be pan-fried as well. It won’t get as crispy and crunchy but it’s still very good.
Use a large skillet and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot, add chicken in one layer, making sure not to crowd the pan. Cook on both sides until crunchy and golden.
Can I fry the chicken thighs whole?
Yes, you can fry the entire chicken thigh instead of cutting into 2-inch strips. However, the chicken won’t get as crisp. The 2-inch strips also make for easier eating, as you won’t need a fork and knife. Great for a party and kid-friendly family dinners.
Other recipes with Mochiko (Glutinous Rice Flour):
More chicken recipes:
- Air Fryer Gochujang Chicken Thighs
- Korean Fried Chicken
- Gochujang Chicken Drumsticks
- Korean BBQ Chicken Tacos
- Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich with Kimchi Mayo
Hawaiian Mochiko Chicken
- Large Bowl
- Dutch oven
- candy thermometer
- Cooling rack
- rimmed sheet pan
- 2 lbs chicken thighs (cut into 2-inch strips)
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup mochiko flour (also known as glutinous rice flour, sweet rice flour, or sticky rice flour)
- 1/2 cup potato starch (can be subbed with corn starch)
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp Mirin (Japanese/Korean sweet cooking wine)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 inch ginger, minced
- Spicy Mayo (Hellman and Wazo both make a good spicy mayo. If you don't have access, add 1-2 Tbsp sriracha to 1/4 cup mayo.)
- Make marinade. In a large bowl, add Mochiko flour, potato starch, eggs, sugar, soy sauce, Mirin, green onions, garlic, and ginger. Whisk together until well combined.
- Marinate chicken. Add chicken thighs and mix to combine. Cover and marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
- Set up deep frying station. Get ready to deep fry the chicken by setting up a Dutch oven with a candy thermometer clipped to the side. Add 2 inches of oil or enough so the chicken can float while frying.
- Deep fry chicken. Heat oil over medium heat until the temperature hits 350F/175C. Add chicken and fry in batches until golden and crunchy, being careful of oil splatter, about 4-5 minutes. Remove chicken and transfer to a cooling rack fitted over a sheet pan. Repeat until all the chicken is finished frying.
- Garnish. Finish with spicy mayo and furikake. Enjoy immediately!