Going Global: Fried Chicken from Around the World

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Fried chicken looks different depending on where you are in the world. But more importantly, it’s all delicious.

Photograph by Marlene Rounds

Karaage

The frying method used for karaage dates back to Japan’s Edo period, but this dish didn’t gain steam at izakayas or start being sold in konbinis (Japanese convenience stores) until after World War II. It’s typically marinated with soy sauce, mirin, sake, and ginger, rolled in flour or potato starch, and then deep-fried for juicy, crispy results. Grab it at Kiki or Mochiko.

5932 Hamilton Ave., College Hill, (513) 541-0381, kikicincinnati.com; 1524 Madison Rd., Walnut Hills, (513) 559-1000, cafemochiko.com

Photograph by Marlene Rounds

Chicharrón de Pollo

Hailing from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, this dish is made with chunks of fried chicken pieces seasoned with sazon, adobo, and garlic. In Spanish, “chicharrón” means “crackling,” which refers to the sound the chicken pieces makes when they’re cooked up. What’s the word for “tasty”? Get it at El Asadero Mexican Bar and Grill or try a bone-in version at Maize.

1081 Smiley Ave., Forest Park, (513) 407-3582, elasaderombg.com; 1438 Race St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 381-1608, maizeotr.com

Photograph by Marlene Rounds

Korean Fried Chicken

Versions of fried chicken had been popular in South Korea since the 1940s, but the style we know and love traces its origins to the ’80s. Due to a double-frying process, it’s lighter and crispier than its American counterpart. There are several chains in the area that make fast-casual Korean fried chicken—like bb.q Chicken on Fourth Street, CM Chicken in Liberty Township, and Bonchon in Mason—but Decibel in Walnut Hills is really the place to try it.

922 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, (513) 429-5002, decibelchicken.com

Photograph by Marlene Rounds

Chicken 65

There are lots of weird theories about how this south Indian dish got its name (the chicken’s marinated for 65 days?), but the number just represents the year it was created at Hotel Buhari in Chennai. The appetizer is deep-fried marinated chicken with curry leaves and chiles for a spicy kick. You can find Chicken 65 on several local Indian restaurants’ menus, including Nawabi Hyderabad House.

11963 Lebanon Rd. Ste. 120, Sharonville, (513) 956-5678, hhcincy.com

Photograph by Marlene Rounds

Yan Su Ji (Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken) 

Popularized as a street food in Taiwan, chicken thighs are marinated in soy sauce, garlic, salt, and white pepper and then topped with a five-spice powder mix, creating a snack-worthy appetizer. Try it at Poke Hut or Pho Kimmy.

1509 Race St., Unit 104, Over-the-Rhine, (513) 975-0905, pokehutusa.com; 11974 Lebanon Rd., Sharonville, (513) 769-5999, pho-kimmy.com

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