Chicken Kaarage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli

So guys, these tacos. Where do I even start? Chicken karaage is crispy fried (and naturally gluten-free!) chicken that is so tender and juicy and flavourful that you might think you've arrived at some sort of heavenly destination. You'll be transported to bliss x100 on your first bite.

Top this tasty chicken with some chipotle aioli and you won't be able to wipe the smile off your face. What is it anyway about chipotle aioli that is just so darn good? If it wasn't so wrong I could eat it by the spoonful.

Chicken Kaarage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli

He he he … so every time I type karaage chicken my autocorrect switches it to karate chicken which, I'm beginning to think, is a really fun name for these tacos. I might start referring to them Karate Chicken Tacos from now on. Hi-yah!!

Chicken Kaarage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli

If you make these Chicken Karaage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli, make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create.

Chicken Kaarage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli

Chicken Karaage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli

These Chicken Karaage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli are so delicious. The crunchy fried chicken paired with this chipotle aioli is absolute perfection.
5 stars (1 rating)


Chipotle Mayo

  • ½ cup mayonnaise, can be light
  • 1 teaspoon pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, see notes
  • ½ teaspoon lime juice, freshly squeezed is best
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 small garlic clove, very finely minced
  • 4-6 drops liquid smoke, to taste
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Chicken Karaage

  • 1 lb boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce, gluten-free if needed
  • ½ cup cooking oil
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • Optional toppings: lime juice, sriracha, guacamole, sliced green onions, to serve


  • Mix the chipotle aioli ingredients in a small bowl. Cover the bowl and place it in the fridge to let the flavors infuse.
    ½ cup mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, ½ teaspoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon brown sugar, 1 small garlic clove, 4-6 drops liquid smoke, 1 pinch sea salt
  • Place the chunks of chicken and soy sauce into a medium-sized bowl and mix well. Put the bowl into your fridge to let the chicken marinate for 30 minutes.
    1 lb boneless chicken thighs, 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Attach an oil/candy thermometer to the side of a small pot with high sides – you'll want at least 3 inches of space above the oil so that it won't boil over when you add the chicken. Add the cooking oil and begin to heat it over medium-high heat. Once the oil reaches 300 degrees reduce the heat to medium and let it continue to heat until it reaches 350 degrees.
    ½ cup cooking oil
  • While the oil is heating prepare the chicken. Place the cornstarch in a medium-sized bowl. Remove the chicken from the bowl and gently shake off the excess soy sauce. Dip each piece in the cornstarch so that it is well-coated. Repeat until all the chicken is coated in cornstarch.
    ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Once the oil reaches 350 degrees carefully drop 3 pieces of chicken into the hot oil. Stir the pieces around very gently and continue to fry them for 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel lined plate. Make sure to keep the oil between 350-375 degrees while you are cooking the remaining batches of the chicken.
  • While the chicken is frying wrap the tortillas in a clean tea towel and place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes to gently warm.
    8 small corn tortillas
  • Place a small handful of shredded cabbage on each tortilla. Top with a few pieces of crispy karaage chicken, drizzle with chipotle aioli, and any or all of the optional toppings!
    2 cups shredded cabbage, Optional toppings: lime juice, sriracha, guacamole, sliced green onions


Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are sold in jars in the Mexican section of most grocery stores. Either use just the adobo sauce or blend the peppers and sauce together. If you blend them, store them in your fridge in a clean glass jar. They will last for a very long time. 
Serving: 2 tacos, Calories: 430kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 27g, Fat: 19g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g, Monounsaturated Fat: 8g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 112mg, Sodium: 1120mg, Potassium: 477mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 145IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 73mg, Iron: 2mg
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