Mochiko Chicken: A Flavor-Packed Twist on Fried Chicken

Mochiko Chicken: A Flavor-Packed Twist on Fried Chicken

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Imagine a sun-soaked beach, the scent of the ocean, and the vibrant energy of Hawaii. Now, imagine a dish that brings all these sensations to your plate: Mochiko Chicken. This local-style fried chicken, adored in Hawaii, marries the succulent tenderness of chicken with the unique flavor of mochiko flour, a staple made from glutinous rice.

Mochiko Chicken Cover Image

Each bite sends me back to my first taste of this dish at a bustling local market, it’s crisp exterior and mouth-watering aroma delighting my senses. Mochiko Chicken, with its naturally gluten-free ingredients and crispy goodness, is a culinary passport to the Hawaiian Islands, a treat to be savored and shared. Here is a simple recipe you can try for the dish.

History Of The Dish

The Mochiko Chicken recipe, a staple of Hawaiian cuisine, traces back to the mid-20th century. It was during the post-World War II era that Japanese immigrants, yearning for a taste of their homeland, blended their culinary traditions with local Hawaiian flavors.

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Mochiko, a sweet rice flour, was combined with soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings, to marinate the chicken before frying. This fusion dish quickly gained popularity, becoming a beloved comfort food across the islands.

It’s not just a recipe; it’s a testament to the multicultural fabric of Hawaii, preserving a sense of nostalgia with each crispy, savory bite. This simple yet versatile dish tells a story of adaptation, resilience, and the continuous evolution of culture through food.

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What Can You Serve With Mochiko Chicken

Mochiko Chicken, a culinary chameleon, invites a world of side-dish exploration. The crispy, flavorful dish can be paired with fluffy coconut rice or a tangy macaroni salad, each bite telegraphing tropical delight.

How about alongside crispy sweet potato fries, their caramelized edges echoing the chicken’s savory crunch? A refreshing chef salad or a cool cucumber-lime juice can offer a delightful contrast, balancing the richness of the Mochiko.

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Garnish with green onions or a spritz of citrus, and you’ve not only created a meal, but an adventure, an opportunity to experience the kaleidoscope of flavors that Mochiko Chicken can inspire.

Mochiko Chicken ingredients


  • Eggs – these work as a binder, also adding a subtle richness.
  • White Rice Flour – gives the Mochiko Chicken its signature crispiness, with a slight sweet undertone.
  • Soy Sauce – a key ingredient, imparting a salty, umami depth.
  • Green Onion – offers a fresh, mildly pungent note, and vibrant color.
  • Sugar – balances the soy sauce’s saltiness with sweetness.
  • Cornstarch – helps the batter adhere to the chicken, also contributing to a crisp finish.
  • Garlic – infuses the dish with its potent, aromatic warmth.
  • Cayenne Pepper – adds a kick of heat, though this can be adjusted to taste.
  • Chicken Breast Strips – the star of the dish, chosen for its lean, tender qualities.
  • Oil for Frying – canola or vegetable oil would work, but an air fryer can be used for a healthier version.

Preparation Instructions

whisk ingredients for marinade

Begin your Mochiko Chicken journey by whisking together eggs, flour, soy sauce, green onions, sugar, cornstarch, garlic, and cayenne in a large bowl. The mixture should create a fragrant, tantalizing marinade.

add chicken to marinade

Immerse the chicken strips into this lush concoction, ensuring each piece is thoroughly coated in this flavor-packed fusion.

marinate chicken overnight

Then comes the magic of marination. Allow the chicken to rest in the refrigerator, ideally overnight. This period allows flavors to penetrate deeply, promising an unforgettable taste.

cook mochiko chicken

When ready to cook, choose between a traditional frying method or a healthier air fryer option. If frying, heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Alternatively, preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees.

plate and serve mochiko chicken

Whichever method you choose, the result is the same: golden, crispy Mochiko Chicken that will transport your taste buds to the Hawaiian Islands. Indulge and enjoy this culinary masterpiece!

How To Switch This Up A Bit

To shake up your Mochiko Chicken, consider adding a citrus twist with a squeeze of lime or a splash of pineapple juice to the marinade. You could also experiment with heat levels by adding more cayenne or trying a dash of smoky chipotle powder.

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For an extra crunch, try coating the marinated chicken in panko breadcrumbs before frying. If you prefer a saucy affair, whip up a tangy teriyaki or a spicy sriracha mayo for dipping. Each tweak offers a new and exciting way to savor this classic Hawaiian favorite.


How long can I store Mochiko Chicken in the fridge?

You can store Mochiko Chicken in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze Mochiko Chicken?

Yes, you can freeze Mochiko Chicken. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container or freezer bag and label it with the date. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.

How do I reheat Mochiko Chicken?

To reheat Mochiko Chicken, place it on a baking sheet and bake it in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. You can also reheat it in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.

Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Mochiko Chicken

mochiko chicken

Imagine a sun-soaked beach, the scent of the ocean, and the vibrant energy of Hawaii. Now, imagine a dish that brings all these sensations to your plate: Mochiko Chicken. This local-style fried chicken, adored in Hawaii, marries the succulent tenderness of chicken with the unique flavor of mochiko flour, a staple made from glutinous rice.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 40 minutes


  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup white rice flower
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup green onion, sliced
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 5 lbs chicken breast strips
  • oil for frying - or use air fryer


In a large bowl mix together eggs, flour, soy sauce, green onion, sugar, cornstarch, garlic, cayenne, and pepper.

Toss the chicken in the sauce until well coated.

Marinate in the refrigerator for at least overnight.

Fry in the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat or in the air fryer at 400 degrees.

Serve and enjoy!

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 862Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 476mgSodium: 2678mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 127g
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