top of page
  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Crispy Japanese Karaage + 2022 Il Monticello Serasuolo Ciliegiolo Rosato

I asked for food requests from the boys while they were home for Spring Break. I didn't really get much direction, though R did say, "I just want your cooking." Easy enough. I decided to make one of our favorites: karaage, crispy Japanese fried chicken nuggets.

Usually I like to pour a sparkling wine with fried chicken. But I had the 2022 Il Monticello Serasuolo Ciliegiolo Rosato and wanted to see how it would match up with the karaage. First, though, just a few thoughts about Rosato. Whether it's Rosé, Rosado (in Spain), Rosato (in Italy) - these terms all refer to pink wine. And they are all made in the same way. All pink wines are made from red grape varietals with the shade of pink determined by a number of factors, including how long the grapes are macerated in their skins and the coloring capabilities of the varietal.

Though these wines are made all around the country, Italian pinks may not be specifically labeled Rosato. For example a typical pink wine from Lombardy or the Veneto might be labeled Chiaretto.

In the Glass

In 1980 Pier Luigi Neri inherited a farm in Liguria which is one of the smallest wine regions, bordered by France to the West, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna to the North, and Tuscany to the East. The Neri plot is in Eastern Liguria, in Sarzana which is part of the Colli di Luni. Wines from the area are part of the DOC of Monicello.

Pier Luigi's sons Alessandro and Davide has taken over as guardians of the Vermentino, Sangiovese, Canaiolo, and Ciliegiolo vines that are over four decades old. With over fourteen hectares of vines, they produce over 100,000 bottles.

The wine poured a soft, muted salmon color. On the nose there are aromas of red fruits - such as strawberries, raspberries, and pomegranate - with a layer of delicate flowers. On the palate the wine is fresh and savory. It was the perfect flavor foil to the fried chicken.



  • 3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

  • 4 Tablespoons cornstarch (other recipes called for potato starch, but we couldn't find any)

  • 4 Tablespoons rice flour

  • 6 to 8 cups oil (we used canola oil)

  • Also needed: thermometer (I don't usually use one when I fry, but they did and found it helpful)


  • 1 to 2" knob fresh ginger

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed

  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon sake (you can substitute white wine if you don't have sake)

  • 1 teaspoon roasted sesame oil

  • salt and pepper

For Serving

  • steamed rice

  • Japanese sauces (we used two barbeque sauces)

Chicken and Seasoning

Cut each chicken thigh into bite-sized pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grate the ginger (we used a microplane) and peel and press the garlic. Whisk in the soy sauce, sake, and sesame oil. Add the chicken to the bowl and massage so that the chicken is completely coated. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but overnight is best!

Pour the oil into a heavy-bottomed pot (I used a Dutch oven) and heat the oil to 325 degrees Fahrenheit over medium heat.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the corn starch and flour. Dredge each chicken piece in the flour mixture. Once the oil is at temperature, gently lower chicken into the oil. Do not overcrowd or the oil temperature will drop too much; we did four or five pieces at a time.

Fry for 90 seconds. Transfer to a wire rack to drain excess oil. Once you've finished with that batch, raise the heat of the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In batches, fry the chicken for a second time. This time, fry the chicken until it is golden-hued and crispy. This took another minute or 90 seconds.

For Serving

Serve the chicken hot with steamed rice on the side. And offer a variety of Japanese sauces. おいしい

9 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page