Tatsuta age (竜田揚げ)

    Tatsuta age (竜田揚げ)

    We can say that Japanese people are so in love with fried food, from karaage (唐揚げ), kakiage (かき揚げ) to satsuma age (さつま揚げ). There are so many dishes, right?! But that is not all! Today, we are going to introduce another fried dish called Tatsuta age (竜田揚げ). Let’s see what it is, its history and where to eat the most delicious tatsuta age!

    What is Tatsuta Age?

    Tatsuta age (竜田揚げ) is a type of deep-fried food, mainly made from chicken with seasoning of soy sauce, sprinkled with potato starch and then deep-fried in oil. However, beside chicken, tatse age can be made using pork or fish like pacific saury. It is a kind of karaage (fried chicken) and sometimes people also call this dish with the name karaage too. However, there are also some distinctive differences between the two dishes. Let’s find out below in this article!

    Health info

    Nutrients per 100g of chicken tatsuta-ageCalories
    Energy265 kcal
    Protein12.05g (48.2 kcal)
    Fat21.04g (189.36 kcal)
    Carbs3.56g (14.24 kcal)
    Nutrients per 100g of pork tatsuta-ageCalories
    Energy311 kcal
    Protein14.1g (56.4 kcal)
    Fat22.62g (203.58 kcal)
    Carbs9.63g (38.52 kcal)
    Nutrients per 100g of saury tatsuta-ageCalories
    Energy335 kcal
    Protein12.76g (51.04 kcal)
    Fat25.2g (226.8 kcal)
    Carbs10.75g (43 kcal)

    The figures refer to the “Food Composition Database” (by Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

    Etymology and history

    The word “Tatsuta” (竜田) of the dish comes from the “Tatsuta River” that flows through the northwestern part of Nara Prefecture. This place has long been known as a popular autumn foliage spot in Japan. Tatsuta-age is deep-fried with reddish-brown color with some white parts that are the color of potato starch. As it resemble the autumn leaves of the Tatsuta River and the shining surface of the water, the dish was named after the river.

    There is another theory about the name Tatsuta age that the fried chicken was onced cooked and served in the former Imperial Japanese Navy’s ship named Tatsuta. At that time, the chicken, which was made with potato starch instead of wheat flour, was so food that after that, the dish served in that ship was named Tatsuta.

    There is still uncertain upon the origin of the dish. However, there was one hint is that “fried chicken” first appeared on restaurant menus in the early Showa period.

    The difference between Karaage and Tatsuta age

    In contrast to Karaage, deep-fried chicken that is seasoned with ingredients such as wheat flour and potato starch and fried in oil, Tatsuta-age use only potato starch. However, it seems there is not a certain distinction between the two dishes, as in some households, even the fried dish made only from potato starch is called Karaage.

    Moreover, Karaage has a wide variety of recipes, such as whether to use garlic as a base, ginger, or both. Meanwhile,Tatsuta-age is basically seasoned with ginger soy sauce and sake (or mirin) so that it has the reddish brown color looks like autumn leaves. If you fry it at a high temperature of 180 degrees, the potato starch will look like a white flower.

    Click here to find out more about Karaage!

    Some types of Tatsuta-age

    Kujirano Tatsuta-age

    This is a dish of deep-fried whale meats which are seasoned with shoyu and ginger and then coated with katakuriko (potato starch). It used to be a staple food as an important source of protein in the postwar period in Japan.

    The history of whaling in Japan is said to begin in the Edo period in Taiji town in Wakayama prefecture. However, some written records show that it could date back to the Nara period. It means that the food tradition of whale may have a long history, even before the Edo period. This dish has been regional food in Wakayama for a whole long time and is still served as school lunch.

    Lamb tatsuta-age

    Although the most simple version of tatsuta-age is chicken, there are also other kinds of meat which can be use to make tatsuta-age dish. If you want something different, how about trying lamb? It is a time-saving recipe that only needs to be seasoned and fried. It has a rich flavor and can be enjoyed even without sauce, the juicy texture is also a perfect match for both rice and sake.

    Tuna tatsuta-age

    Another choice instead of chicken and lamb is tuna. You can cut tuna into bite-sized and marinated in wasabi and then fried with potato starch.Garlic chips go really well with the deep fried tuna so do not forget to add them together!

    Mackerel tatsuta-age

    Slice mackerel into pieces and add soak in seasonings for about 10 minutes. Then fry with potato starch in a frying pan. After that, you can add your favourite vegetables such as paprika or sweet potato so that the dish can look more appetizing and delicious.

    How to make delicious Tatsuta age?


    IngredientsQuantity (2-3 servings)
    Chicken thigh250g
    Potato starchModerate amount
    Sudachi1 piece
    SaltModerate amount
    Soy sauce50cc
    Grated ginger1 tsp

    How to make Tatsuta-age with chicken?

    How to make Tatsuta-age?

    Preparing the chicken
    • Put the prepared seasonings and ingredients in a bowl and marinate the chicken for about 20 minutes.
    • Lightly press the surface of the chicken with kitchen paper. Sprinkle the chicken with potato starch before frying.
    • Heat the frying oil to 180°C and then fry the chicken. The timing to pull it up is just before the crackling sound stops and sounds again.
    • Just after the crackling sound, put the chicken out of the fried-pan.
    • Drain the oil, place the food on a plate.
    • Sprinkle with salt if you want to and garnish with sudachi.

    Recommended sauces for Tatsuta-age

    Sweet and spicy sauce
    Mirin1 tbsp
    Sugar1 tbsp
    Sake1 tsp
    Soy sauce2 tbsp
    White sesame seedModerate amount
    Sweet sake sauce
    Mirin2 tbsp
    Sugar1 tbsp
    Soy sauce2 tbsp
    Black vinegar2 tbsp
    Potato starch with waterModerate amount
    White sesame seedModerate amount
    Tomato sauce
    Tomato cut in half3 cubes
    Sugar1 tbsp
    Salta little
    Vinegar2 tbsp
    Lemon juice1 tsp
    Koumi (flavor) sauce
    Japanese leek3
    Sugar2 tbsp
    Soy sauce4 tbsp
    Vinegar4 tbsp
    Sesame oil1 tbsp

    How to eat Tatsuta-age?

    A simple dish but do you know that there are actually different ways of arranging it!

    Simmered in dashi stock

    This is one of the best ways of eating for tatsuta-age crumble. You can eat grated daikon radish and deep-fried tatsuta-age in dashi soup stock. It is really easy to eat and the food still remains fresh even with the left-over tatsuta-age.


    To make the Nanabn-zuke, stir-fry thinly sliced vegetables, dip them in koumi (flavor) sauce and add Tatsuta-age.

    Tatsuta-age rolls

    You can make a roll or onigiri with tatsuta-age marinated in sweet and spicy sauce also. Not only the chicken, you can also add some vegetables such as lettuce or plum paste if you like the sour taste.


    Minami Aoyama Itoya (南青山いと屋)

    Tatsuta age

    Itoya is a famous restaurant that specializes on Tatsuta-age. The owner of it, who has been featured in many media such as TV shows and gourmet magazines, opened Itoya with the desire to deliver the creativeness of Japanese cuisine to everyone. In this restaurant, you can have a chance to enjoy Japanese dishes that is constantly evolved and incorporated new cooking methods from around the world. Sound really amazing, right?! Come on and try by yourself!

    Address: 2-19-1 Minami Aoyama, Minato Ward, Tokyo Prefecture
    Phone number: 03-6447-1112
    Number of seats:
    Counter 4 seats
    Semi-private room 4-5 seats
    Table 15 seats
    Business hours:
    Lunch 12:00-13:00 (close 14:00)
    Dinner 18:00-20:00 (close 22:00)
    Website: http://itoya-aoyama.com/
    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minamiaoyama.itoya

    Hinadori (雛どり)

    Tatsuta age

    This is a famous chicken restaurant where people line up during lunchtime to get their hearty and exquisite deep-fried chicken. Tatsuta-age, which is well seasoned with spices, is among the best chicken in Asakusa.

    Address: Hatsuho Mansion Akasaka B1F, 2-8-11 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
    Phone number: 03-5561-0666
    Number of seats: 24 seats
    Business hours:
    Lunch: 11:30-14:00
    Dinner: 18:00-23:30
    (close on Saturday and Sunday)
    Website: http://www.hinadori.net/

    Toyoda (とよ田)

    Tatsuta age

    Toyoda has a history of more than 40 years and is known for its unique deep-fried chicken. Chicken is fried in ultra-high temperature oil without seasoning or batter. One of the featured menu here is the fried chicken wings that you can eat even the bones. Such an amazing place to visit and try Tatsuta-age!

    Address: 2-17-12 Midorigaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
    Number of seats: 24 seats (~4-6 tables)
    Business hours:
    [Mon-Sat] 17:00 – 22:30
    (close on Sunday and holiday)


    Isn’t it really interesting? Trying fried chicken from all over the world, but what is the difference between Japanese fried chicken and other countries?! Try it by yourself and tell us your impression. However, Tatsuta-age is not only made by chicken, you can also enjoy it with pork or fish. If you are interested in this recipe, what about trying our recipe at home. We are waiting for your result!

    If you are a fan of fried dish, do not miss this article about karaage!

    Tatsuta age (竜田揚げ)

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