Mochiko Chicken is classic Hawaiian fried chicken, made with a mochiko flour batter that adds a unique chewiness and subtly sweet flavor. Serve this crispy chicken with rice and Hawaiian mac salad for a simple, delightful meal anytime!
Easy Hawaiian Fried Chicken
Mochiko Chicken is a popular Hawaiian dish you’ll find throughout the islands, a delicious way to enjoy fried chicken!
This Hawaiian fried chicken recipe has a unique texture plus a savory and very subtly sweet flavor. And it’s simple and easy to make with a small amount of ingredients – you’ll just need mochiko flour, a sweet rice flour, which is easy to find at Asian grocers and online. If you love a fun twist on fried chicken, this recipe is for you!
Why You’ll Love This Mochiko Chicken Recipe
Fried chicken is perfect comfort food, and I’m always up for a fun twist. Here’s why you’ll love this unique fried chicken recipe!
- Fun flavor and texture. Mochiko flour takes fried chicken up a notch! This sweet rice flour gives the fried chicken pieces their unique light and crispy, slightly chewy texture. Plus it has a subtly sweet flavor. It’s such a fun meal!
- Simple to make (even in Minnesota!). While I’d love to visit Hawaii every time we’re craving this dish, it’s simply not reasonable. With this easy recipe, with minimal ingredients, we can enjoy it whenever we want!
- Easy to enjoy a Hawaiian comfort meal at home. On the islands, you’ll find mochiko chicken served “plate lunch style”. This means it comes with rice and mac salad – and both are so easy to make!
What Is Mochiko Chicken?
Mochiko chicken is Hawaiian fried chicken made with mochiko flour, a glutinous sweet rice flour. This flour gives the chicken a subtle sweetness plus a light and crispy, slightly chewy (and irresistible!) texture.
Pieces of chicken are coated in a mixture made of mochiko flour and other ingredients like green onion, garlic, and soy sauce. The chicken is then fried until golden and crispy, and typically served with rice and mac salad.
This popular Hawaiian recipe has a short ingredients list. If you have mochiko flour on hand, you likely have everything you need to whip this up.
Scroll down to the printable recipe card at the end of this post for exact measurements.
- Chicken – Mochiko chicken is traditionally made with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, so that’s what I use. They have more flavor, and are more tender and juicy than chicken breasts.
- Mochiko flour – This sweet rice flour is essential to this dish. Without it you have regular fried chicken, not mochiko chicken.
- Cornstarch – Helps achieve a crispy texture.
- Eggs – Helps the batter cling to the chicken, plus offers rich flavor.
- Soy sauce – For a classic umami flavor.
- Green onion & garlic – These add fresh earthy flavor to the marinade.
- Sugar – This adds a bit of sweetness.
- Frying oil – Any neutral, high-smoke point oil will work. We use vegetable oil or canola oil.
What Is Mochiko Flour?
Mochiko flour, also known as sweet rice flour, is made from glutinous, short-grain rice – aka sticky rice. It has a fine, powdery texture that’s easy to work with, and adds a very subtle sweetness and slightly chewy texture to dishes. If you’ve enjoyed mochi before, then that’s the texture we’re talking about – it’s chewy and bouncy and super fun!
You can easily find mochiko flour at Asian grocery stores and online. I use Koda Farms “Blue Star” Mochiko Flour.
Please note that there is no good substitute for mochiko flour. If you want to make this mochiko chicken recipe, you simply must use mochiko flour.
Can I Use Different Proteins?
Yes, mochiko chicken can easily be replicated with other meats like shrimp or pork; chicken is just the most popular.
How to Make Mochiko Chicken
Here’s how to make this crispy Hawaiian fried chicken recipe.
- Make the batter. Whisk together the mochiko flour, cornstarch, eggs, soy sauce, green onion, garlic, sugar, and salt, then set aside.
- Prepare the chicken. Cut the chicken thighs into equal pieces for cooking. Dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Marinate the chicken in the batter. Toss the chicken chunks in the batter, coating thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours). This allows the chicken to soak up all that savory deliciousness and makes it wonderfully tender and juicy.
- Fry the chicken. Heat about 2″ of oil to 365° F. Fry the chicken until crisp, golden brown, and fully cooked. Drain on a rack or paper towel-lined plate.
- Enjoy. Garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Serve hot with rice and Hawaiian mac salad.
Tips for The Best Mochiko Fried Chicken
Keep these things in mind to perfect your Hawaiian fried chicken.
- Cut the chicken into equal pieces. This will ensure that they all finish cooking at the same time. I aim for pieces about 1-1/2″ in size.
- Preheat the oil. To be sure that the chicken starts frying immediately and gets crispy, the oil should be hot when the chicken is added. 365° F is the temperature I recommend.
- Cook the chicken in small batches. To ensure each piece gets nice and crispy, fry the chicken in several smaller batches.
- Drain well. To prevent the breading from getting overly soft and oily, be sure to allow for any excess grease to drip off.
Serve mochiko chicken with white rice and a scoop of Hawaiian mac salad, just like they do in the islands! You can also sprinkle the fried chicken with furikake and offer an aioli for dipping (see the recipe card for a super simple 2-ingredient dip).
How to Store & Reheat Leftovers
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. I recommend reheating in the air fryer to maintain the crispiness but the microwave will work too.
If desired, you can also freeze this Hawaiian fried chicken. Thaw overnight in the fridge then reheat in the microwave, oven, or air fryer.
More Easy Chicken Recipes:
- Honey Garlic Chicken Bowls
- Teriyaki Chicken Poke Bowls
- Slow Cooker Orange Chicken
- Hot Honey Chicken Wings
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into medium to larger bite-size pieces
- ¼ cup Mochiko flour
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 large eggs
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup green onion, chopped
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced - use more if you really like garlic!
- 2 tablespoon granular sugar
- 1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt
- Oil, for frying - choose a neutral oil with a high smoke point, such as vegetable oil
- Optional garnishes: chopped green onion, sesame seeds
- In a medium bowl, whisk together Mochiko flour, cornstarch, eggs, soy sauce, green onion, garlic, sugar, and salt to create the batter. Set aside.
- Dry the chicken pieces with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Then add the chicken to the prepared batter mixture, tossing to thoroughly coat all sides. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 8 hours).
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and let it come to room temperature, so it will fry easier. Then add about 2 inches of oil to a heavy-bottomed pot and heat to 365° F. While the oil is heating up, Fry the chicken in small batches until crisp and golden brown, approximately 6-8 minutes for each batch, depending on the size of your chicken pieces.
- Drain the chicken on a rack or paper towel-line plate.
- Place chicken on a serving platter and garnish with chopped scallions and sesame seeds. Serve hot with rice and Hawaiian mac salad. You can also offer furikake and a creamy dipping sauce (see Notes below), if desired.
For a simple creamy dip, just mix together ½ cup good quality mayonnaise and 1 tablespoon gochujang. If you'd like a bit of sweetness, stir in a little honey.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 634Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 26gCholesterol: 370mgSodium: 2540mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 62g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.