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The Bucket List: Eating chicken karaage in Tokyo and where to find it in Los Angeles

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On this week’s episode of “The Bucket List,” we head to Tokyo. Well, we head back to last year, when I was in Tokyo with some friends, running around eating ramen, aged sushi, really expensive fruit and, of course, karaage.

When most people in the U.S. say karaage, they mean fried chicken. But karaage is actually a Japanese word that refers to all kinds of fried food— chicken just happens to be one of the most popular.

While in Tokyo, I met up with Tatsuya Matsuura, who calls himself a karaage master. He took me to his favorite place for chicken karaage, and taught me about the different styles you can find around Japan. We also visited Lawson, a convenience store that serves multiple versions of fried chicken, including nuggets, and spicy, yuzu and cheese flavors.

Back in Los Angeles, I visited Tenkatori, home to some of my favorite karaage. It’s a Japanese chain that specializes in chicken karaage and has a couple of locations in Southern California, including one inside the Tokyo Central Market in Gardena, where it serves bone-in and boneless (both are excellent). The chicken tastes of soy, garlic and ginger. The light coating, which looks almost like flecks of rice cereal, forms a crispy envelope that gives the chicken a satisfying crunch. Watch to learn more about chicken karaage in Japan, and where to find it here in Los Angeles.

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This is the last episode of our first season of “The Bucket List.” Thank you for watching our fried chicken show! You can catch up on all the episodes here. Please subscribe to our Los Angeles Times Food YouTube channel for more videos and look out for season two of “Off Menu” with Lucas Kwan Peterson, coming soon.


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