If you are a fried food lover, you should visit Hokkaido and try zangi. Hokkaido attracts many gourmets and tourists thanks to its wonderful foodstuff. Most people may strongly agree that seafood in Hokkaido is one of the highlights, however, you cannot also miss the meat culture of the area.

Zangi is Japanese style deep-fried chicken, which is seasoned with unique sauce and covered with a thick batter. It can be found in pubs or restaurants everywhere in Hokkaido, but it is originated in Kushiro City.

The common recipe of zangi is like this.
1. Cut chicken into pieces (about 5-10cm in size)
2. Put them into seasoning (soy sauce, garlic, ginger, etc.) and then leave them to sit for several hours or overnight.
3. Make batter by mixing some flour and eggs.
4. Cover the chicken pieces with the batter.
5. Deep fry them twice.

If you know of Japanese fried chicken called “karaage”, you may be confused about what the difference between karaage and zangi is. To tell the truth, it is not clearly defined. Even people from Hokkaido sometimes cannot describe the difference. But there are some common views.

Firstly, the chicken piece of zangi is well seasoned before covering with batter whereas the karaage’s chicken itself is not always seasoned. In fact, there is a theory that says originally karaage means frying something as it is without adding any seasoning.
Also, the butter of zangi is thick and heavy, but karaage is usually covered with a lighter batter than zangi.
Besides, zangi was made originally from various parts of a chicken. This means you can still find bone-in fried chicken as zangi, but karaage is made from bone-less thigh meat most of the time.

Zangi has not stopped changing itself even today. Recently, “zantare”, which is zangi with special sauce (“tare” means sauce in Japanese), has become popular as a new type of zangi. Zangi is already given deep flavour by seasoning before frying, but the sauce allows eaters to tastily enjoy without tiring.

Once you visit Hokkaido, you will then find many sorts of cuisine. Zangi is comparatively new cuisine in Hokkaido, still has the soul of the fantastic food paradise.

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