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Karaage

Karaage

Karaage is a traditional Asian cooking technique, in which choice cuts of meat, poultry, fish, or vegetables are fried in light oil with a corn or potato starch coating. The coating can be seasoned flour (dry Karaage) or a light, crispy batter (wet Karaage). GEA offers full line solutions to recreate Karaage the industrial way.

Karaage dates back to the 17th Century, and became popular across Asia in the 1940s and 50s as a simple, nutritious way of cooking. Today it is a loved meal component or a snack, found at restaurants, street food stalls and at home. There are many variations of Karaage, but how to produce Karaage the industrial way, while retaining its authentic look and mouthfeel? Discover the secret with GEA food processing technology.

The secret is in gentle meat preparation

Karaage chopsticks lemon

Careful preparation can turn an ordinary cut of meat or fish into raw ingredient for succulent Karaage. Marination adds value by helping to create new Karaage products with a unique flavor, juicy texture and classic appearance and optimized shelf life. To marinate meat or fish perfectly for Karaage cooking, GEA uses its ScanMidi tumbler that combines high performance with short processing times, adding to your potential profitability. Using the GEA tumbler with ColdSteam T technology you can efficiently defrost and additionally marinate in one system. This combines the advantages of lower raw material costs with increased operational flexibility. In case of sensitive product, another marination technique available from GEA is inline injection with MultiJector 2 mm allowing smart, automated and reproducible brine insertion and retention into the poultry meat cuts.

The secret is reducing manual labor

Food processing GEA Multidrum homestyle chicken tenders

The coating process for Karaage is critical and, traditionally, the most labor intensive. However, the GEA process ensures that every piece is coated perfectly and automatically, with up to 80% less labor, at high speed for maximum productivity. Prepared meat or fish is loaded in bulk, without any need for physical separation by operators, and conveyed continuously into twin GEA MultiDrum coaters. The tumbling action ensures that the product is evenly coated to create the classic Karaage look; the flour level, together with the speed and angle of the rotating drum, can be adjusted during production in accordance with the recipe requirements.

The secret is to change from fry-fry to fry-cook

Karaage frying traditional way

This is the key to GEA-style Karaage. Traditionally, Karaage is fried twice, or even three times. This fry-fry technique does create the characteristic crisp texture, but it can also dry out the meat. GEA does it differently: fry-cook. 

Juicy inside, crispy outside! Using the fry-cook technique, the coated meat or fish is first flash fried, just to seal the coating, then cooked under carefully controlled conditions in the GEA CookStar spiral oven to make sure that the meat is cooked through but, remains juicy. By precisely regulating the conditions within the oven, such as temperature, humidity and residency time, GEA not only ensures the product has the classic Karaage texture and taste but also keeps yields high and provides a fast return on investment.

The secret is fully automated Karaage

Homestyle coated products complete solution line

The key to perfect Karaage is in the way each element of the line is brought together in harmony: defrosting, marinating, loading, coating and cooking. With fully automatic operation you can now make delicious wet or dry Karaage, at higher volume, with less staff, improved hygiene, better yield and using less oil - without losing that home-made taste and feel.

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