Home RecipesMeaty or fishy High protein Japanese style chicken and waffles

High protein Japanese style chicken and waffles

by paddock2pixel

Disclaimer: In December 2019, I was commissioned to develop a variety of recipes for Dairy Australia. This is one of them, featuring the use of whey protein isolate. Styling and photography by me. Both the recipe and the photo is now property of Dairy Australia, however I was given permission to publish them on my website. © Dairy Australia. All rights reserved.

I’ve been to the US many many times, but I’ve never been to the South. Hello New Orleans, I’m so sorry I’ve neglected you, but you’re on my list of places to see. Actually, quite high on my list. The music and the food… I think it would be hard to leave again…

The idea for chicken and waffles was my husband’s. He’s been begging me to make it for years and challenged me to make it look good on a photo, because when you look out there, there ain’t many good looking chicken and waffle photos on the web! Challenge accepted 🙂

When I think fried chicken, I think of karaage. Delicately crumbed, juicy chicken from Japan. So for this recipe, I left the South of the US, and took the dish to Japan. They have a sweet spot for waffles too!! And for a bit of freshness, I added an Asian-style slaw.

Addition of whey protein isolate

Now of course you can add whey protein to anything. So why do we only ever see it in a smoothie or some protein balls? Anyone interested in adding more protein to their diet should be able to do so though a variety of foods. My aim was to create a proper meal that’s high in protein. The powder is added not only to the waffles, but also to the coating of the chicken. Each serve of this dish will give you approximately 23g of protein. Not bad, ey?

A few tips

Don’t be tempted to just add more whey protein isolate. I’ve done many tests, and this amount was just right. More, and the waffles have the tendency to become quite dry. Also, if you want the karaage crust to be extra crunchy, the trick is to double fry the pieces. Start with just one minute, then remove from the oil for a minute, then fry again until the chicken is done and the crust is golden.


High protein Japanese-style chicken and waffles

Consuming whey protein does not always have to be in the form of protein bars or a shake. Why not incorporate it into your dinner? Here it was added to the chicken batter and the waffles to provide you with a total of 23g of protein per serve, including the protein from the chicken.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Resting Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 45 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Japanese
Keyword: chicken, Japanese, karaage, slaw, waffles
Servings: 5 serves



  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sake
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 80 g potato flour
  • 15 g unflavoured whey protein isolate
  • 1 litre vegetable oil for frying


  • 60 g red cabbage
  • 50 g snow peas
  • 50 g kohlrabi
  • 60 g carrot
  • 30 g sour cream
  • 2 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • 140 g plain flour
  • 40 g buckwheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 40 g unflavoured whey protein isolate
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 20 g castor sugar
  • 60 g unsalted butter melted
  • 250-280 ml full cream milk warm
  • 2 eggs separated


  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted
  • Mayonnaise


  • Cut each chicken thigh into 3-4 equal size pieces and trim off excess fat. Prepare a marinade with soy, sake and grated ginger and infuse the chicken in the marinate for 1-3 hours.
  • While the chicken is marinating, thinly slice cabbage and snow peas, and cut carrot and kohlrabi into thin strips. Toss with a dressing made from sour cream, soy sauce, tahini and lemon juice.
  • For the waffles, mix all the dry ingredients including whey protein powder, sugar and spices in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk melted butter, milk and the egg yolks until combined. Carefully stir the dry into the wet ingredients; a few lumps can remain. Beat egg whites to stiff peaks, then fold into the batter. Do not knock too much air out in the process.
  • Pour the batter into a hot waffle maker and cook until golden and crisp on the outside. Repeat to make 5 waffles. Do not stack. To keep them warm and crisp, place them in a 50°C oven.
  • In a deep frypan, heat vegetable oil to 180°C.
  • Thoroughly mix potato flour and whey protein isolate in a shallow bowl. Remove chicken from the marinade, coat lightly in the potato flour mixture, then fry the pieces, turning as required, until golden brown. This should take 4-5 minutes, but check that the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 75°C. Drain on paper towels.
  • To serve, spoon the dressed slaw onto a waffle and top with 3 chicken pieces. Drizzle with mayonnaise and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

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