Complexions’ Eriko Sugimura’s Favorite Recipe Gives Thanksgiving a Japanese Spin

November 8, 2020

Since moving from Japan to New York City in 2014, Thanksgiving has become one of Eriko Sugimura’s favorite parts of American life. The Complexions Contemporary Ballet dancer typically spends the day with close family friends, cooking a dual feast that includes all the traditional American staples as well as a spread of Japanese food.

The highlight for her is turkey karaage—a Japanese-style fried turkey. Crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and flavored with garlic, ginger and soy sauce, it’s actually Sugimura’s favorite food throughout the year. “Honestly, I can’t stop eating it,” she says. “It tastes too good.”

Courtesy Complexions Contemporary Ballet

Japanese Karaage


  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsps garlic, grated
  • 2 tsps ginger, grated
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 2 lbs boneless turkey thighs, cut into bite-
  • size pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 green onion, chopped


  1. In a big bowl, whisk salt, garlic, ginger, soy sauce and eggs. Add potato starch and mix well. Mix in turkey with hands. Marinate in refrigerator for a few hours.
  2. Take turkey out of marinade and coat with flour.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a pan, then fry turkey until crispy on all sides.
  4. Sprinkle green onion on top to serve.
Possible sides:
Sugimura pairs karaage with brown rice, tofu miso soup, seaweed salad and a green salad.