You are having a few people over for a few cold beers, and you are contemplating what to serve. It shouldn’t be too complicated. It should be delicious, a bit spicy, and somewhat sweet. What can you make that ticks all the boxes? Foodgeek to the rescue. Korean Fried Chicken is easy to make at home and is ridiculously delicious. This is my recipe for Korean Fried Chicken.
Korean Fried Chicken is all the rage. Not only in Korea but all over the world. In later years we’ve gotten more and more places that serve Korean food. I just love good bibimbap, but Korean Fried Chicken is an awesome snack, both on the go, but also at home, where you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make.
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The history of Korean Fried Chicken
Prior to the Korean War, the common way to prepare chicken in Korea was to steam the chicken and serve it in a soup or broth.
The American troops that were stationed there couldn’t do without their crispy fried chicken, so naturally, street vendors would be placed by the Americas in major Korean cities, which introduced fried chicken to the Koreans.
In the 70s the fried chicken industry was shaken up when Yu Seok-ho came up with selling smaller bite-sized pieces of fried chicken, making it easier to eat on the go.
The yangnyeom variety of Korean fried chicken came about in the early ’80s when Yun Jonggye who was running a chicken place in Daejeon noticed that some of his customers had a hard time with the hard and crispy crust.
To combat this problem he came up with a sweet and spicy sauce that the chicken was coated in. Not enough to make the chicken soggy, but making the crust easier to eat.
A phenomenon was invented. Which has, over the years since its invention, become a worldwide phenomenon.
The type of Korean fried chicken that I am going to show you how to make is the yangnyeom style.
The choice of starch for the coating in this Korean fried chicken recipe
For coating the chicken you have a few options for starches, which perform differently when fried.
- Potato starch
- All-purpose flour
I tested them all, and they give you different results.
Cornstarch gives you a uniform layer and yields a very nice consistent browning. The exterior is very thin and super crispy. This is my favorite.
Potato starch gives you a cool look where small clusters of crispness clump together. It also yields a very crispy chicken, but the crust is a little bit thicker so it feels less crispy than cornstarch. Those clusters are awesome though.
All-purpose flour browns more than the other two. If you are into the deeply caramelized taste, this might be for you. The crispness is on par with the potato starch, and it also gives a thicker coat.
A few specialty ingredients needed in this Korean fried chicken recipe
Ad links! The links for ingredients/items in this section are affiliate links, which means I will get a commission if you purchase the product!
Most of the ingredients in this Korean fried chicken should be readily available in your local supermarket, but some of them are specifically Asian and can be harder to find. We have some great Asian supermarkets in Copenhagen where we can get all this stuff.
If you can’t find them, I’ve collected some links for you:
The conclusion of this Korean fried chicken recipe
So what makes the perfect Korean Fried Chicken for me?
- Super crispy and juicy chicken pieces
- A sweet and spicy sticky glaze
- Wonderful toppings like toasted sesame seeds and chopped salted peanuts
If those things are what you are looking for in your Korean fried chicken, you just found the perfect recipe.
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This is my recipe for Korean fried chicken. If you like the recipe please consider sharing it with like-minded food lovers on social media.
If you make it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That would make me very happy.
Ad links! Links for equipment and ingredients in this recipe are affiliate links, which means I will get a commission if you purchase the product!
Korean Fried Chicken (양념 치킨 yangnyeom-chikin)
- 1.2 kg chicken any cut you prefer
- 2 tablespoon mirin
- 2 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 tsp fine salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- frying oil neutral tasting
- 2 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoon roasted salted peanuts
- 1 scallions
- 1 cucumber
- 200 g radishes
- 2.5 dl vinegar
- 2.5 dl sugar
Prepare the sides and toppings
- Add vinegar and sugar to a small pot.
- Heat it until all the sugar is dissolved. Add a pinch of salt.
- Slice the cucumber and radish thinly.
- Add about half of the pickling brine to one mason jar and the rest to another.
- Put the sliced cucumbers in one mason jar and the radishes in the other one.
- Leave until needed. They do not need to be refrigerated, but you can if you want to.
- Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan. Add to a small bowl.
- Chop the peanuts. I like them pretty finely, but you do you.
- Slice a scallion finely and put it into a small bowl.
Prepare the chicken
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces
- Add chicken, mirin, ginger, salt, and black pepper to a bowl.
- Use your hands to combine everything very well.
- Put cornstarch into a bowl and cover each piece of chicken with cornstarch.
Fry the chicken
- Add a good amount of oil to a pot and heat the oil to 175°C/345°F.
- Add the chicken carefully, and be aware not to overcrowd the pan.
- Fry the chicken for 4-7 minutes until it's done and lightly golden.
- Remove to a wire rack with kitchen paper underneath.
- Clean the oil by removing the leftover flour that's floating. Then heat the oil to 190°C/375°F.
- Fry the chicken until it's crispy and perfect. 1-3 minutes.
- Drain the chicken to a wire rack and let the excess oil drip off.
Make the KFC sauce
- Add ketchup, honey, gochujang, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and rice vinegar to a small pot.
- Give it a good stir so that everything is combined.
- Heat over medium heat until the sauce starts to bubble.
Finish the dish
- Put the fried chicken in a large bowl. Pour the sauce over the top.
- Toss the chicken in the sauce until all the pieces are evenly coated.
- Serve while hot, topped with sesame seeds, peanuts, scallions, and pickled cucumbers and radishes on the side.