Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
Cook, Entree

Spicy-Sweet Korean Fried Chicken Recipe

Hey everyone, Kevin here! Today I’m sharing with you a recipe for one of my favorite guilty pleasure foods, Korean fried chicken (KFC)!

In Korea, fried chicken is one of the most popular comfort foods. Everyone from teens to adults go out with their friends to grab fried chicken for a delicious meal. The first time I had Korean fried chicken was many years ago, when I was visiting a friend in Seoul. Back then, I didn’t even know that “Korean fried chicken” was a thing, but thankfully my friend enlightened me. At that time, it hadn’t become popular yet in the US, but in the years since, Korean fried chicken chains, like Bonchon and BBQ Chicken, have exploded in popularity here.

Spicy-Sweet Korean Fried Chicken Recipe

What’s Different About Korean Fried Chicken?

When most people hear KFC, they think Kentucky Fried Chicken, so it’s natural to wonder how Korean fried chicken is different. There are several distinct differences between traditional American fried chicken and Korean fried chicken. First, most Korean fried chicken is coated with a sauce while American fried chicken has a crispy exterior. Second, American fried chicken is usually coated with a very thick layer of deep fried dough, while Korean fried chicken has a thinner coating (for this recipe, we only coat with corn starch).

These differences make Korean fried chicken taste like a completely different dish than their American counterpart. Personally, while I love American fried chicken, the wide variety of sauces that are popular with Korean fried chicken really make it stand out.

For this recipe, I decided to go with a spicy and sweet sauce since it’s one of the most classic flavors for Korean fried chicken. The spicy flavor comes from gochujang, or Korean chili paste. You can find this in any Asian supermarket, but don’t fret if you don’t have any near you! You can substitute gochujang with dried red chili peppers, or you can skip it completely for a more tangy-sweet sauce.

Twice-fried Chicken

The way we fry the chicken to get that thin and crispy exterior is also a bit unique. Instead of just frying the chicken in one go, we fry it until it’s almost done, and then remove them from the heat and let them cool for a bit. It’s during this time that we make the sauce to maximize efficiency. After the chicken has cooled for a while, we flash-fry it for 30 seconds to 1 minute to get the exterior really crispy before we coat it with the sauce.

What Do You Eat It With?

Typically, Korean fried chicken is served with a side of pickled daikon radish. The tangy-sweet flavor of the radish perfectly complements the sweet and spicy flavor of the chicken. Drinking beer while eating fried chicken is also very popular in Korean. You can also eat it with a side of rice, since the sauce goes extremely well with rice.

Are you hungry yet? Let’s get started!

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Spicy-Sweet Korean Fried Chicken

5 from 2 votes
Recipe by Kevin Lee Course: Main CourseCuisine: KoreanDifficulty: Intermediate
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes

Korean fried chicken (KFC) is one of the most popular comfort foods in Korea, and it’s made its way over to the states. This homemade Korean fried chicken recipe will definitely have your friends and family coming back for more.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thigh (can use wings or breast if preferred)

  • 1 egg (beaten)

  • Salt (just a pinch for seasoning chicken)

  • 3 cloves garlic (minced; 2 cloves for sauce)

  • 1 cup corn starch (or potato starch)

  • Cooking oil (something with a high smoke point, I used vegetable oil)

  • Sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey

  • 1 tbsp gochujang (Korean chili paste; 1 tbsp for mild, 1.5 tbsp for medium, 2 tbsp for spicy)

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

  • Equipment
  • Mixing bowls

  • Deep pan or wok

  • Skillet

Directions

  • Prepare the chicken thigh by trimming the fat off. Slice the chicken into bite size piecesKorean Fried Chicken sliced
  • Mix the beaten egg, salt, and 1 clove of minced garlic with the chicken in a bowlSpicy-Sweet Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
  • Pour the corn starch into another large bowl. Dredge each piece of chicken in the corn starch so that it is completely coveredKorean Fried Chicken chicken coated
  • In a deep pan or wok, add enough cooking oil so that the chicken pieces will be fully submerged and heat over high heat. You’ll know the oil is hot enough if when you put a piece of chicken in, the oil starts boiling around it
  • Add half of the chicken to the oil. We only do half so that we don’t overcrowd the pan and lower the temperature too much. Flip the chicken periodically to ensure all sides are evenly cooked. When the chicken is a light golden brown (5-10 minutes), remove from oil and cook the second batch the same waySpicy-Sweet Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
  • After the chicken is done frying, place on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the oil. We’ll let the chicken cool before we flash fry it the second timeSpicy-Sweet Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
  • In the meantime, we’ll prepare the sauce. In a skillet, combine the sauce ingredients (don’t forget the extra 2 cloves of garlic) and mix wellKorean Fried Chicken sauce ingredients
  • Heat up the sauce over medium heat until it starts to boil, then reduce to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes while stirring until the sauce thickens a bit, then reduce to lowest heatSpicy-Sweet Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
  • When the sauce is almost done, reheat your oil over high heat. When the oil is hot enough, flash fry the chicken for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Your chicken should be a nice golden brown at this point. Remove from heat again and place on a plate lined with a paper towelSpicy-Sweet Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
  • Now, mix the chicken into the sauce in the skillet and cook over low heat until the chicken is fully covered by the sauce. Remove from heat and serve immediatelyKorean Fried Chicken done

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Spicy-Sweet Korean Fried Chicken Recipe

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2 Comments

  1. I made this tonight for supper and everyone loved it. The instructions are very clear and I loved how each step was outlined. Definitely will make it again!!

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