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.
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.
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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