Korean fried chicken prepared in a light batter and coating of sweet gochujang sauce. This South Korean take on chicken wings is the perfect appetizer for spice lovers.
Fried chicken exploded onto the South Korean food scene in 1970s, and has been a mainstay ever since. Now with countless styles, the sticky finger food has plenty of fans overseas too.
Our take on Yangnyeom chicken uses gochujang (find out how to make gochujang with our easy recipe), garlic, and spice to coat double-fried chicken wings. This appetizer is hot, sweet, and perfect party grub.
What is Korean fried chicken?
From Korea, Korean fried chicken is also called Dakgangjeong and is crunchy fried chicken coated in Korean sweet chili sauce. It is often a snack or appetizer, as it does the job well of tantalizing the taste buds and delivering great taste. You can also have it as a main meal along with a variety of sides. It has a crunchy texture and sweet, spicy, and salty taste. The sweet version is also known as yangnyeom-chikin, while plain Korean chicken is known as huraideu-chikin.
Korean vs. Western fried chicken: What’s the difference?
The sweet sauce that Korean chicken is dipped in is one of the significant differences. The other difference is that western fried chicken is not double-fried like Korean fried chicken. The batter of Korean fried chicken is lightly battered before it is fried, making it much crispier. The crust on Korean chicken is much much thinner and does not rely on thick seasoning for flavor.
The fat on Korean fried chicken is more rendered out. Also, it is often a fan favorite because there is a better chance of this chicken being cooked than western fried chicken. The sauce should get absorbed into the crust of Korean fried chicken without making it soggy.
Wet batter vs dry batter: What’s the difference?
The dry batter is a great way to get a crunchy texture on your chicken’s crust. You may use flour and some of your favorite herbs in a dry batter for taste and seasoning. It will give you a crispy crust. The dry batter is also much heavier, and most of the flavor comes from the crust. The crust is also a lot bumpier.
The wet batter, on the other hand, forms a much thinner crust. The smooth batter also means that the crust will have a smoother appearance. The crust will also be a lot thinner than that found on chicken coated with a dry batter.
Why is Korean fried chicken so crispy?
Korean fried chicken is crispy for a couple of reasons—one of those being that the chicken is fried twice over. When you fry it for the second time, you also get rid of the extra moisture in the chicken. Also, it is coated in cornstarch. The cornstarch will give you the blistered and crunchier texture that Korean fried chicken is famed for.
Why is Korean fried chicken fried twice?
Korean fried chicken is fried twice to get rid of the second amount of moisture in the chicken. The first time that you fry the chicken, moisture is gathered inside the chicken. When you fry the chicken for the second time, you would have let it rest and allowed the juices to be adequately soaked into the meat while leaving the crust crispy. Frying twice also helps create a golden brown exterior.
What does potato starch do?
This will help you get the crispy outer crust but also help prevent the crust from frying to a crisp before the chicken is done.
Serving & Side Dish Ideas
You can serve Korean fried chicken with a light and refreshing cucumber salad
Kimchi has similar flavors that pair well with Korean fried chicken, along with the sweetness of the apple.
Korean rice cakes have sweet and salty flavors that pair well with the sweetness of Korean fried chicken.
Korean Fried Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- ½ cup cornstarch
- cooking oil
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp rice wine
- 1 inch fresh ginger minced
- 1 clove fresh ginger minced
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 cup tomato sauce/passata
- 3 tbsp gochujang
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Add marinade ingredients to a mixing bowl and whisk to combine
- Rinse and pat dry chicken wings. Put chicken in ziplock bags or sealable containers. Pour marinade over chicken, coating thoroughly. Leave in refrigerator to marinate for 1 hour.
- In a large bowl, coat the chicken wings in cornstarch
- Heat 1-2 inches of cooking oil in a large pan or wok. When the oil reaches 340°F, carefully add the cornstarch-coated wings one by one. Avoid overcrowding by frying in batches of 4-6 wings at a time.
- Turn the wings regularly and cook until golden brown and crunchy, about 10 minutes
- When chicken is done, place on paper towels or wire rack to dry and cool. Continue to work in batches until all the chicken is cooked
- Keep oil at 340°F and carefully place all the chicken back in the oil at once. Deep fry until dark golden brown, about 10 minutes. Place wings back on a wire rack to dry and cool.
- Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add all sauce ingredients, combine thoroughly, and allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in chicken and sesame seeds, coating thoroughly
- Remove from heat and serve immediately