Korean Fried Chicken

Last year my kids came home raving about the Korean fried chicken they had at a restaurant. That being the case, I did some research to make it at home. It seemed pretty easy to make but there were variations in the dredging flour, the pieces of chicken used, and the sauce in the recipes I found online.

I did some experimentation and came up with the following recipe. I like to use drumettes as they are not too large and, thus, cook quickly with a good meat-to-bone ratio. I hate the thought of doing all that work only to end up with mostly bones and skin as is the case with chicken wings.

I found that while rice flour is tastiest as it leaves no odd aftertaste like cornstarch, the cornstarch yields a crunchier coating. So, I decided to mix the two to get the best of both worlds. I also discovered that the shake in a bag and fry method does not allow the starch to stick well to the chicken as I do not dredge in egg first. However, thanks to Maangchi, I learned that firmly squeezing the dredging flour onto each piece works great. My son is not a big fan of Gochujang, therefore, I substitute homemade Sambal for the spicy component.

I normally make 3 kilos of these (about 6.5 pounds) as they disappear within 2 days at my house. You can adjust the quantity according to your family size. Please follow my instructions on Tips For Deep Frying to get the best results.

Hands-on time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes (for 6.5 pounds of chicken)

Yield: 4-6 servings

ingredients for the marinade

  • 1 kilo chicken drumettes, fresh or defrosted in the refrigerator
  • 1 small onion, pureed or grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

ingredients for frying

  • 1/3 cup rice flour
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • OR 2/3 cup in total of either of the above starches
  • 4 cups Canola oil or Peanut oil

ingredients for the Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons Sambal or Gochujang or 1 minced chili pepper and 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • ground black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Combine the chicken, pureed onion, salt, and black pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Toss to coat well. Cover and set aside to marinate for an hour.

2. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients for the sauce. Taste it and adjust the seasonings to get the right sweet-sour-spicy flavor to suit your palate. Set it aside.

3. Pour the oil into the frying vessel of your choice. I use a wok. Heat the oil to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. See Tips For Deep Frying.

4. Meanwhile, add the starch mixture for dredging in a small bowl.

5. Coat each piece of chicken separately making sure to firmly squeeze the starch onto the meat to help it stick. This is an important step.

6. Place the starched-coated chicken pieces onto a tray. Working in batches to avoid crowding, gently place each piece of chicken in the hot oil and deep fry them for 7-8 minutes until they are a pale golden-brown. Drain them on paper towels.

7. Repeat Steps 5-6 with the remaining pieces of chicken. Check the oil temperature in between batches.

8. Once all the pieces have been fried, increase the heat under the cooking vessel and bring the oil temperature up to 375 Fahrenheit. Refry all the pieces in batches for an additional 3 minutes or until they are crisp. Drain them on paper towels.

9. After all the pieces have been fried a second time, place them in the large bowl holding the sauce and toss well to coat.

10. Serve hot with a side of rice. Sprinkle with extra sesame seeds before serving.

Written by Anju Kapur of Anju’s Table. All content and images on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use any of my images without my permission. Should you wish to share this recipe on your site, please add a link to this post as the source.

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