Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
Amazing, sticky-sweet, crispy Korean Fried Chicken Recipe that will absolutely blow your mind. This is hands-down the best Korean Fried Chicken I’ve ever made or tried, anywhere. You’ve got to make it… Immediately.
Alright, friends. I know my introduction might sound a little overboard, but this is no joke.
If you love fried chicken, and you love asian flavors, this Korean Fried Chicken Recipe has to go at the top of your to-do list. Pronto.
If you’ve been reading ASP for some time now, you know I rarely deep fry. It’s just not my thing.
Yet there are a few exceptions I make… Deep fried dishes that are just too good the way they are, to make a mediocre oven-baked version. Homemade ice cream bowls is one of them. Puffy tortillas for tacos is another.
And then there’s this crispy Korean Fried Chicken Recipe.
Today I’m going to share a few tricks to making this fried chicken, so that the flavor and texture are sheer perfection.
First off, Brining.
I know, the word alone makes some of your nostrils flair. The idea of all the waiting around is off-putting. I hear ya. Yet any restaurant making remarkable fried chicken takes the time to brine the chicken before frying… and so should you. Soaking the chicken pieces in salt water does several important things.
- It seasons the chicken all the way through the meat.
- Creates extra white and juicy meat.
- And makes the skin flavorful and crunchy when fried.
This is important stuff, people. Brine to shine!
Next up, we’re creating an ultra crispy, yet light and airy, tempura style batter for the chicken. Tempura batter coats the chicken evenly, and provides great crunch while offering the optimal “canvas” for a saucy flavor dunk.
Because we’re brining our chicken, and dunking it in a sauce after it’s fried, there no need to season the tempera batter with salt. However, if you ever decide to make this recipe without the saucy Korean finish… add some salt to the batter.
Let’s talk about Frying Tips.
The most common mistake of deep frying is to over-heat the oil. If the oil is too hot, the batter or breading will turn dark before the chicken is cooked through. Disaster.
There are a few ways to check your oil temperature. First off, a cooking thermometer is always a good idea. You want your oil to stay right at 350 degrees F while frying. I usually set my burner to medium heat and once I’ve prepped the ingredients it’s close to ready.
If you abhor the idea of using cooking thermometers (some people do) you can check the oil by dropping a spoonful of tempera batter into the hot oil. If it’s too cool it won’t bubble immediately. If it’s too hot, the batter will turn dark within a few minutes. In this case, turn off the heat for a few minutes then check again. Turn the heat back on, lower, before frying.
Another frying tip is to slowly swirl each chicken piece as you lower it into the hot oil. You don’t want the chicken batter to stick to the bottom of the pot or to the other pieces of chicken. Swirling the chicken, creates a quick barrier on the batter.
Use a splatter screen. If you don’t have one of these inexpensive screens, you should invest in one right away. They’re great for frying bacon, and of course deep frying. Cover your pot with the screen anytime you’re dealing with hot oil.
Turn on a warm oven to keep your chicken hot and crisp. If you have a warming drawer, great! If not, a low oven temperature of 175 – 200 degrees F, will keep your chicken crunchy until ready to dunk.
Last but not least, prepare a tangy Korean inspired sauce to coat the chicken pieces.
My Korean dunking sauce offers absurd amounts of flavor to each crunchy little piece of chicken. It’s a blend of Korean gochugang sauce, garlic, ginger, soy, and brown sugar, turning each wing and drumstick into sticky savory-sweet hand-held addiction.
This Korean Fried Chicken Recipe wouldn’t be the same without it.
Simply simmer the sauce ingredients for a few minutes to dissolve the sugar. Then dunk the chicken only when you are ready to eat. Even after dunking, the chicken will stay crispy for some time, but that amazing crunch can’t last forever.
Dunk and serve immediately.
Seriously friends, I have dreams about my Korean Fried Chicken Recipe. It is ridiculously good. An event on its own. A beacon of hope on the dinner table…
Just try it. Please.
Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
For the Fried Chicken Recipe
- 4 pounds whole chicken, wings, and drumsticks about 12 pieces
- 1/2 cup salt + 1 quart warm water
- 1 1/4 cup corn starch divided
- 1 tablespoon baking powder divided
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 12 ounce light beer or club soda
- 2 quarts fry oil peanut, canola, grape seed
For the Korean Dunking Sauce
- 1/2 cup gochugang sauce
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 5 cloves garlic smashed
- 1 tablespoons fresh grated ginger
- 1-2 tablespoons Sriracha optional for extra heat
- Place the salt and warm water in a large bowl and swirl to dissolve the salt. Then add the chicken pieces to the brine. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours (or up to 12 hours.) Take the chicken out of the brine and dry with paper towels. Set out to allow the skin to continue drying.
- Pour the oil into a large heavy-bottomed stock pot and set over medium heat. Attach a deep fry thermometer if you have one. Mix 3/4 cup of cornstarch and 2 teaspoons of baking powder in a bowl. Move the chicken to the bowl and toss to coat well.
- Then place the remaining 1/2 cup of cornstarch, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 3/4 cup of flour in a separate bowl. Whisk in the beer to create the tempera batter.
- Turn the oven on warm (175-200 degrees F) and set out an oven-safe plate lined with paper towels. Check the temperature of the fry oil. It should be at 350 degrees F. Drop a little batter into the oil to check. If the batter turns brown right away the oil is too hot. Turn off the heat and wait for it to cool, before continuing. One piece at a time, tap the excess cornstarch off the chicken and dunk it in the tempura batter. Dunk a couple times to make sure there are no air pockets. Shake the chicken a little to allow the excess batter to drip back into the bowl then slowly swirl the chicken as you place it in the oil. Continue... frying 4-6 pieces at a time, until golden brown and crispy. Flip the chicken with tongs as needed and cover with a splatter screen if you have one. The wings should be golden and cooked through around 10 minutes, and the drumsticks will take between 12-15 minutes. Check the interior temperature with a meat thermometer - it should be 165 degrees F. Using the tongs, move the chicken to the plate and place in the oven while you repeat with the remaining chicken. This will take 2-3 batches, depending on the width of your pot.
- While the chicken is frying, place the first seven ingredients for the Korean dunking sauce in a medium sauce pot. Set over medium heat, stir, and bring to a boil. Once the sauce reaches a boil, turn the heat on low and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Then remove from heat. Taste for spice. If you want your chicken to be extra spicy stir in sriracha to taste.
- Once all the chicken is fried, and you are ready to eat, dunk each piece of chicken in the sauce, one at a time to coat well. Serve immediately.
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