Korean Fried Chicken is crispy, juicy morsels coated in an outrageously delicious sticky, savory, sweet and spicy sauce that will have you licking the plate! Although the chicken is usually deep fried, this recipe is a healthier, more approachable version made with bite-size pieces of chicken pan fried in less oil, but still every bit as crispy. Learn how to make this Korean favorite in less than an hour with step-by-step photos and video tutorial.
Watch How to Make Korean Chicken
FOR THE Sauce:
Korean Style Fried Chicken FAQs
Unlike traditional American fried chicken, Korean fried chicken is coated in a flavorful sauce after frying. This sauce adds a sweet, savory, fiery kick to the crispy chicken, creating a unique and delicious flavor combination that’s finger lickin’ good!
Korean fried chicken may not be crispy for several reasons:
1. Moisture on the Chicken: Ensure the chicken is thoroughly dried before coating it with the flour mixture.
2. Oil Temperature: Frying at the wrong oil temperature can lead to soggy chicken. Maintain a consistent oil temperature of around 350-375°F (175-190°C).
3. Crowding: Overcrowding the pan while cooking can cause the chicken pieces to steam rather than fry, resulting in less crispiness. Fry in smaller batches.
4. Not Draining Excess Oil: After frying, allow the chicken to drain on paper towels to remove excess oil and maintain crispiness.
Korean fried chicken is known for its exceptional taste due to several key factors. Firstly, the chicken is traditionally double-fried, creating an incredibly crispy and light exterior while keeping the meat tender and juicy. Secondly, it’s often coated in a flavorful sauce that strikes a balance between sweet, savory, and spicy. The combination of textures and the bold flavor profile of the sauce set Korean fried chicken apart from other fried chicken variations, making it an irresistible and addictive treat.
Korean fried chicken is different from traditional fried chicken due to its double-frying technique, which yields an exceptionally crispy exterior while maintaining a tender interior. Additionally, it’s often coated in a flavorful and spicy sauce, creating a unique sweet, savory, and spicy flavor profile that sets it apart from traditional fried chicken.
In South Korea, the term “chicken” (치킨) typically refers to fried or sometimes roasted chicken. “Yangnyeom” (양념) translates to “seasoned” in Korean. Therefore, “yangnyeom chicken” (양념치킨) essentially means “seasoned fried chicken” in Korean. If the chicken is not seasoned, it’s referred to as “dakgogi-twigim” (닭고기 튀김), which can be translated as “chicken meat fritter,” or simply as “fried chicken” (프라이드치킨). Beyond Korea, “yangnyeom chicken” is commonly known as “Korean fried chicken.”
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Best Korean Fried Chicken
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QUICK CHICKEN MARINADE
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup potato starch or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 tsp EACH ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, baking powder
- green onions
- toasted sesame seeds
- Make sauce: Whisk the sauce ingredients together in a medium bowl; set aside.
- Bread Chicken: In a separate large bowl, whisk the breading ingredients together. Working in batches, remove chicken from marinade with a slotted spoon, dab off excess marinade with paper towels and add to breading. Using a clean hand, toss the chicken until well coated. Remove chicken to a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Repeat with all of the chicken.
- Pan fry: Add enough vegetable oil to a large skillet so it reaches 1/4-inch up the sides and heat to 375°F over medium-high heat. (You can use less oil if you use a NONSTICK skillet, but it won't quite as crispy.) Working in batches, shake off excess breading from chicken add to hot pan in a single layer and cook for about 4-6 minutes, or until cooked through, turning halfway through. Remove using a spider strainer or slotted spoon to a paper towel lined plate.
- Simmer sauce: Wipe out pan. Add the sauce to the pan and bring to a simmer for a couple minutes to warm through. Taste and adjust as desired. Add chicken back to pan and stir until evenly coated.
- Serve: Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds if desired and serve with rice.
- To store and reheat: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Leftovers are best reheated over medium heat on the stove, even if they are small portions as microwaving can make the chicken rubbery.
- The sauce: Whisk the sauce ingredients together but do not simmer. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- The chicken: Chop the chicken and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Prepare the marinade and store separately.
- Breading: Whisk the breading ingredients together in a Ziploc freezer bag. Store the breading for weeks or proceed to dredge chicken then refrigerate:
- Dredge chicken: Prepare chicken through dredging, then transfer it to a parchment paper lined baking sheet in a single layer. Cover the chicken tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Let the chicken sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.
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