Among the extensive list of things I miss about Korea, fried chicken is on the top of the list, I mean, besides ArtBox, Galbi, COEX, blistering-hot Goguma in the winter, real kimchi… I digress. Fine. I have K-town issues, but, just like the beautiful country, Korean fried chicken might just change your life.
You’ve been warned.
LET’S GET COOKIN’
- fresh ginger
- sesame oil
- green onions
- AP flour
- granulated garlic
- ground ginger
THE GOCHUJJANG SAUCE
- soy sauce
- chili oil
- gochujjang chili powder
- cayenne powder
- garlic powder
- sesame oil
- corn starch
Prep your marinade by peeling and grating your ginger, cutting your green onions to 1-inch lengths, and tossing everything in a bowl or gallon Ziploc bag.
This marinade will infuse your chicken with tender goodness and should not be skipped unless you enjoy eating cardboard or powdery chicken meat.
Let that chicken sleep in your fridge overnight.
Put your oil in a medium sauce pan and set to medium high. Use your candy thermometer to check the temperature. It’ll take a good 10-15-minutes for the oil to reach temp [350F/176C], so… do a couple of quick burpees just to keep the blood pumping and your focus razor sharp.
Top Tip: Oil and fire = more fire. DO NOT OVERHEAT YOUR OIL. DO NOT OVERFILL YOUR PAN. There should be at least four-inches of space from the top of your oil to your pan’s rim.
In a separate bowl, sift your “dredge” ingredients together. Next, use tongs and shake the excess marinade from your chicken. DO NOT RINSE YOUR CHICKEN! WATER + HOT OIL = BAD THINGS. Dredge your shaken chicken buy pulling it through your seasoned flour mix.
Top Tip: Pay attention to how you are grasping the chicken with your tongs. If you’ve got 3/4 of the chicken covered with your tongs… that’s 3/4 of your chicken that won’t get a glorious, crispy coating.
Gently place marinated and dredged chicken in oil at 350*F. This is a rowdy bath, so wear an apron. RESIST THE URGE TO TOSS CHICKEN INTO OIL FROM ACROSS THE KITCHEN. It’s chicken, not a grenade.
When chicken is golden brown (usually 5-8-minutes per piece [depending on if the fried chicken has bones in it or not]), remove from oil with tongs and place it on a wire rack. I pull my rack from my oven and place over a cookie sheet.
Once about 3/4 of your chicken is fried, start your Gochujjang sauce. Remember: this sauce is about to blow your mind, so don’t rush it. You only get to taste this for the first time once. You lucky duck.
Combine all ingredients in saucepan and whisk on medium low heat until it begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Coat your fried chicken in Gochujjang sauce by spooning some over both sides. And now, it’s officially Korean fried chicken. Well, I mean, after you garnish it with chopped green onions and sesame seeds.
I dare you to only eat one piece of your Korea fried chicken.
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN
Do I have to marinate the chicken?
Overnight? Not necessarily. You can double the salt in the marinade and cut the time down from “overnight” to four-hours, but I WOULD NOT RECOMMEND altogether skipping the marinade. I never cook any pork, chicken, or turkey without first brining or marinating them.
Can I use the “fry” setting on my AirFryer?
If you can get crispy “fried” chicken from your AirFryer, then save the oil and go crazy! I’d sprinkle some salt on your chicken after they’re air-fried, just because you’ll be missing some flavor from the oil.
Can I reduce the sugar or substitute maple syrup?
Totally! A 1/2 cup of maple syrup should do you just fine instead of the cup of sugar. I’ve yet to use another sugar substitute like Monkfruit, but I can’t see why it wouldn’t work.