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15 January 2020

For this crispy Korean fried chicken recipe, we season and coat the chicken in cornstarch, double fry it, then glaze it with a spicy gochujang sauce. So easy to make at home!

Do we have any fried chicken lovers here? I’m a sucker for fried chicken. I love it when it is super crispy and crunchy and fresh out of the fryer. Dash it with a bit of salt and a nice and spicy sauce or glaze.

Drooling.

Fried chicken is wonderful, and it’s even better when it’s spicy. Spicy food lovers rejoice, then for this outstanding recipe I’m bringing you today. We’re talking Crispy Korean Fried Chicken, and you are going to love it.

Korean Fried Chicken on a platter, ready to serve

What is Korean Fried Chicken?

Korean Fried Chicken is chicken that has been seasoned, tossed in cornstarch, then twice fried until it is extra crispy. It is then glazed with a spicy sauce made from Korean gochujang chili paste, tomato sauce, honey, vinegar, sesame oil and other seasonings. The name can refer to any number of fried chicken dishes and servings, from bite-sized boneless appetizer portions to smaller snacks to larger fried whole chicken meals. 

The “twice fried” method characterizes Korean Fried Chicken, making it crunchier and less oily than typical American fried chicken. The chicken skin is also different from American fried chicken. It is thinner and more crackly, with much less of a thick crust.

Once you brush on the saucy glaze, you’re sure to fall in love with the recipe. It’s so delicious and satisfying.

Let’s get cooking, my friends! Let’s talk about how we make crispy Korean Fried Chicken at home, shall we?

Korean Fried Chicken on a platter with garnish

Korean Fried Chicken Ingredients Needed

  • FOR THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN
  • 2 pounds chicken legs & boneless thighs (You can realistically use ANY cut of chicken for this recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder (or use fresh chopped ginger)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder (or use fresh garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon spicy red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup corn starch (or use ½ cup corn starch + ½ up flour)
  • 4 cups peanut oil for frying (canola oil is good, or vegetable oil)
  • FOR THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN SAUCE
  • 3 tablespoons tomato sauce (you can use ketchup if you’d like)
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang (sub in sriracha if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or more to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic (use powder for a smoother sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (use powder for a smoother sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoons spicy chili flakes
  • FOR SERVING
  • Fresh chopped herbs, green onion, spicy red pepper flakes, sesame seeds

How to Make Korean Fried Chicken – the Recipe Method

FOR THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN

Add the chicken to a large bowl with the rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat. I am using chicken legs and boneless chicken thighs for this particular meal, but you can use any cut of chicken. Smaller pieces of chicken won’t need as much frying time. Try it with chicken wings or chopped chunks of chicken breast or thighs for more of an appetizer portion.

Seasoning the chicken in a bowl

Next, coat the seasoned chicken evenly with corn starch. Toss to coat nice and evenly. Set the pieces aside.

Coating the chicken with corn starch

Heat the oil in a large wide pot over medium-high heat to 350 degrees If you are unable to measure the temperature, add a droplet of batter to the oil. It is ready when the batter sizzles. Do NOT bring the oil to a boil.

Frying the chicken in hot oil

Fry the chicken pieces in the oil a few pieces at a time 4-5 minutes, flipping part way through. The coated skins will lightly brown. Remove the deep fried chicken and set the pieces onto paper towels to drain.

Bring the oil back to temp and fry each piece of chicken again for 2-3 minutes, until they crisp up. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken and again drain on paper towels. See how crispy the skins are? Nice and golden brown.

Checking the internal temperature of my Korean Fried Chicken

NOTE: I like to use my Thermapen meat thermometer from ThermoWorks (I’m an affiliate) to get the perfect temperature every time. Works great! 

FOR THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN SAUCE

Stir all of the ingredients in a small pot – tomato sauce, gochujang, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, minced garlic and ginger, sesame oil, spicy chili flakes. Stir and heat through on medium-low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Stirring the Korean Fried Chicken Sauce in a pan

Coat the chicken with the sauce and garnish with chopped herbs, spicy chili flakes and sesame seeds .

Brushing the sauce onto the Korean Fried Chicken

Serve with the remaining sauce in a bowl for dipping.

Boom! That’s it, my friends! Easy enough, right? I LOVE crispy fried chicken, especially with this wonderfully spicy and flavorful saucy glaze to finish it up.

What to Serve with Korean Fried Chicken

Korean Fried Chicken is traditionally served with pickles, pickled radishes, beer and soju, which is a distilled Korean alcohol. Finish the hot chicken with a pinch of sugar and/or salt for a flavor pop right out of the fryer. Citrus is a nice addition as well, such as lemon or lime juice. Just a squeeze!

Korean Fried Chicken on a platter

Korean Fried Chicken Sauce

Korean Fried Chicken Sauce is made with a base of Korean gochujang chili paste along with other ingredients that typically consists of soy sauce, sesame oil and vinegar, a sweetener like honey or brown sugar, and various seasonings. I spice mine up with some spicy chili flakes and add tomato sauce for a nice flavor variation. You can also incorporate fresh or roasted chopped chili peppers for some extra heat and flavor additions. Chili peppers are always welcomed.

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Twice Fry the Chicken. Frying the chicken twice is an essential step and is part of what makes the dish unique. Your chicken will be much crispier with the double frying.
  • Gochujang. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that is sold in a range of heat levels, fro mild to hot. Any of them will work for this recipe. You can find gochujang is many local grocery stores in the ethnic cuisine section, though selection may be limited. Look for a local Korean market or online for a greater selection. Your heat level will vary based on your choice of gochujang.

I hope you enjoy my Korean Fried Chicken recipe. It’s definitely a keeper! Perfect for any spicy food lover. Enjoy.

Try Some of My Other Spicy Chicken Recipes

Glazing the Korean Fried Chicken

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
 
For this crispy Korean fried chicken recipe, we season and coat the chicken in cornstarch, double fry it, then glaze it with a spicy gochujang sauce.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Korean
Keyword: chicken, chicken legs, chicken thighs, chicken wings, fried chicken, gochujang, recipe, spicy
Servings: 4
Calories: 722 kcal
Ingredients
FOR THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN
  • 2 pounds chicken legs & chicken thighs bone in or boneless (I used bone in for this recipe)
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder or use fresh chopped ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder or use fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon spicy red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup corn starch or use ½ cup corn starch + ½ up flour
  • 4 cups peanut oil for frying canola oil is good, or vegetable oil
FOR THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN SAUCE
  • 3 tablespoons tomato sauce you can use ketchup if you’d like
  • 3 tablespoons gochujang sub in sriracha if needed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic use powder for a smoother sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger use powder for a smoother sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoons spicy chili flakes
  • FOR SERVING
  • Fresh chopped herbs spicy chili flakes, sesame seeds
Instructions
FOR THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN
  1. Add the chicken to a large bowl with the rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Toss to evenly coat.
  2. Next, coat the seasoned chicken evenly with corn starch. Set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wide pot over medium-high heat to 350 degrees If you are unable to measure the temperature, add a droplet of batter to the oil. It is ready when the batter sizzles. Do NOT bring the oil to a boil.
  4. Fry the chicken pieces in the oil a few pieces at a time 4-5 minutes, flipping part way through. The coated skins will lightly brown. Remove the chicken and set onto paper towels to drain.
  5. Bring oil back to temp and fry each piece of chicken again for 2-3 minutes, until they crisp up. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Remove the chicken and again drain on paper towels.
FOR THE KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN SAUCE
  1. Stir all of the ingredients in a small pot. Stir and heat through on medium-low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Coat the chicken with the sauce and garnish with chopped herbs, spicy chili flakes and sesame seeds .
  3. Serve with the remaining sauce in a bowl for dipping.
Recipe Notes

Heat Factor: Mild to Medium, depending on the brand of gochujang you use. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste sold in various levels of heat, from mild to hot.

Nutrition Facts
Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 722 Calories from Fat 414
% Daily Value*
Fat 46g71%
Saturated Fat 10g50%
Cholesterol 120mg40%
Sodium 1302mg54%
Potassium 459mg13%
Carbohydrates 53g18%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 16g18%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 933IU19%
Vitamin C 4mg5%
Calcium 30mg3%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Crispy Korean Fried Chicken - For this crispy Korean fried chicken recipe, we season and coat the chicken in cornstarch, double fry it, then glaze it with a spicy gochujang sauce. #KoreanChicken #FriedChicken

2 comments

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      I calculated 8 ounces per serving, which is very large. FYI.

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