I love all kinds of fried chicken, from American southern style, to Japanese karaage; the Korean version is no exception. This recipe is a cross between fried chicken and bbq wings, an unhealthy but delicious combination. It’s the perfect snack for tail-gating parties.
This recipe also comes from Maangchi, so please watch her video.
3 1/2 lbs chicken (You can use chicken wings, drumsticks, thighs, or breast. I used chicken breast in this recipe because Kaleo doesn’t like bones in his meat. However, the wings and drumsticks maintain their moisture better against the heavy frying in this recipe. If you use chicken breast like I did, your chicken won’t be as crunchy without it drying out first. As a result, I recommend decreasing the cooking times to accomodate.)
1 tsp minced ginger
2/3 cup potato or corn starch (you may need more to coat all the chicken)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice or corn syrup
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp sesame seeds
Oil, for frying
As you can see, I left out a few ingredients from the original recipe. Part of the reason for this is the convenience of certain ingredients (for example, I always have red pepper flakes, but to get actual dried red peppers would have required an extra trip to the grocery). The other part was the sheer amount of sugar and salt in this recipe; I decided to cut it down where possible.
Start by cutting the chicken into pieces and drying it with a paper towel. Put the chicken in a bowl and mix with the ginger by hand. Put the starch in a bowl and coat each piece of chicken thoroughly.
You can fry the chicken and make the sauce at the same time, but I’m going to give you the sauce instructions first. Add 2 tbsp of cooking oil (I used olive oil) to a skillet. Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring constantly.
After about 30 seconds, the garlic should become aromatic. At this point, add the soy sauce, rice syrup, vinegar, and mustard. Allow this mixture to bubble for several minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and set aside.
Now, we will fry the chicken. We are going to use the double fry technique we used with the karaage in this recipe as well. Start by heating a wok filled 2/3 of the way full with oil until the oil is hot enough that a drop of water spits and pops when dropped into the wok.
Start adding chicken in batches. Don’t add too much chicken into the pot at once or they will stick together. I split my chicken into 4 batches for frying. Fry the chicken, turning occasionally, for 12 to 13 minutes until it turns a light golden brown. Remove the chicken from the oil and place on a rack or in a strainer to remove the excess oil. Set this aside and finish the other 3 batches.
Now, we will fry the chicken one more time. This time, you can put as much chicken into the wok that will fit at one time; it won’t stick. Fry the chicken for another 12 to 13 minutes until it turns a deep golden brown and is so crunchy it’s almost rock hard. Again, drain the excess oil off by placing the chicken in a strainer or on a rack.
Reheat the sauce. Put the chicken in a bowl, pour the reheated sauce over the top, and coat the chicken thoroughly with the sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. You can serve this immediately or store it in an airtight container for the following day. The crunchiness should last for 1-2 days.