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Dinner Tonight: Korean Fried Chicken

Say "anyang" to KFC—KOREAN fried chicken! [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

For those who think fried chicken is a strictly Southern thing, it might be time to expand your horizons. Koreans have their own style of fried chicken, which is rapidly making inroads Stateside and which is absolutely delicious. Though it's similar enough to its U.S. counterpart, it also has a hallmark cooking technique that differentiates it and gives the chicken an amazing texture: double frying.

Much like perfect french fries, double-frying ensures that the chicken is completely cooked through in the first stage and perfectly crisped in the second. Rather than let the crackling thick skin just be, as on Southern fried chicken, the Korean version allows it to absorb an intoxicating cocktail of flavors: ginger, soy, sesame oil, honey, and the one hard-to-find ingredient, gojujang, a pungent, spicy bean paste. (Look for it in an Asian grocery store; or, you can order it online here or here.)

The result is a marvelous combination of flavor and texture: juicy, crisp, sweet, and hot.

Korean Fried Chicken

About the author: Blake Royer founded The Paupered Chef with Nick Kindelsperger, where he writes about food and occasional travels. After a year in Estonia, he's now living in Chicago.

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