You've probably had fried chicken before, but have you ever tasted KFC (that's Korean Fried Chicken)? Beneath its insanely addictive, spicy-sweet sauce is the crispiest fried chicken you'll ever eat. And better yet, that crackly, crunchy crust is something you can easily make at home—just let Maangchi show you how.
For years, the Korean cooking authority has shown novices and advanced chefs alike how to recreate many of her homeland's signature dishes through her website and YouTube videos. Now, all of her most popular recipes are finally collected together in Maangchi's Real Korean Cooking, along with 75 brand new ones that break open the doors to mastering Korean cuisine. We're sharing the book's recipe for KFC so that you can get a taste of all the crazy-good Korean food that Maangchi shows you how to make. Get ready for some finger-licking deliciousness!
Korean Fried Chicken (Yangnyeom-tongdak)
Serves 10 to 12 as an appetizer, 4 as a main course
For the chicken:
- 2 pounds chicken wings or chunks of chicken, rinsed in cold water and patted dry, tips removed, drumettes and flats separated
- 1/2 cup potato starch or cornstarch
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- Corn oil for deep-frying
For the sauce:
- 2 teaspoons corn oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 1/3 cup brown rice syrup (ssal-yeot), corn syrup, or sugar
- 1/4 cup Korean hot pepper paste (gochujang)
- 2 teaspoons distilled white or apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1. Make the wings: Combine the chicken, potato starch, flour, salt, pepper, baking soda, and egg in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon or your hand until the chicken is well coated.
2. Heat about 4 inches of corn oil in a deep pot over high heat until it reaches 350°F. If you don't have a thermometer, test it by dipping one piece of chicken in the oil. If it bubbles, it is ready. One by one, carefully add the chicken to the pot, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding, and fry, turning a few times, until crunchy, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to a strainer and shake to drain, then transfer the chicken to a large bowl. Return the oil to 350°F and fry a second batch, if necessary. As it sits, the chicken will become less crunchy.
3. Meanwhile, make the sauce: While the chicken is frying, heat a large heavy pan over medium-high heat. Add the corn oil and garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the ketchup, brown rice syrup, hot pepper paste, and vinegar. Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the sauce bubbles and becomes shiny, about 7 minutes.
4. Fry the wings again: Fry in batches, turning a few times, until the wings are golden brown and very crunchy on the outside, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the wings to a strainer and shake to drain, then add them to the pan with the sauce and stir until the chicken is coated.
5. Arrange the chicken on a serving platter, sprinkle with the sesame seeds, and serve.