Now that my wife has decided to go 100% vegetarian for good, she's had to resign herself to the sad truth: the perfect buffalo wing can never again be hers. In an act of selfless valor, I made it my mission to provide her with a suitable alternative: deep-fried cauliflower.
'Korean fried chicken' on Serious Eats
Ultra-crisp fried cauliflower Korean-style, served with a sweet and hot chili sauce or a sweet soy glaze.
When it comes to frying chicken nobody—and I mean nobody—does it better than the Koreans. My apologies to all you Southerners. Korean fried chicken (or KFC as those in the know call it) differs vastly from American-style fried chicken. Rather than the craggly, crusty, significant coating you'd get on say, a Chick-Fil-A sandwich or a Popeye's drumstick, you get an eggshell-thin, ultra-crisp crust around a drippingly juicy interior. The end goal is clear, but the road to get there required a bit of bushwhacking.
Ultra-crisp fried chicken wings with an eggshell-thin crust that crackles and crunches. The key ingredient is a bit of vodka mixed into the thin batter.
A sweet and mildly spicy sauce that's the traditional accompaniment to Korean-style fried chicken.
A sweet garlicky soy-based sauce for Korean-style fried chicken.
Debasaki in Flushing is a contender that is unfairly omitted from most "Best Korean Fried Chicken in NYC" lists. This dark horse not only has a full package of food and drinks, but beckons with an interesting riff on Korean Fried Chicken—intriguing enough io warrant a visit to Flushing.
"Chicken like you've never had before" is a bold claim considering that Kyochon makes up one-third of the fried chicken trinity that's concentrated in a tight, one-block radius in K-Town. Diners can choose among Mad For Chicken, the former Bon Chon, the new Bon Chon and Kyochon, the chain that's often credited with creating the popular double-fried, sauce-lacquered style in 1991.
If stylish new Korean fried chicken joint Mono + Mono in the East Village were a bar, we'd be all about it. It's a gorgeous space, with wooden beam walls, lofty ceilings, and a glass wall behind which sit thousands of vinyl records. And the best things we tried were the drinks and the fries. It's a shame, then, that they didn't have a full liquor license—and that the food wasn't taken as seriously as the space.
Left, Mad for Chicken; right, Kyochon. [Photos: Chichi Wang] Korean fried chicken (KFC? Is that taken?) is, in theory, a perfect dish. As the unbreaded chicken pieces cook, their skin renders its fat and forms a thin, crispy shell...
If you think fried chicken is strictly a Southern thing, it might be time to expand your horizons. The Korean version is a marvelous combination of flavor and texture: juicy, crisp, sweet, and hot.
[Photos: Tia Kim] Much has been written about Bon Chon, the first Korean fried chicken chain in the states that made Americans put down their KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) for a different KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). However, two of...