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Korean Fried Chicken in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce

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Korean Fried Chicken in a Sweet and Spicy Sauce

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Juicy breaded chicken tossed in a sweet and spicy glaze, this Korean fried chicken is what dreams are made of! Gochujang paste gives it its classic spicy flavor, but the added honey and brown sugar tones it down enough that the whole family will love it. One bite and you’ll be addicted!

Korean cuisine is so delicious and full of flavor. It’s got all the spice, those zingy pickled vegetables, and of course- all the tasty barbecued meats! Try these Korean short ribs, ground beef and rice bowls, or Korean beef meal prep bowls to make meals easy!

Korean fried chicken served over rice in a white bowl.

Korean Fried Chicken (Yangnyeom Chicken)

The amount of Korean recipes on the blog is seriously lacking, so here’s an amazing one for you! If you’ve never tried it before, Korean fried chicken (also known as yangnyeom chicken) is ultra juicy with a delicate outer shell, coated in a sweet and spicy glaze that’s to die for!

The ingredient ratios will vary from place to place, but it’s usually some combination of gochujang (Korean pepper paste), sugar, vinegar, and garlic. I wanted to make my chicken nice and sweet so I left out the garlic and instead added honey and brown sugar. My younger sister went to university in Korea, so she helped test taste the chicken to make sure it tasted like her favorite Korean takeout spots. This recipe got her seal of approval and I know you’ll love it too!

Korean Fried Chicken and Sauce Ingredients

This is everything that you’ll need to make perfectly crispy chicken and the most amazing spicy-sweet sauce to coat it in! If you have trouble finding some of the ingredients, make a trip to your local Asian grocer.

Fried Chicken

  • Boneless Chicken Breasts: Use fresh chicken breast and cut it into pieces that are about 3 inches in size. You can also use chicken thighs or bone-in chicken wings.
  • Garlic Salt: Season the chicken pieces with a hint of garlic salt.
  • Eggs: Whisked to make the coating stick.
  • Cornstarch: Use this to give the chicken a crispy coating.
  • Vegetable or Canola Oil for Frying: Heat the oil for frying the chicken in until it’s nice and hot. Your chicken pieces will be soggy if the oil isn’t hot enough.

Spicy Gochujang Sauce

  • Gochujang (Korean chili paste): This paste adds a fiery Korean twist to your sauce.
  • Ketchup: Adds a hint of sweetness and tanginess.
  • Honey and Brown Sugar: Both add sweetness and also help to tone down the spice.
  • Rice Vinegar: So the sauce has a little bit of acidity.
  • Ginger Paste: Use ginger paste for a zesty kick.
  • Sesame Oil: Another must-add ingredient, sesame oil adds the best nutty flavor.
  • Soy Sauce: For a savory umami flavor. Use low-sodium soy sauce if you’re watching your salt intake.
  • Water: So you can adjust the consistency of the sauce.
  • Red Pepper Flakes (Optional): If you like it spicy, add these to give your Korean fried chicken more heat.
  • Green Onion and Red Pepper Flakes (for garnish): Use these to add color and flavor when serving.

Let’s Make Some Korean Fried Chicken!

Heat up that oil and let’s get cooking! Making perfectly fried chicken is actually a lot easier than you’d think, and so delicious fresh! This Korean fried chicken is a treat your whole family will enjoy.

Proper Frying Temperature

Make sure you heat the oil to the right temperature. It should be hot but not smoking. Using a candy thermometer is a good idea to maintain the oil at around 350 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

To Fry the Chicken:

  1. Heat Oil: Heat a large pot with oil over high heat. You can also use a deep fryer to fry the chicken.
  2. Cut and Season Chicken: Cut the chicken into 3-inch pieces and season with garlic salt.
  3. Coat in Egg: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together then add the seasoned chicken to the eggs. Stir to coat the eggs.
  4. Add Cornstarch to Bowl: In another bowl, add the cornstarch to coat the chicken.
  5. Coat in Cornstarch, Deep Fry: Dip one piece of the egg-coated chicken in the cornstarch. Shake off any excess batter and place into the pot of hot oil. Repeat these steps until the pot is full but not overcrowded. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes until fully cooked and crispy on the outside.
  6. Transfer to Paper Towel-Lined Plate: Carefully remove the fried chicken from the oil using a strainer. Place on a plate lined with a paper towel while you finish frying the remaining chicken. The paper towel will soak up any excess oil.

To Make the Korean Fried Chicken Sauce:

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a medium bowl, add the gochujang, ketchup, honey, sugar, soy sauce, ginger paste, vinegar, sesame oil, water, and red pepper flakes. Then whisk to combine.
  2. Simmer: Place the sauce mixture in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.
  3. Combine: Add the fried chicken to the saucepan and carefully toss to coat the chicken in the sauce.
  4. Serve: Garnish with green onions and red pepper flakes before serving!
6-photo collage of the chicken pieces being battered and fried.

Adjust the Flavor

If you want your sauce to be more savory, add fresh minced garlic to the sauce to taste!

Serve With These Sides

Honestly, this Korean fried chicken is super versatile. You can easily make it a meal with some steamed white rice. In South Korea, this spicy fried chicken is usually served with things like French fries, onion rings, or mozzarella sticks. And of course, some kimchi or pickled radish on the side. (As unusual as this combo seems, it’s used for clearing your palette in between bites!)

Fried chicken pieces in a skillet.

Storing Leftover Korean Fried Chicken

Korean fried chicken is best enjoyed fresh, but if you have leftovers you can also store them for later. Transfer your fried chicken to an airtight container and store for 3-4 days in the fridge.

Reheating

  • In the Oven: Reheat for about 10 minutes or until warmed through at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In the Air Fryer: Reheat for 5 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure there’s plenty of air flow in between each piece of chicken so they cook thoroughly.

Picking up a piece of Korean fried chicken.

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Fried Chicken

  • Heat a large pot with oil over high heat. You can also use a deep fryer to fry the chicken.

  • Cut the chicken into 3-inch pieces and season with garlic salt.

  • In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs together then add the seasoned chicken to the eggs. Stir to coat the eggs.

  • In another bowl, add the cornstarch to coat the chicken.

  • Dip one piece of the egg-coated chicken in the cornstarch. Shake off any excess cornstarch and place into the pot of hot oil. Repeat these steps until the pot is full but not overcrowded. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes until fully cooked and crispy on the outside.

  • Carefully remove the fried chicken from the oil using a strainer. Place on a plate lined with a paper towel while you finish frying the remaining chicken. The paper towel will soak up any excess oil.

Sweet and Spicy Sauce

  • In a medium bowl, add the gochujang, ketchup, honey, sugar, soy sauce, ginger paste, vinegar, sesame oil, water, and red pepper flakes. Whisk to combine.

  • Place the sauce mixture in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes until thickened.

  • Add the fried chicken to the saucepan and carefully toss to coat the chicken in the sauce.

  • Garnish with green onions and red pepper flakes before serving!

Calories: 381kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 35gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 151mgSodium: 616mgPotassium: 656mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 22gVitamin A: 265IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 29mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.



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