Korean Fried Chicken

Crispy and crunchy fried chicken coated in a fiery and spicy sauce! This Korean Fried Chicken will blow you away! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

korean fried chicken in cast iron skillet

Korean Fried Chicken

Korean cuisine is having its time in the limelight right now, and I couldn’t be happier. Whether it’s a simple plate of Kimchi Fried Rice or a comforting bowl of Kimchi Jjigae, I savour every mouthful. And because fried chicken is among one of my (many) favourite foods in the world, Korean Fried Chicken is simply irresistible.

What is Korean Fried Chicken?

Korean Fried Chicken is typically bite-sized pieces of crispy fried chicken which has been coated in a fiery and spicy sauce and which is loaded with umami. You can vary the level of heat in the sauce, but I think a true experience of this dish should typically be towards the upper end of the hot and spicy scale.

The main ingredient which gives the sauce for Korean Fried Chicken its spice and punchy umami flavours is gochujang, a spice paste which is widely used in Korean cooking.

korean fried chicken in white skillet

What is Gochujang?

Gochujang is a Korean spice paste which adds savouriness and colour to a dish, but it is not necessarily spicy. So if you want to increase the level of spice in a Korean dish, don’t add more gochujang because this will generally add more salty flavours. Instead, to make a Korean dish more spicy, add some chilli flakes or Gochugaru to taste.

That said, different brands of gochujang vary in their levels of salt and spice, so taste it first to assess how much to add to your dish.

Korean Fried Chicken Recipe

To make Korean Fried Chicken, I generally follow the steps like if I were to make Chinese Lemon Chicken or Crispy Honey Chicken.

That is, I make the fried chicken using my Homemade Popcorn Chicken recipe, and then I make the sauce in a large skillet, before adding all of the chicken to the sauce to coat them all over.

korean fried chicken pieces in cast iron skillet pan

How to Make Korean Fried Chicken

To make the fried chicken, please see my Homemade Popcorn Chicken recipe with step-by-step photos. However, for Korean Fried Chicken, I suggest omitting the five spice powder from the recipe.

My recipe below uses chicken breast fillets or chicken thigh fillets. However, you can also use the same recipe with chicken wings or chicken drumsticks. The latter will need a longer cooking time because the meat is on the bone.

step by step photos for homemade fried chicken
{Homemade Popcorn Chicken recipe with step-by-step photos}

To make the sauce for Korean Fried Chicken, simply whisk all of the ingredients together in a large skillet or pan which can fit all of the fried chicken later.

I recommend that you use the sauce recipe below as a guide and adjust the flavours to taste; different brands of gochujang can vary in saltiness and spiciness, so you might need to add more or less soy sauce. My recipe also makes a lot of sauce so that there is some to drizzle over your rice or vegetables, if you wish.

fried chicken coated in spicy sauce in cast iron skillet

Kid-Friendly Korean Fried Chicken

As Korean Fried Chicken is typically very spicy, you can adjust the recipe below to make it more suitable for kids or adults who don’t like spicy food.

I would start by adding only a teaspoon of gochujang, and then increasing the quantities to taste. However, just 1 teaspoon of gochujang may already be too spicy for some kids. You may need to experiment with different brands.

One serving suggestion is to make the spicy sauce in a saucepan and to serve the sauce in a bowl for people to help themselves at the table.

korean fried chicken in pan

What to Serve with Korean Fried Chicken

I like to serve Korean Fried Chicken simply with some steamed Jasmine rice and some steamed green vegetables on the side.

But for a cross-cultural affair, Korean Fried Chicken is also delicious served in some Steamed Bao Buns or as a burger with some Japanese Milk Buns.

milk buns on baking sheet
{Japanese Milk Bun recipe with step-by-step photos}

More Korean Recipes

For more Korean recipes, you might also enjoy:

Kimchi Fried Rice

Kimchi Jjigae

korean fried chicken in pan with steamed bao buns
Print

Korean Fried Chicken

5 from 1 reviews

  • Author: Thanh | Eat, Little Bird
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3-4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove
  • Cuisine: Korean

Crispy and crunchy fried chicken coated in a fiery and spicy sauce! This Korean Fried Chicken will blow you away! Recipe with step-by-step photos.

Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 700 g (1.5 lb) chicken breast or thigh fillets
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese shaoxing wine
  • 1 egg white

For the Fried Chicken

  • 300 g (2 cupsplain flour (all-purpose flour)
  • vegetable oil for shallow frying

For the Spicy Sauce

To Serve

  • spring onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • toasted sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • steamed Jasmine rice

Instructions

For the Marinade

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, about 2 cm (1 inch) cubes.
  2. Place the chicken into a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the marinade ingredients.
  4. Mix everything together until the chicken is well-combined in the marinade.
  5. Set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

For the Fried Chicken (Please see my recipe for Homemade Popcorn Chicken for step-by-step photos)

  1. Heat a large saucepan with enough vegetable oil to about 2 cm (1 inch) depth.
  2. Place the flour into a large bowl or baking tray.
  3. Pour the chicken, together with all of the marinade, onto the flour.
  4. Use your hands to coat the chicken in the flour. The liquid in the marinade will mix with the flour to form a light batter.
  5. Press the flour into the chicken to help form a craggy coating on the chicken. It is this craggy coating which will make the chicken crispy and crunchy.
  6. The oil is ready when it reaches 165°C or 325°F, or when a wooden chopstick inserted in the oil creates lots of small bubbles.
  7. Cook the chicken in batches until golden in colour.
  8. Drain the chicken pieces on kitchen paper or on a wire rack.

For the Spicy Sauce

  1. Whisk all of the ingredients in a large skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat.
  2. Simmer the sauce gently until it has thickened slightly and starts to look syrupy.
  3. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, take the pan off the heat.
  4. Taste for seasoning. Gochujang varies in saltiness and spice, so you may need to adjust the flavours. If the sauce tastes too strong, dilute it with some water and continue simmering until it thickens again.
  5. This recipe makes a lot of sauce so there is enough to drizzle over some steamed rice or vegetables.

To Serve

  1. Add the Fried Chicken pieces to the Spicy Sauce.
  2. Use a spoon to quickly toss the chicken pieces in the sauce.
  3. Serve immediately.
  4. Alternatively, serve the sauce separately in a bowl for people to help themselves.

Kitchen Notes

VARIATIONS
* To use chicken wings and or chicken drumsticks, follow the same recipe above. However, the cooking time will take longer.
* To serve with Steamed Bao Buns or Japanese Milk Buns, cut slightly larger chicken pieces which will fit into your buns.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Did you make this recipe?

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1 comment

  1. Jennifer 22 September 2022

    We loved this recipe! I set aside some of the popcorn chicken for the kids whilst we adults had the spicy sauce. It was SO tasty!

    Reply