When I first discovered Korean fried chicken, it was a revelation: the coating is flakey and crunchy, the skin is thin and crispy, and the meat is super juicy and tender.

Serves
4

Preparation

20min

Cooking

30min

Skill level

Mid
By
Average: 2.2 (74 votes)
Yum

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) chicken wings, washed and patted dry
  • ½ tsp salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-cm (½-in) piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 180 g (6½ oz/1 cup) potato starch
  • vegetable oil, for frying

Sweet and spicy

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Korean chilli paste (gochujang)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Korean rice syrup (ssalyeot) or corn syrup, glucose or honey
  • 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
  • toasted sesame seeds, to garnish

Snow cheese

  • 20 g (¾ oz/¼ cup) Korean cheese powder or cheddar cheese powder, plus extra to serve (see Note)

Wasabi and spring onion

  • 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) soy sauce
  • 55 g (2 oz/¼ cup) caster (superfine) sugar
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Korean rice syrup (ssalyeot) or corn syrup, glucose or honey
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp wasabi paste
  • 2 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken wings into three parts: the meaty drumette, the wingette and the tip. Discard the tips or reserve them for another recipe. Put the chicken in a large bowl, add the salt, pepper and ginger and mix everything together well using your hands.
  2. Put the potato starch in another bowl and dredge the chicken pieces firmly in the starch until completely coated. Shake off any excess. If there is any starch left, dredge the chicken again until all the starch has been used. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  3. Heat about 5 cm (2 in) vegetable oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or Dutch oven until it reaches 165°C (330°F) when tested with a cooking thermometer. Working in batches, fry the chicken for 10–12 minutes until light golden brown. Use tongs to turn the wings over occasionally to stop them sticking together. Remove the chicken from the oil and transfer to a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil.
  4. Bring the oil temperature back to 165°C (330°F). Working in batches, fry the chicken a second time until is it deep golden brown and super crunchy, about 12–15 minutes. Remove and transfer to a wire rack with paper towel underneath to catch the excess oil.
  5. Season the fried chicken generously with salt and serve immediately or try one of the variations below.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, make the sweet and spicy sauce. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok over medium–high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add the soy sauce, chilli paste, vinegar, rice syrup and sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2–3 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and reduced by half.
  7. Add the fried chicken to the wok and give it a quick stir to coat it in the sauce. Transfer to a serving plate, garnish with sesame seeds, and serve immediately. Alternatively, serve the fried chicken on its own with the sweet and spicy sauce on the side for dipping.
  8. For the snow cheese variation, transfer the fried chicken to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle over the cheese powder and toss the bowl a few times until the chicken is well coated. Transfer to a large serving plate, sprinkle with extra cheese powder, and serve immediately.
  9. If you are making the wasabi and spring onion version, make the glaze while the chicken is cooking. Combine the soy sauce, sugar, mirin, garlic and rice syrup in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over medium–high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2–3 minutes or until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat, add the sesame oil and wasabi paste and whisk until combined.
  10. Place the fried chicken in a large mixing bowl and pour over 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) of the wasabi glaze. Toss in the bowl a few times until the chicken is well coated, adding a little more glaze if necessary. Transfer to a large serving plate and garnish with the spring onion. Serve immediately.

 

Note

Snow cheese is a Korean cheddar powder that is found at Korean grocers and online.

 

Recipe and images from Little Korea: Iconic Dishes and Cult Recipes by Billy Law, Smith Street Books, RRP $49.99