Fried chicken is very popular in Korea and is a popular accompaniment for alcohol. Korean chicken are usually fried twice and this makes the chicken crunchier and less greasy. They are usually seasoned before and after cooking making them spicier and more flavourful than most versions of fried chicken. Less starch is also used to coat the chicken so you do not have to cut through layers of starch to reach the chicken. There are different varieties of Korean fried chicken. The difference usually is in their method of cooking the part of the chicken and spices used.
DAKGANGJEONGDakgangjeong is a popular traditional Korean dish made from chicken wings or other parts of chicken. ‘Dak’ means chicken while ‘gangjeong’ is a type of Korean confectionery. The chicken is fried twice and then coated in a sticky sauce that is sweet, spicy and tangy at the same time. The whole confection is then topped with chopped peanuts.
The chicken can be soaked in milk to tenderize it, remove odours and add flavour to it. Salt, ground pepper, eggs, flour and starch powder is used to coat the chicken before it is deep-fried twice in vegetable oil.
The sauce is prepared by adding thinly sliced ginger, soy sauce, brown sugar, vinegar and corn syrup to boiling water. It is stirred continuously until it thickens. The fried chicken is then stirred into the sauce with peanuts, gochujang or gochujaru and toasted sesame seeds. Foreigners and locals enjoy this delightful meal for its simultaneous sweet, spicy and tangy taste. It can be served with rice.
YANGNYEOM CHICKENYangnyeom chicken is possibly the most popular of all Korean fried chicken. It is eaten as a street snack, an anju in Korea or an after-meal snack in Korea. It can also be ordered from the numerous restaurants around Korea, most of which bear really funny names like mother-in-law chicken.
The chicken is fried and then cooked slowly in a sauce made of oil, garlic, tomato ketchup, rice syrup, gochujang and vinegar. Sesame seed can be sprinkled on the chicken when it is properly coated. The chicken can be served with rice as a full meal.
Not a meal for date night (unless you are both manic garlic lovers), Maneul chicken literally means garlic chicken. The chicken is marinated in the sauce, then either fried, roasted or baked. It is then covered in garlic sauce and served.
Every restaurant has its own secret recipe of the garlic sauce so there is always a surprise waiting in the next restaurant. You can also order it and enjoy the heavenly taste in the privacy of your home without worrying about your breath. It is a popular anju in Korea.
GANJANG CHICKENGanjang chicken offers you a mild flavour compared to other Korean fried chicken without detracting from the Korean taste experience. It is also known as Gyochon chicken after a popular Korean restaurant brand.
Ganjang chicken sauce is made from soy sauce, cooking oil, garlic, sugar and vinegar. The chicken is then slowly cooked in the sauce. sesame seeds is lightly sprinkled befor serving. Ganjang chicken is usually served as an accompaniment to other fried chicken and most people prefer to order it along with yangnyeom chicken as it offsets the spiciness of the latter. For health-conscious people, baking the chicken is an alternative to frying.
BANBAN CHICKENBanban chicken is fried chicken spiced with a sauce made of sesame oil, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, gochujang, gochujaru and scallions. The amount of spice can be changed according to preference.
SUNSAL CHICKENFor those who want to eat their chicken without the stress of cutting through bones, sunsal chicken presents a stress-free alternative. The chicken comes already deboned and all you have to do is to find the word ‘sunsal’, which means boneless on the menu. Want some boneless garlic chicken? Simply order for sunsal maneul chicken.
PADAK CHICKENPadak is fried chicken with a dressing made primarily from leeks and other vegetables. The chicken is seasoned with salt, black pepper and other preferred spices and then allowed to marinate. The dressing is made from leeks, onions, bird’s eye chilies, garlic, soy sauce, ginger and mustard. Other spices may be added as preferred. The chicken is then fried and served with the dressing.
CHILI CHICKENKoreans are renowned for their love of spicy dishes and chili peppers are used in quite a large number of their dishes, chicken included.
Korean chili chicken is fried chicken in a spicy sauce. The sauce is made by mixing gochujang, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil. The sauce can be used to coat the chicken or served as a dipping sauce.
BARBEQUE CHICKENKoreans love grilled meat and the grilling takes place anywhere, even right on the dinner table so cooking, conversation and eating takes place at the same time. Grilled chicken is also popular in Korea.
The chicken is allowed to marinate in a sauce made of soy, vinegar, honey, chili paste, ginger and garlic for some hours. Green onions, sesame oil, black pepper and sesame seeds are added to the remaining sauce. The mixture is reserved as a dipping sauce. The chicken is grilled until cooked and then served with the dipping sauce. Rice can also be served with the dish to make a complete meal.