I love Korean food, I will literally slap gochujang on everything. So when I made sweet potato buns a few weeks ago, I thought now would be as good a time as any to make Korean fried chicken and stick it on a burger.
The sad part about this recipe is that the chicken is always gone too soon. The good part is that this recipe is super easy and the chicken works just as well on its own.
For this recipe I took lessons from Nombelina’s fried chicken adventures and combined them with the recipe for Koreatown fried chicken from Koreatown: A Cookbook, by Deuki Hong and Matt Rodbard. I get tingly all over even just thinking about it.
You can of course have them as is, with fries or rice and salad with a good dose of sesame oil. I like mine on a sweet potato bun, with some leafy greens and a nice sprinkling of spring onion.
Korea Town Fried Chicken
- 8 c vegetable oil for frying
- 2 de-boned skin-on chicken thighs per person
- 2 c butter milk
- 1/2 c cornstarch
- 1/2 c all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 c vodka soju if you can find it
- 1/2 c ice cold-water
- 1/2 c gochujang
- 5 tbsp Frank's Red Hot or similar vinegary hot sauce
The night before
- The evening ahead of time, mix some salt and freshly ground black pepper into the butter milk and place in a shallow container with the chicken. You want your chicken to be completely immersed in the milk so that the acidity from the milk can work its magic on tenderizing your chicken.
The day of
- When you're ready to eat, heat the oil in a heavy pot on low until it reaches 175 degrees Celsius (you can also use your deep fat fryer for this). Test the heat by dunking a tiny bit of batter into the oil. When the batter sizzles and floats to the top you're good to go.
- Remove the chicken from the milk and pat dry with a kitchen towel. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, salt, vodka or soju and cold water.
- Now set up your fry station: chicken, batter, kitchen towel lined plate or tray. Dip the chicken into the batter, shake off any excess batter and place into the fryer. You can fry multiple pieces of chicken at the same time. No biggie.
- Fry until your chicken is golden and crisp and cooked through, 6-10 minutes, depending on the size of your thighs.
- While the chicken is frying, mix together your gochujang and Frank's in a large bowl and place at the end of the line of your fry station. As you move chicken from the fryer let it sit on the paper towels to remove any excess oil and then, while still hot, toss in the hot sauce for a nice glaze.