The Crispy Delight: Exploring Korean Fried Chicken


Korean fried chicken, known for its tantalizing crunch and flavorful sauces, has taken the culinary world by storm. This dish is more than just a meal; it’s a cultural phenomenon that reflects Korea’s innovative approach to food. In this article, we’ll dive into the history, preparation, varieties, and global influence of Korean fried chicken.

A Brief History of Korean Fried Chicken

The Origin Story

Korean fried chicken, or “chikin,” traces its origins back to the 1960s when American soldiers stationed in South Korea introduced traditional fried chicken. Koreans adapted the recipe, adding their unique twist, and it quickly gained popularity.

Cultural Significance

Fried chicken became a symbol of celebration and camaraderie. Whether it’s a family gathering, a night out with friends, or a sports event, Korean friedchicken is a staple that brings people together.

The Art of Making Korean Fried Chicken

Ingredients and Preparation

The secret to Korean friedchicken lies in its preparation. Key ingredients include:

  • Chicken pieces (typically wings or drumsticks)
  • Flour and cornstarch for the batter
  • Garlic, ginger, and soy sauce for marinating
  • A variety of sauces, such as soy-garlic and spicy gochujang

Double-Frying Technique

One of the hallmarks of Korean friedchicken is the double-frying technique. The chicken is first fried at a lower temperature to cook the meat thoroughly. After a brief rest, it’s fried again at a higher temperature to achieve that signature crunch.

Varieties of Korean Fried Chicken

Soy-Garlic Chicken

Soy-garlic chicken is a crowd favorite, featuring a savory and slightly sweet sauce made from soy sauce, garlic, and sugar. It’s perfect for those who prefer a milder flavor.

Spicy Yangnyeom Chicken

For spice lovers, yangnyeom chicken offers a fiery kick. The sauce combines gochujang (Korean red chili paste), garlic, ginger, and honey, creating a spicy-sweet glaze that clings to the crispy chicken.

Honey Butter Chicken

A more recent addition, honey butter chicken, is glazed with a sweet and buttery sauce. The combination of honey and butter creates a rich and decadent flavor profile.

Pairing Korean Fried Chicken with Sides

Pickled Radishes

A classic side dish, pickled radishes, provides a refreshing contrast to the rich flavors of fried chicken. The tangy and crunchy radishes help cleanse the palate between bites.

Beer and Soju

In Korea, fried chicken is often enjoyed with beer (known as “chimaek,” a portmanteau of “chicken” and “maekju,” the Korean word for beer) or soju, a popular Korean distilled spirit. The pairing enhances the overall dining experience.

The Global Influence of Korean Fried Chicken

International Popularity

Korean friedchicken has gained a global following, with restaurants and food trucks serving this crispy delight in cities worldwide. Its unique flavors and textures have captivated food enthusiasts everywhere.

Fusion Cuisine

Chefs around the world have embraced Korean friedchicken, incorporating it into fusion dishes. From Korean chicken tacos to chicken bao buns, this versatile dish is constantly being reinvented.

The Business of Korean Fried Chicken

Franchise Boom

The popularity of Korean friedchicken has led to a boom in franchises. Chains like Bonchon and Kyochon have expanded internationally, bringing authentic flavors to a wider audience.

Independent Restaurants

Alongside big franchises, numerous independent restaurants have emerged, each offering their unique take on Korean friedchicken. This diversity ensures that there’s always something new to try.

Cooking Korean Fried Chicken at Home

Recipe for Soy-Garlic Chicken

Here’s a simple recipe to try at home:


  • 2 lbs chicken wings
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
  • Oil for frying


  1. Marinate the chicken: Combine soy sauce, honey, garlic, and ginger. Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Prepare the batter: Mix flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper.
  3. Coat the chicken: Remove chicken from the marinade, shake off excess, and coat in the flour mixture.
  4. First fry: Heat oil to 325°F and fry chicken until light golden brown. Remove and drain.
  5. Second fry: Increase oil temperature to 375°F and fry chicken until crispy and golden brown.
  6. Serve: Drizzle with remaining soy-garlic sauce and enjoy!


Korean fried chicken is more than just a delicious dish; it’s a cultural icon that brings people together and showcases the creativity of Korean cuisine. Its global popularity and endless variations ensure that it will continue to delight food lovers for years to come.


What makes Korean friedchicken different from other fried chicken?

Korean fried chicken is known for its double-frying technique, which results in an exceptionally crispy texture. It also features a variety of flavorful sauces that set it apart from other fried chicken styles.

Is Korean friedchicken spicy?

Not all Korean friedchicken is spicy. While varieties like yangnyeom chicken are spicy, options like soy-garlic and honey butter chicken offer milder flavors.

Can I make Korean friedchicken at home without a deep fryer?

Yes, you can use a large pot or a Dutch oven to fry the chicken. Just ensure you have enough oil to submerge the chicken pieces for even frying.

What are some popular sides to serve with Korean friedchicken?

Popular sides include pickled radishes, coleslaw, and seasoned fries. Pairing with beer or soju is also common.

Where can I find authentic Koreanfried chicken outside of Korea?

Look for Korean restaurants and specialized fried chicken chains like Bonchon or Kyochon. Many cities also have independent restaurants and food trucks offering authentic Koreanfried chicken.

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