Korean Fried Chicken
Korean Fried Chicken
5 from 3 votes
Uncover the secrets of making mouthwatering Korean fried chicken. A culinary adventure that combines history, culture, and technique. No professional skills required – step into the world of Korean cooking today!
Korean Fried Chicken

Have you ever taken a bite of something so deliciously crunchy and flavourful, you immediately wished you knew how to make it? Well, that was my exact experience the first time I tasted Korean Fried Chicken.

Oh yes, you heard it right, with this Korean fried chicken recipe we’re diving into the world of this succulent, crispy delight! 

To put things into perspective, imagine this: you’re biting into a piece of chicken that is not only fried to golden perfection but also coated with a spicy-sweet glaze that has just the right balance of tanginess and heat. Sounds irresistible, right? That’s Korean Fried Chicken for you, my friends! 

Originating from South Korea (obviously), this recipe has taken the world by storm. The magic began in the late 20th century when American-style fast food made its way to South Korea.  

The locals, known for their knack for creating culinary masterpieces, took the concept of fried chicken, gave it a uniquely Korean spin, and voila! Korean Fried Chicken was born. 

But don’t let its deep-fried exterior intimidate you. Is it a culinary challenge? Sure, it has its moments, but hey, that’s part of the fun! This recipe is in no way reserved for Michelin-star chefs only. No siree! In fact, with a little bit of practice, any home cook can master the art of making Korean Fried Chicken. 

Yes, you’ll need to get your hands a little dirty and yes, you might splatter some sauce here and there (tip: wear an apron). But let me assure you, the result is absolutely worth it. It’s like hosting a little private food festival in your own kitchen, and you’re the star of the show! 

As we embark on this culinary journey together, keep in mind that cooking is not about rigid rules and strict guidelines. It’s about exploring, experimenting, and ultimately, having fun. And trust me, there’s plenty of fun to be had when making Korean Fried Chicken! 

So, ready to roll up your sleeves and get frying? Let’s embark on this journey together, one flavourful bite at a time! Remember, the goal is not just to make a dish; it’s to create a symphony of flavours that dances on the tongue and lingers long after the meal is over. Are you up for the challenge? Then let’s get cooking! 

After all, as they say in Korea, “Jal meokkesseumnida!” Or in English, “Bon Appétit! 

What Ingredients to Use & Why 

Chicken Wings or Drumsticks: The main player in my Korean Fried Chicken recipe is, of course, chicken. I prefer using wings or drumsticks because these cuts fry up wonderfully, soaking up all the flavours, and leaving us with juicy meat under a crispy crust. It’s also a lot of fun to eat these parts with your hands! If you’re more of a breast or thigh fan, feel free to substitute. 

Soy Sauce: In many Asian dishes, I use soy sauce as the main source of salty, umami flavour. It tenderizes the chicken while also providing a depth of flavour that’s irreplaceable. If you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative, Tamari is a good choice, or coconut aminos if you prefer a soy-free option. 

Rice Vinegar: I love the tanginess of rice vinegar; it helps balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce. Additionally, its acidity tenderizes the chicken and enhances other flavours. If you’re unable to find rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar can be used, but it does have a stronger flavour. 

Sesame Oil: I add sesame oil for its distinct, nutty flavour that’s quite characteristic of Korean cuisine. If you’re unable to find it, perilla oil is a fantastic substitute. You can use regular vegetable oil, but you’ll miss out on that unique flavour profile. 

Ginger and Garlic: Now, this is a dynamic duo I can’t do without in my Asian cuisine! Ginger brings a spicy, aromatic zing, while garlic adds a sweet, savoury complexity. Fresh is best, but powdered can work in a pinch. 

Brown Sugar: I use brown sugar as the sweet component of my marinade, as it pairs well with the heat and saltiness. It also aids in browning and caramelizing the chicken during frying. You can substitute it with white sugar or honey, but you’ll miss out on the molasses notes of brown sugar. 

Gochujang: This is my secret weapon when cooking Korean dishes! It’s a fermented red pepper paste that’s spicy, sweet, and deeply savoury. If it’s hard to find, try a mix of red pepper flakes and a bit of miso paste to replicate the flavour. 

All-purpose Flour, Cornstarch, and Baking Powder: This is the trifecta I use for a crispy coating. The flour provides structure, cornstarch contributes extra crunchiness, and baking powder facilitates browning. For a gluten-free version, you can use a gluten-free all-purpose flour mix, just ensure your baking powder is gluten-free too. 

Vegetable Oil: Since I’m deep frying, I need an oil that can handle high temperatures without smoking. Canola, peanut, or sunflower oil can all be suitable alternatives. 

Sesame Seeds and Spring Onions: I use these as optional garnishes, but they really add a wonderful finishing touch. The sesame seeds provide a toasty crunch, and the spring onions offer a fresh, sharp contrast to the rich, fried chicken. They truly are in a league of their own! 

Choosing the Right Cut for Your Korean Fried Chicken 

Well, it’s another day in my kitchen, and I’m faced with one of life’s most profound culinary dilemmas: which part of the chicken should I use for my next batch of Korean Fried Chicken? If you’re asking the same question, we’re definitely on the same wavelength! 

So, traditionally, we’ve seen drumsticks and wings used extensively in this recipe, but hey, who said we can’t venture out of tradition? If you’re a lover of the succulent, juicy chicken thigh, by all means, use it. You’ll need to adjust your frying time, given the size difference, but it’s totally worth it. 

On the other hand, you might be a fan of the leaner chicken breast, and that’s perfectly fine. Just remember, chicken breast can get a bit tough if overcooked, so it’ll be a bit of a balancing act. You’ll need to carefully watch your heat and timing to get the golden, crispy exterior while keeping the inside tender. 

As I like to say, “In the game of frying chicken, the real winner is always you!” So go ahead, mix it up, experiment, and create your own version of this delicious Korean dish. You never know, you might just stumble upon a culinary revelation! 

Seeking a Gochujang Substitute for Your Korean Chicken 

Here I am, ready to whip up a batch of the delightful Korean Fried Chicken, and then I notice it – I’m out of gochujang! Has this ever happened to you? This fiery, funky paste is the heart and soul of our dish, but fear not, I have some tricks up my sleeve! 

First up, the red chilli paste. If you have this, mix it up with a bit of soy sauce, a dash of sugar, and a smidgen of sesame oil to replicate gochujang’s tangy, spicy, and sweet profile. Not perfect, but darn close! 

Another brilliant idea is a mix of miso and Sriracha. The miso brings in the fermented depth, while Sriracha handles the heat. Mix them in equal parts, and you’ve got a decent gochujang stand-in! 

Remember, though, these substitutes can only mimic the original to a certain extent. If you ask me, it’s always worth hunting down some real gochujang for authentic taste. Now, excuse me while I dash to the nearest Asian grocery store! 

Picking the Best Oil for Frying Korean Fried Chicken 

One thing I’ve learned in my kitchen escapades is that oil is not just oil when it comes to deep frying. You’d be surprised how the choice of oil can impact your scrumptious Korean Fried Chicken. 

My go-to has always been vegetable oil – it’s like a reliable friend who never lets you down. It has a high smoke point, which means it can handle the heat without turning your kitchen into a smoky mess. Plus, it doesn’t leave any unwanted flavours on your chicken. 

But you know what, I’ve dabbled with peanut oil, and boy, did it yield some crispy golden brown chicken pieces! Like vegetable oil, peanut oil also has a high smoke point, and it imparts a slightly nutty flavour that takes your chicken to the next level. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you could also try canola or sunflower oil. Just remember, the golden rule of frying chicken: keep that oil temperature consistent! Now let’s get frying! 

Baking Korean Fried Chicken: A Healthier Twist 

Frying chicken is all fun and games until you think about the calories! But who said we can’t enjoy a healthier version of our beloved Korean Fried Chicken? Enter, baking! 

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Baking? That’ll never result in the same crispy goodness!” I had the same reservations, trust me, but once I tried it, I was in crunchy, tasty heaven. 

Firstly, you’ll marinate your chicken just like the original recipe. Then, instead of a flour and cornstarch coating, I like to toss the chicken in a mix of panko breadcrumbs and a bit of oil. This gives the baked chicken an incredible crunch that might even make you forget about the deep-fried version. 

Lay out your chicken pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure not to overcrowd them. Pop them into a preheated oven at around 200°C (around 400°F) and bake for about 40-45 minutes, turning them halfway through. 

Of course, you may not achieve the exact same texture as deep-frying, but I guarantee the end result is still deliciously satisfying. And the best part? You can indulge in your favourite dish without worrying about your waistline! Now, isn’t that a win-win? 

Ensuring Your Chicken is Cooked Through Without Burning 

Ah, the age-old battle of perfectly cooked chicken versus charred exterior. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? You’re standing over your sizzling pot of oil, watching your chicken turn a glorious golden brown, but the inside? Still a tad pink. Frustration, thy name is undercooked chicken! 

But fear not, for I have cracked this crispy code! The trick, my dear fellow chef, is all about temperature control. You want your oil hot enough to crisp up your chicken but not so hot that it turns into a burnt offering. 

Maintaining a frying temperature of around 180°C (350°F) works like a charm. If you have a kitchen thermometer, use it! If not, no worries. You can test the oil with a small piece of chicken. If it sizzles and starts to cook without going ballistic, you’re good to go. 

Fry each piece for about 8-10 minutes and then, here’s the secret, let it rest! Resting allows the chicken to finish cooking through residual heat. And there you have it, perfectly cooked, golden brown Korean Fried Chicken every single time. Who knew chicken frying was such a science? 

Preparing Korean Fried Chicken Marinade Ahead of Time 

One of the many charms of cooking is how flexible it can be, and our Korean Fried Chicken recipe is no different! There have been times when my day has been chock-a-block with chores, and I’ve wondered, “Can I marinate the chicken ahead of time?” The answer is a resounding yes! 

In fact, marinating the chicken for a longer time only intensifies the flavours. You can prepare the marinade, coat your chicken, and let it sit in the refrigerator even overnight. Just remember to give it a good toss now and then to make sure every piece is soaking up that delicious marinade. 

Another tip is to coat the chicken in the flour mixture just before frying to ensure maximum crispiness. So, next time you have a busy day, no worries! Just get your marinating done in advance, and you’ll have a fantastic meal ready in no time. Now, that’s what I call smart cooking! 

The Soy Sauce Dilemma in Your Korean Fried Chicken 

Navigating the world of soy sauce can feel like a perilous journey. Light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, sweet soy sauce – it’s like a never-ending saga! So, which one to use for our Korean Fried Chicken? Well, strap in for a soy sauce adventure! 

In my culinary conquests, I’ve found that light soy sauce works best for this recipe. It adds a savoury umami flavour without overwhelming the dish. It’s lighter in colour, so it doesn’t darken the chicken too much, ensuring we get that beautiful golden-brown colour when we fry it. 

That said, if all you have is dark soy sauce, don’t despair! You can still use it, but remember, it’s more potent, both in flavour and colour. So, I’d recommend using less than what the recipe calls for. 

And there you have it, the great soy sauce mystery solved! Whichever soy sauce you end up using, remember, it’s all about having fun in the kitchen. Now, let’s cook up a storm! 

Swapping Brown Sugar for White Sugar 

In my kitchen, experimentation is the name of the game. So, when I found myself out of brown sugar for my Korean Fried Chicken, I wondered, “Can I use white sugar instead?” 

The answer? Absolutely! White sugar will still add the necessary sweetness to balance the savoury soy sauce and spicy gochujang. However, brown sugar has molasses, which gives it a deeper, caramel-like flavour. So, using white sugar might slightly alter the taste profile, but it won’t ruin your dish. 

Also, remember that brown sugar adds a lovely rich colour to the sauce. So, using white sugar might result in a lighter-coloured sauce, but your chicken will still be delicious, and that’s what matters! 

So, next time you find yourself without brown sugar, don’t fret. Reach for that white sugar and carry on cooking! 

Vinegar Substitutions in Korean Fried Chicken 

Imagine this: you’re about to make the marinade for your Korean Fried Chicken, and oh no, you’re out of rice vinegar! Well, before you start panicking, let me assure you, all is not lost. 

Apple cider vinegar is a great substitute! Its fruity tang is quite similar to rice vinegar, and it works beautifully with other flavours. In a pinch, white wine vinegar or even regular white vinegar can also come to your rescue. They’re a bit sharper in flavour, so I’d suggest using a bit less than the recipe calls for. 

However, vinegar isn’t just about adding tang. It tenderizes the chicken, making it succulent and juicy. So, don’t skip it! 

Remember, in cooking, there’s always a workaround, and you might just discover a new flavour combination you love. So, let’s get that chicken marinating, shall we? 

Traditional Korean Sides to Complement the Dish 

Once you’ve perfected your Korean Fried Chicken, you might start to wonder, “What could possibly make this dish even better?” Enter traditional Korean side dishes or banchan! 

How about some kimchi, the quintessential Korean side dish? This fermented cabbage delight adds a spicy and sour kick that contrasts beautifully with the savoury-sweet chicken. 

You could also whip up a quick cucumber salad, or oi muchim. The refreshing crunch of the cucumber complements the crispiness of the chicken, and it’s incredibly easy to make! 

And don’t forget japchae, a delicious stir-fried glass noodle dish with veggies and a sweet soy sauce. It’s a hearty side that rounds out your Korean meal beautifully. 

Finally, serve your Korean Fried Chicken with a bowl of warm, steamed rice, and you’ve got yourself a feast fit for a king. Now, excuse me while I dig into my Korean spread! 

Check Out These Other Recipes 

After enjoying the crispy, spicy delight that is Korean Fried Chicken, why not dive deeper into the world of Asian cuisine? 

For starters, let your palate dance to the tantalizing flavours of Chicken 65, a dish that blends the heat of Indian spices with the succulence of deep-fried chicken.  

Or perhaps you’re looking for another snack to accompany your favourite movie? Popcorn Chicken is a perfect, bite-sized treat that’s sure to impress. 

If you loved the heat of Korean Fried Chicken, you might also appreciate the spicy-sweet notes in Chicken Tikka Masala, an all-time favourite in Indian cuisine.  

For something a bit lighter yet just as flavourful, try the Chicken Chapli Kebab, a Pakistani dish that marries chicken with a blend of aromatic spices, ideal for those warm summer evenings. 

And let’s not forget about the seafood lovers out there! The Coconut Prawn Curry is a delightful mix of sweet coconut milk, tangy tomatoes, and spicy chilli peppers, creating a symphony of flavours that pairs perfectly with a bowl of steamed rice. 

To round off your culinary journey, why not experiment with some Asian-inspired desserts? Mango Lassi is a refreshing, creamy beverage that doubles as a dessert, blending sweet mangoes with tangy yoghurt for a finish that’s as surprising as it is delicious.  

Or maybe the Rice Kheer will be more to your taste, an Indian rice pudding that’s delicately flavoured with cardamom and speckled with crunchy nuts. 

There’s a world of flavours to explore beyond Korean Fried Chicken, so why not start your journey today? And don’t forget, we’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.  

Whether it’s a new favourite recipe or a suggestion for a dish you’d like to see featured, your feedback is always welcome! 

Korean Fried Chicken

Korean Fried Chicken

by Nabeela Kauser
Uncover the secrets of making mouthwatering Korean fried chicken. A culinary adventure that combines history, culture, and technique. No professional skills required – step into the world of Korean cooking today!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Appetiser
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4
Calories 500 kcal


  • 1 kg Chicken Drumsticks Or wings
  • 50 ml Soy Sauce
  • 50 ml Rice Vinegar
  • 30 ml Sesame Oil
  • 2 tsp Ginger Grated
  • 4 cloves Garlic Minced
  • 50 g Brown Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Gochujang Korean red pepper paste
  • 50 g Plain Flour
  • 50 g Cornflour
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Oil For deep frying
  • Sesame seeds Optional, for garnish
  • Spring Onions Optional, for garnish


  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, grated ginger, minced garlic, brown sugar, and gochujang. Mix well until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add the chicken wings or drumsticks to the marinade and toss until they are well coated. Cover the bowl and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Mix well.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep frying pan or pot to 180°C (350°F).
  • Remove the chicken from the marinade, allowing any excess marinade to drip off. Coat each piece of chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off any excess.
  • Carefully place the coated chicken into the hot oil, frying in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Fry for about 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is golden brown and crispy. Remove the chicken from the oil and let it drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Repeat the frying process until all the chicken is cooked.
  • Garnish the Korean Fried Chicken with sesame seeds and chopped spring onions (if desired).
  • Serve the Korean Fried Chicken hot as an appetizer or with steamed rice and pickled vegetables as a main dish.


Feel free to adjust the amount of gochujang according to your preferred level of spiciness.
You can also serve Korean Fried Chicken with a side of kimchi for an authentic Korean experience.
Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 500kcalCarbohydrates: 40gProtein: 33gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 1265mgPotassium: 506mgFiber: 1gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 109IUVitamin C: 4mgVitamin D: 0.2µgCalcium: 100mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chicken, Chicken Wings, Food, Fried Chicken, Recipe
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!

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Welcome to Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I’m Nabeela and I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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