YANGNYEOM FRIED CHICKEN
Korean Fried Chicken Part 1: Yangnyeom Chicken 양념치킨
The original KFC (Korean Fried Yangnyeom Chicken) 😉 Crispy double fried chicken in a spicy sweet and sour sauce. Upgrade your dinner, movie night or party with my super easy recipe that everyone will love.
Watch my Yangnyeom Chicken Recipe Video (4m 11s)
Once you’ve tried Korean Fried Chicken, there is no going back! The batter is crunchy and yangnyeom sauce is warm and spicy, savory sweet with a lovely umami hit. This fried chicken is sooo tasty it is hard to put into words. It is just lovely.
Koreans usually eat fried chicken as a takeaway. When I was a kid, this kind of takeaway was a luxury. My mum and dad used to order it once a month and at Christmas! These days there are so many brands to choose from and it is so popular that some people (my youngest sister) will order it 3-4 times a week! You could order fried chicken everyday for a year and still never have the same one twice. I’m not kidding.
Christmas is a bank holiday in South Korea due to the high population of Christians. We get one day off. Celebrations take place on Christmas Eve evening. My parents used to order fried chicken and buy a gorgeous cake. There are always lots of kids TV shows on in the evening over Christmas. We would all sit together in front of the TV and eat fried chicken and cake. Happy days!
I know it may sound unusual to you, but Christmas is not a traditional holiday in South Korea. We do have our traditional holidays like Korean Thanksgiving (Chuseok) and Lunar New Year (Seol). Christmas is a day for children to have a day out and restaurants are booked up for romantic dates. Now I live in England and Christmas is totally different. People buy big presents and eat roast turkey and gravy! And the atmosphere of Christmas is amazing here.
Due to Korean TV dramas being shown in lots of countries, especially in our neighbouring countries like China and Japan, having Chimaek (Short words for chicken and Maekju; beer) during the hot summer months has grown in popularity.
Korean Fried Chicken is soooo popular nowadays. As I was saying, there are lots of different fried chicken franchises. Most serve alcohol and they will also deliver anywhere. And I mean anywhere. You don’t need an address. I have ordered fried chicken on the beach, up a mountain and in the woods on a hiking trail. You can’t beat sitting by a river, scoffing down Korean fried chicken and drinking ice cold draught beer all delivered free of charge. 🙂 It is something I really miss while living abroad.
One of my favourites is a popular franchise called BBQ Chicken. It is a bit pricey but it is worth it. One of their main selling points is that they only fry the chicken in olive oil. The taste is amazing! They have started to spread out abroad with outlets in China and Madrid, Spain. I wish they would come to the UK.
Yangnyeom sauce is the first sauce we had when we were kids. The franchise we used to order from was called Mexicana. I think it is gone now. The other popular sauce is Ganjangmaneul sauce (soy sauce and garlic). I will post a recipe for it soon! Ganjangmaneul is popular with children as it isn’t spicy. Just a little sweet and salty. Very nice. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Frying chicken is hard work I admit. But, the taste is much better than a takeaway. And don’t be scared by the amount of ingredients in this recipe. It is really very simple. If you don’t have deep fat fryer (which I don’t) you can always pick up a cheap digital cooking thermometer (which I have) to check the temperature of the oil and also the cooked chicken to make sure it is done all the way through. Always try and use fresh oil too. Your chicken will always taste better if you do.
You can impress anyone if you make this for your dinner guests! Enjoy!
- Chicken Marinade
- ½ tbsp Korean Curry Powder
- ½ tbsp Ginger Powder
- 2 tbsp Mirin
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- 1 kg Chicken Drumsticks & Thighs, Halved
- 4 tbsp Plain Flour
- 4 tbsp Potato Starch (Can be replaced with Corn Starch)
- ½ tbsp Baking Powder
- 2 tbsp Rice Wine
- 1 tbsp Cold Water
- A pinch of Sea Salt
- 1 Large Egg
- Vegetable Oil for frying
- Yangnyeom Sauce (Spicy Sauce)
- 5 tbsp Rice Syrup
- 2 tbsp Mashed Garlic
- 2 ½ tbsp Ketchup
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 2 tbsp Gochujang (Korean Chilli Paste)
- 1 tbsp Gochugaru (Korean Red Pepper Powder)
- 1 tbsp Water
- ¼ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
- A few drops of Tabasco
- 4 tbsp Roasted Peanuts, Mashed
- A pinch of Roasted Sesame Seeds
- To make the marinade, put the curry powder, ginger powder, Mirin, sea salt and black pepper in a small bowl and mix well. Put the chicken pieces into a big enough bowl and pour over the marinade. Stir everything together making sure every piece of chicken is covered in the marinade and set aside for 1 hour.
- While the chicken is marinating, make the batter. Pour the flour, potato starch, baking powder, rice wine, cold water, sea salt and a large egg into a bowl. Mix them well. When the chicken is ready, pour the batter over the marinated chicken and give them a mix until the chicken has a good coating of batter. If you like thicker batter, add more flour to the batter. I like this thickness.
- Heat the vegetable oil over a high heat. Put the chicken in the pan when the oil reaches between 170-190°C/340-375°F. You will need to fry the chicken in batches. I fried them in 3 batches. I sorted each batch into equal size pieces so they would all cook at the same time. It is very important not to overcrowd the pan as the oil will cool too much and the chicken will stick together. Fry each batch until they are half cooked inside and set aside. It took me around 4-5 minutes for each batch. When all the chicken is half cooked, fry each batch again for 4-5 minutes to crisp up the batter. The cooking time differs depending on the size of the chicken pieces.
- Now, we can make the Yangnyeom sauce. Add the rice syrup, mashed garlic, ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, gochujang (Korean chilli paste), gochugaru (Korean red pepper powder), water, Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce to a frying pan. Turn on the heat to low and keep stirring until the sauce starts to boil.
- Take off the heat and add the mashed peanuts and mix them into the sauce.
- Put the fried chicken into the pan and coat well with the sauce. The recipe is makes enough sauce to cover half of the chicken pieces because in Korea Yangnyeom Fried Chicken is serve half and half. Half of the chicken with sauce, half without. If you want to cover all your chicken in the sauce just double the Yangnyeom ingredients.
- Sprinkle the chicken with the roasted sesame seeds and serve immediately. Enjoy your Korean Fried Yangnyeom Chicken with ice cold beer or cola!