This is the week we celebrate Earth Day. But I know that no one wants to come to a food blog and read about overfished seas, rising global temperatures, factory farming, or food scarcity. So let’s talk about delicious solutions instead! Eating lower on the read more
Tag: korean food
I love interactive meals, where I set out an assortment of yummy things and let everyone assemble their own. Korea has an entire food culture built around this concept, known as ssam. Ssam basically means wrapped, and the wrapper of choice is usually some type of lettuce. read more
I think KFC Night might mean something different in my house. Nothing against the Colonel mind you, but make my fried chicken Korean please! Shatteringly crispy and glazed with a sticky sweet and spicy sauce, Korean Fried Chicken is having a real moment lately. Even Shake Shack has been getting in on the fun. We first started serving it a couple years ago in the restaurants as a special, and it always sells out. There’s just something about it that’s so addictive.
I have made this recipe several times at home to insure it comes out perfectly every time, even if you’ve never made fried chicken before. Once you do make my Korean Fried Chicken, you’ll never want any other kind of KFC.
What Makes Korean Fried Chicken So Good?!
There are so many reasons and one of them is the sauce! Made from Korean pantry staples like gochujang, it really takes the chicken over the top! It’s spicy, sweet, garlicky, and a little smoky. What’s not to love? And then the marinade adds another layer of flavor. Don’t worry, this one doesn’t need an overnight soak- but if you want to get it out of the way the day before, I think that’s not a bad idea. The marinade guarantees a tasty chicken under the tasty crust. Speaking of crust…the secret to its almost glass-like crispiness? Frying twice, and using potato starch instead of flour. Potato starch fries up much crispier than wheat flour, and it holds that crisp for far longer. Using potato starch makes this fried chicken gluten free, although the sauce is not :(.
Wait For Right Temperature
Once the oil is at the proper temperature, it’s time for the first fry. If you don’t have an oil/candy thermometer, you can check to see if you have the right temperature by dipping one chicken wing into the oil. If the oil immediately bubbles around the wing, it’s ready to use. Add half the wings to the oil, and leave them undisturbed for the first few minutes. This allows the coating to set so you can keep all of that crunchy goodness from flaking off. Fry for a total of 10 minutes.
Once you’re done frying the first batch, then fry the second half of the wings, also for 10 minutes. Most people, including me, do not have a large wok or something wide and deep enough, to accommodate 2 1/2 pounds of wings in one go. So you’ll need to fry in batches. But for the second fry, you can put the wings all together into the oil and again cook for 10-12 minutes.
Frying Twice Makes All the Difference
These wings are different from a typical fried chicken, which usually fries at a higher temperature for a shorter amount of time. The slow and steady heat, combined with the double fry, really allows the crust to get unbelievably crunchy without burning. Make sure to strain out any bits floating in the oil after each fry, or they will burn and add a bitter flavor. It’s also important to allow the oil to recover heat between fries so you start the chicken off at the right temperature each time.
However, don’t make the assumption that double fry equals dry chicken. The lower temperature keeps the chicken tender and juicy while giving the crust enough time to get extra crunchy. You’ve gotta try it to believe it.
Finally, it’s time to add the magical Korean Fried Chicken Sauce! We bring out the aroma in the garlic with a little oil and then heat up the sauce to coat the wings. The sauce is boldly flavored, so you’re looking for a light coating on each wing. Do not let the sauce cook down too much in the pan or you will not have enough for the entire batch of wings.
Serving Korean Fried Chicken
If you just can’t get enough of Korean flavors, try serving this with spicy bean sprouts and radish kimchi. Koreans always serve fried chicken with cubed sweet and sour radish pickles; maybe a future post! For now, if you’re eager to try it, I would recommend using the brine in the banh mi recipe and cutting the daikon or Korean radish into mini cubes instead of shredding it.
For an excellent pairing, a little ice cold beer to offset the spice would hit the spot. This Korean Fried chicken is so delicious; I know you’re going to love it too. Make sure to rate or drop a comment below, and let’s see your gorgeous platters of crispy red chicken-tag us in your insta pics @funkyasiankitchen.
- 2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoons sugar
- 3 Tablespoons ketchup
- 4 Tablespoons gochujang
- 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoon neutral oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ½ pounds chicken wings, cut into drummette and wing
- 1 Tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- a teaspoon ground garlic
- a teaspoon of salt
- ¼ ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Korean chili flakes
- 1 egg
- Oil for frying (vegetable or peanut works best)
- 1 ½ cups potato starch
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
Make the sauce:
- In a small bowl combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, ketchup, gochujang, and sesame oil.
- Stir and set aside.
Prep the chicken:
- In a large bowl, combine the wings, ginger, soy sauce, ground garlic, ground black pepper, salt, Korean chili flakes, and egg.
- Mix to combine, making sure all of the chicken is smeared with the marinade. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large deep skillet or dutch oven for 10 minutes over medium heat. You will need about 3 inches of oil. If you are using a thermometer, the temperature should read 325.
- While the oil is heating, mix the potato starch with the baking soda well. Coat your chicken by dredging it through the potato starch mixture. Set aside on a plate and dredge all of the other pieces.
- Dip one wing in the oil to see if it is the right temperature. The oil should immediately start to seize and bubble around the piece. If not, continue heating the oil for several more minutes before frying the chicken.
- Add half of the wings, one by one, into the oil gently. Do not touch the wings for the first 3 minutes to allow the crust to set. Cook the wings for an additional 7 minutes and then take the pieces of chicken out and set it aside in a bowl. Using a strainer, scoop any foam or impurities from the oil. Let the oil come back to the correct temperature, about 3 minutes.
- Then add the other half of the wings to the oil. Again cook for 10 minutes and then take the chicken out and put it with the other pieces.
- Scoop any foam or particles floating in the oil and let the oil heat up for 3 minutes, letting it come back to temperature.
- Next we are going to fry the chicken again. Add all of the chicken into the oil. It’s ok if it’s a little crowded. Fry the chicken for an additional 10-12 minutes until the chicken is golden and very crispy.
- Drain the chicken on paper towels while preparing the sauce.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Put 1 Tablespoon of neutral oil and the minced garlic into the pan and cook for 10 seconds. Add the sauce and cook for 30 seconds to heat it. Add the wings and move the pieces around to coat the chicken evenly.
- Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the wings to a large platter, Serve immediately.
* If you would like to get a head start on the wings, go ahead and marinate the chicken the day before you’re going to be frying the wings. The flavor will penetrate the wings better and you will have one step out of the way.
*Are you one of those people who loves cold fried chicken? Me too! And this chicken retains its crispy texture even cold. Unfortunately it does not reheat well (the crust gets a little soggy and the sugar in the coasting tends to burn if you get a little too aggressive re-heating it), so just eat any leftovers cold!
Keywords: korean fried chicken, korean food, spicy, gochujang
Korean staple. Condiment. Spicy, funky side dish. Probiotic superstar. Tasty filling for dumplings and omelets. Fermented health food. Base for countless stews, soups, and braises. Kimchi is all of these things. It can be an acquired taste, but once you acquire it, this Real Deal read more
Kimchi has become something of an international sensation in the last few years. And with people all over the world “discovering” it, and adding their own touches, I’ve seen everything from Kimchi Toast to (heaven help us) Kimchi Ice Cream. No doubt, I’m sure a Kimchi frappuccino is right around the corner. But at its heart, kimchi still remains what it has always been- fermented spicy vegetables, a Korean staple, and a shining example of Asian funky deliciousness. Radish Kimchi is a fast, flavorful, and exciting condiment.
Let my Radish Kimchi recipe show you how easy it is to make authentic kimchi at home, even if you’ve never tried your hand at pickling or fermenting before. Radish Kimchi is packed with probiotics (which we’re all supposed to be eating more of), quick to prepare, and only gets better with age.
A Twist On A Classic
Traditionally, radish kimchi is pickled either using whole baby sized radishes with their stems or cubed. I prefer shredded radish because I use my radish kimchi in a lot of different ways (coming soon!) such as a topping for ramen, mixed into salads, and as a condiment for rice bowls; therefore, I find the shreds to be more versatile. Plus, the thin shreds means that the fermenting process happens more quickly, and who wouldn’t want to eat it as soon as possible?
Let’s Get Fermenting!
Korean Red Pepper Flakes
While you can make a kimchi with just about any vegetable (or fruit) you can think of, there is one ingredient that is indispensable. Gochugaru, or Korean red pepper flakes, really have no substitute. Gochugaru is ground to a light coarse consistency and gives kimchi its characteristic bright red hue. It can range from mild (which still has heat) to hot. I use hot at home, because we all love spicy foods. But if you are worried about the heat level, and it will get spicier as it ferments, choose a mild one. I suggest getting milder chili flakes rather than using less because you will lose the bright red color characteristic of kimchi if you cut down on the quantity of the chili pepper.
When purchasing gochugaru, choose one that has a bright red color (not a dull reddish brown) at a store where you know there’s a lot of turnover on the product. You want the freshest bag you can find. Furthermore, it is important that you purchase the flakes and not the finely milled powder, which looks like cayenne, and is used in making Gochujang, the hot pepper paste.
Sometimes, the translation on the package may be inaccurate so take a peek through the window on the package and confirm that you see chili flakes. Although purchasing at a Korean grocery store is best and least expensive, if you have none in your area, Tae-kyung is a brand widely available online.
Korean radish is a large, mild white radish used in all kinds of dishes including soups and side dishes. It is shorter and rounder than daikon, but either can be used for this radish kimchi. I start by peeling it, cutting it into 2 inch pieces, and then making thin slices. Then stack the slices and cut into matchsticks.
Alternatively, you could also use a mandoline for this if you prefer. The inexpensive Asian mandolines make quick work of julienning vegetables and that’s what we use to shred pounds of veggies when we make kimchi at the restaurant.
Once you have your lovely radish matchsticks, put them in a bowl, add the salt and sugar, and toss to combine. It will sit for 30 minutes, creating a brining liquid. Give it a stir now and again.
Some Like It Hot (and Funky)
Meanwhile, you will make the kimchi base. Garlic, ginger, fish sauce, scallions and gochugaru- all strong and assertive flavors on their own, but put them together and funky magic happens. First mix them all together in a large bowl. Then, you will scoop the radish out of its brine, and add the radish to the kimchi base. Finally, measure out 2/3rds cup of the brining liquid, and add it to the bowl.
The best way to mix it all up is with your hands, but you definitely want to use gloves: not only to prevent the painful tragedy of accidentally rubbing your eyes with a chili flecked finger, but also because the Korean pepper flakes will dye your hands a bright red. Mix it for several minutes, making sure to get all the veggies at the bottom of the bowl coated with the spice mixture.
Pack It Up!
Once your radish kimchi is thoroughly mixed, it’s ready to be ladled into clean jars. I use glass jars, because plastic ones will absorb the red color and it will never wash out. Frankly, you don’t need any special kind of fermenting jar; any glass jar with a lid will work. Fill the jar with the kimchi, leaving an inch at the top. It will expand as it ferments, so don’t let your (kimchi) cups runneth over. Really pack the kimchi down into the jar, so there are no air pockets that could lead to spoilage. Then use a paper towel to clean the headspace you left, and put on the lid.
Repeat with the remaining kimchi, and you’re done! You can enjoy it right away, as a fresh and flavorful salad. Or you can let it sit in the fridge where it will start to take on the characteristic funky and sour notes of fermented kimchi. Serve it alongside other vegetables dishes like my Korean Style Bean Sprouts and Funky Spicy Green Beans for a fun take on Meatless Monday. Or top a bowl of rice with Perfect Fried Eggs and some kimchi for a quick meal.
You are going to love Radish Kimchi, and I hope it opens up new doors of delicious fermented foods for you to enjoy! If you make it, we want to know. Leave a comment, or tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, show us the goods!
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- 2 pounds korean radish (daikon is fine too)
- ½ tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 ½ tablespoon sugar
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 scallions chopped
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (substitute with soy sauce for vegans)
- ⅓ cup Korean hot pepper flakes
Prep the Radish:
- Peel the radish and slice thin, stack and cut the slices into a julienne. You can also use a mandoline and shred the radish.
- Put the radish into a bowl and add the kosher salt and sugar. Toss to combine. Set aside and let sit for 30 mins, tossing once or twice more.
Mix the Seasonings:
- In a separate large bowl, add the garlic, ginger, scallions, fish sauce, and Korean chile flakes. Mix well. When the radish has finished brining, scoop it out using your clean hands or a slotted spoon, and add it to the bowl of seasonings.
- Then measure out 2/3 cup of the radish juice. Put on a pair of disposable gloves and mix the radish with the seasonings and the juice, making sure to get to the bottom of the bowl.
Filling Kimchee Jars:
- Use a glass container (plastic will absorb the smell and color and you will never get it out) and scoop the radish kimchi into the container, making sure to push down on the kimchi to eliminate air pockets.
- Fill up your container, leaving a good inch at the top for the fermenting liquid to expand. Wipe down the bottle and add the lid. You can continue filling up another container in the same way if you are using smaller containers.
- You can eat it as is and it will taste more like a salad or you can put it into the fridge and start a slow fermentation where the kimchi will start to sour and ferment over the next week. Or you can do what I do, which is to leave the containers out on your kitchen counter overnight to kick start the fermentation. The kimchi will be a little bubbly at the top from the fermenting gases the next day. Then put the containers into the refrigerator. *
This kimchi will be good for at least 2 weeks in the fridge and will continue to get more sour as the fermentation continues. Make sure you use a clean fork or spoon to scoop out the kimchi. Do not use your hands as you may introduce bacteria into the container. Once you’ve taken your portion, push down on the kimchi to keep the contents submerged in liquid
Keywords: kimchi, radish, condiment