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Cooking at home for every meal drives you to start craving fast food, an escape from the typical family meal. There are only so many sandwiches and soups a man can take! Fried chicken is absolutely my guilty pleasure, and with kids around, we tend to get fried chicken poppers. Looking in my pantry and finding Korean chili flakes (gochugaru) and dijon mustard, I start to get a crazy idea for combining flavors to spice things up.
Just when you think fried chicken can’t get better, along comes Korean fried chicken. The quest for perfect fried chicken is truly never-ending, someone or somewhere always having a magic touch with the part of the process. The thin batter and double-frying sing to me with its crispy crunch just before reaching perfectly cooked chicken. No signs of soggy, undercooked batter here.
Korean fried chicken has a very thin coating, it almost cracks like an eggshell when you eat it. This style differs quite a bit from the traditional southern fried chicken with peaks of batter, sometimes double-dipped, creating an entire second element to the dish.
The trick here is frying the chicken twice. Halfway through frying the chicken, you remove the chicken with a wire strainer and allow it to cool for a few minutes. The second fry happens, and you have a perfectly crispy thin crust. The cool down period helps to prevent the crust from over-browning, as it’s incredibly thin.
Honey Mustard Korean
I am inspired by this new BBQ seasoning that came out, Honey Mustard IPA Rub by Spiceology. Chicken with honey mustard is a match made in heaven, reminding me of my childhood dinners and after-school specials. Pair that with the flavors of beer? Yes, please.
Let’s talk about the delicious combination of dijon mustard, honey, and gochujang. Yes, this is a delicious combo. It’s quickly become our house favorite dipping sauce, hitting on all of the notes of spicy, savory, and sweet. Dip the crispy chicken in, take a bite, and go grab another beer – you will need it!
Authentic Korean Fried Chicken?
This recipe is not claiming authenticity, other than using the double fry technique and flavors used in Korean food. There are some great recipes out there, and you’ll no doubt find a number of variations. Similar to traditional fried chicken, everyone has their magic touch with different flours, seasonings and sauces.
You’ll notice that my recipe below calls for beer. The crispiest crust possible would come from a combo of water and vodka, but I’m also looking for a little bit of flavor in my batter. Alcohol evaporates quicker than water, dehydrating the batter much faster and making it more crispy. The higher the proof of alcohol, generally also the less amount of flavor imbued as well.
Pair this with Korean Honey Mustard sauce for a huge kick!
Highly recommend a spider strainer for frying if you don’t have one. This has made everything incredibly easy.
Check out these other flavor ideas, feel free to get creative!
- Lemon Pepper Chicken – These flavors are classic with chicken, and delicious with fried chicken. Combine lemon zest, fresh ground pepper and parsley for a punch. You could use dried parsley if you wanted to add it in the batter, or finish off the chicken with a side of parsley butter to serve.
- Nashville Hot Chicken – The incredibly bold flavors of chiles belongs on any fried chicken recipe. Add your preferred spice mix with garlic and chiles into bowl, and pour some of that fry oil into it to create a chile paste. Brush your chicken with the fiery paste right after you fry and get ready for flavors.
- Mexican Flavors – Using a combination of cumin, chile powders, Mexican oregano and garlic, you could quickly turn this into a fiesta. Top the crispy pile with crema, cilantro and hot sauce.
This Korean fried chicken uses a premade from Spiceology, but you can use your own spices or flavors. To create a similar flavor profile for honey mustard, you can mix a combo of mustard powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, salt, and chile powder.
Traditionally, Korean fried chicken uses potato starch. It’s possible you don’t have this in your kitchen, and corn starch is a close substitute. To make this recipe you definitely need one or the other, or the crispy crust won’t be so crispy!
- Cooks Illustrated: The Role of Beer in Beer Batter
- NY Times: Koreans Share Their Secret for Chicken With a Crunch
This super crispy Korean fried chicken has a very thin coating. Loaded with flavors of spicy honey mustard and beer, you won’t be able to stop.
- Slice the chicken breasts into smaller pieces, roughly 1″ or slightly larger in size.
- Combine 2 tsp salt and 1/4 C starch and 1/2 tsp of the baking powder in a large bowl, whisking to incorporate. Add the chicken breast and toss to make sure everything is coated. Transfer the chicken to a wire rack on a baking sheet. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow for the batter to bond to the chicken.
- Preheat at least 2″ deep of neutral oil to 350°F in a pot or Dutch oven for frying.
- While the oil heats up, prepare the batter. Combine the 2 tsp Spiceology rub, 1/2 C starch, 1/2 tsp baking powder, gochugaru, and the AP flour, Whisk to incorporate all ingredients together. Add in the cold beer and whisk until a very thin, smooth batter is formed. You may need to add a few drops of water if it’s too thick.
- Add some chicken breast to the batter, dripping the excess batter off one at a time. Carefully lower into the hot oil, and repeat until you have enough in the oil without overcrowding. Using a slotted spatula or spider strainer, make sure you rotate the chicken pieces so they are evenly cooked and golden brown, for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the chicken breast pieces and place them on a paper towel-lined wire rack. Continue to fry the rest of the chicken for their first round, adding to the rack.
- Once the first round of frying is complete, take half of the chicken and add it back to the hot oil. It’s not as important to avoid overcrowding at this point, we’re just going to fry for 2 additional minutes to form the crispy crust. Make sure you’re using the strainer to adjust the chicken, assuring each side is being fried.
- After 2 minutes, transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined plate, season immediately with sprinkles of the Spiceology rub (or salt). Keep warm while you finish the rest of the chicken and serve.
This super crispy Korean fried chicken has a very thin coating. Loaded with flavors of spicy honey mustard and beer, you won’t be able to stop. This recipe makes enough for 4-5 servings, depending on the chicken breast size. If you can’t find gochugaru (Korean chile flakes) then crushed red peppers, or chile powder are welcome substitutes.
Keywords: Fried chicken, korean fried chicken, korean food, spicy, honey mustard