Korean HOT Fried Chicken

For a version of classic Korean fried chicken that truly rules the roost, these juicy, boneless chicken wings or thighs are coated in a light batter to produce an extra-crispy crust, then lacquered with a gingery hot pepper paste. Serve it as a snack on its own or as part of a meal with rice and steamed or roasted veggies.

Serves 4

Ingredients

Vegetable oil (for frying)
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon Ginger finely chopped
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
Ground black pepper
1/2 cup vodka
1kg chicken thighs or wings

Preparation

Place a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet near the burner. In a heavy, broad saucepan, place a deep-fry thermometer, then pour in oil to a depth of 1 1/2″. Heat on high until a thermometer reads 175 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, roast sesame seeds in a small pan over medium-low heat until gently brown, 3–5 minutes, turning often. Transfer to a platter and set aside to cool.

In the same skillet, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add the whites of the scallions and the ginger. Cook, stirring often, for 1 minute, or until scallions are tender. Whisk in the gochujang and brown sugar, then reduce to a low heat and remove from the fire. 1/4 cup water, whisked together Place the sauce in a large mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap to keep warm; put aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, combine cornstarch, flour, salt, baking powder, and a good sprinkle of pepper. Whisk together the vodka and 1/2 cup cold water until a smooth, loose batter forms. Toss in the chicken to coat.

Remove the chicken from the batter with tongs, allowing excess to drop back into the basin. Transfer to heated oil and fry, in batches if necessary, until brown and crispy, 6–8 minutes per batch, turning periodically with a slotted spoon to keep pieces from adhering together and adjusting heat as required to maintain 175°C.

Place the fried chicken on the rack that has been prepared. Toss the chicken in the reserved sauce, being careful not to overcook it. Place on a serving plate and serve. Top with coriander, toasted sesame seeds and perhaps some extra sliced red chilies.

Nicholas Lin

Nick is a multi-faceted, entrepreneur, restauranteur, and luxury curator. Passionate about wine, good food, fitness and travel, Nick left his management consulting job in New York City to pursue his passions for food and started a chain of sit-down restaurants in Singapore. After exiting the F&B business in 2019, he began to explore his other passions for fine wines, luxury travel, and a healthy lifestyle. Nick obtained WSET level 2 and attends numerous wine masterclasses each year. He writes about a myriad of topics and aspires to produce films in the very near future.

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