Oooh! Don’t you love getting your hands messy in the thick sweet and spicy sauce that coats Korean fried chicken? The spices that gives a kick to your tastebuds?
It’s your ultimate guilty pleasure, Korean Fried Chicken!
History of Korean Fried Chicken
Before the economic growth in South Korea, meat was scarce and hard to find. Fried chicken was always saved for special occasions with the family and is considered a delicacy!
Back in the ‘50s to ‘60s, boiling a whole chicken with rice and ginseng is the most common way of cooking it. The chicken-rice-ginseng dish is called samgyetang. Later, in the late 1960s, Myeongdong Yeongyang Center in Seoul began selling a whole chicken grilled in an electric oven.
The trend of grilled chicken slowly evolved into fried chicken when the economic growth of South Korea gradually picked up. Chicken farming improved tremendously and cooking oil emerged and in the 1970s, non-greasy, tender, deep-fried chickens made it into the market.
The modern-day fried chicken joint, Lims Chicken was established in 1977 and was owned by the Shinsagae Department Store. Fried chicken further soared into popularity when Kentucky Fried Chicken entered its market in 1984.
Pelicana Chicken started to coat fried chicken in a sweet and spicy sauce in 1982, and it was called Yangnyeom Chicken which means seasoned chicken. By the 1990s, Lotteria, South Korea’s native fast-food chain followed suit and added on to the already competitive fried chicken market.
While Asia’s financial crisis in 1997 affected many, it did not seem to affect BBQ Chicken, who made door-to-door delivery of fried chicken a success till today.
Korean fried chicken has its fair share of varieties, and different chains used their very own “secret recipe” to create yangnyeom chicken that caters to various customers.
The fried chicken used to be a whole chicken cut into pieces, but since Korean fried chicken is usually considered as finger food, wings and drummettes are the common parts used. This gratifying snack is often paired with beer or soft drinks in South Korea.
What makes it so crispy?
This is the “secret” that sets the Korean fried chicken apart as compared to any other fried chicken in the stores. The chicken wings are fried TWICE which makes them extra crispy! The chicken wings are coated with a smooth batter made of flour and water and fried once till light golden.
The wings are taken out, and the excess grease drained. The heat is further increased, and they are fried for a second time till golden brown and crispy.
What makes it so deliciously saucy?
The awesomeness of yangnyeom chicken is not only in the frying method of the chicken but also the SAUCE. Different fried chicken chains have their own unique recipe to make their signature yangnyeom chicken flavours.
Nevertheless, some essential ingredients include gochujang (Korean Chilli Pepper Paste), soy sauce, honey, garlic and rice vinegar. The authentic gochujang gives the chicken a signature Korean spice and the honey adds on a delightful sweetness to them.
Where to get a taste of the Korean Fried Chicken?
Get a taste of authentic Korean fried chicken at BBQ Chicken, Korean Spicy Chicken and also Korean food chains like Myeongdong Topokki. Don’t forget to get yourself a cooling drink to pair with the fried chicken! It is a combo you should not miss. Get your hands messy today! Find more of Korean food on foodpanda!