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korean fried chicken
Photo: istolethetv on Flickr

Southern fried chicken, this is not. Korean fried chicken is somewhat of an anomaly: Double-fried, yet somehow ungreasy. It couldn’t be improved by stuffing it with cheese or skewering it on a stick. It asks for nothing more than a frosty mug of beer or a refreshing soju cocktail, maybe a side of crunchy pickled radishes or some pungent, flavor-enhancing kimchi. And it is spicy, thanks to a toss in sticky, sweet glaze spiked with fiery hot gojujang, Korean red chili paste. 

Korean fried chicken owes its earth-shattering crunch and sealed-in juiciness to the combination of flours used to dredge the chicken pieces before frying (the first time): Wheat, rice and potato, and cornstarch. Los Angeles chain Kyochon first popularized Korean-style fried chicken, and ever since we discovered the tangy, lingering heat combined with a texture that echoes merrily in your head, regular old Buffalo wings just haven’t tasted the same.