Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Korean Fried Chicken (양념 치킨) - KFC style!

I love my wife. She always has the cravings that end up in us eating delicious meals. The other night was no exception, and I was more than impressed with her ingenuity. Korean fried chicken is a great meal, especially when enjoyed with a jug of cold beer (but it's almost as good on its own). Our favourite is the fried chicken covered in the sweet chili sauce, but we didn't want to drive over to Kyochon on Robson to get it, nor spend that much money.

With my wife's dedication to her cause, we ended up with this:

It was pretty simple, all told.  Send her husband up to KFC to buy a bucket of chicken, prepare the sauce, and mix it all up.  The usual style for this chicken (in Korea) is to basically hack the chicken to pieces, fry it up, and cover it in the sauce.  While I like the taste, I'm not a fan of the chopping method employed: I never really know what section of the fowl I am eating, and I like to know where the bones are going to be.  Back to KFC: I wasn't sure how it would work, with the famous 'secret spices' involved in the KFC batter.  Nonetheless, I ventured out into the rain to pick up a bucket of the finger licken' good chicken.

Meanwhile, my wife started on the sauce.  (T = tablespoon)

  • 6 T ketchup
  • 1/2 T crushed garlic
  • 2 T minced onion
  • 1 T hot sauce
  • 1 T soya sauce
  • 1 T gochujjang (Korean chili paste)**  You can usually buy it at any Korean store ~ comes in a tub.
  • 3 T corn syrup
Mix it all up, add:
  • 3 T water
Bring to a boil in a frying pan while stirring.  Add the chicken, give it a few more stirs to fully coat, and away you go!  We got a 10 piece bucket, and she managed to coat five of them easily.

I honestly don't think that I can ever eat KFC again, at least without the sauce my wife made.  It was easily the best KFC I have ever had.  Not to mention the best Korean Fried Chicken I've ever had.  If you go for it, I'd recommend not coating more chicken than you will eat though ~ the non-coated chicken will heat up nicely in the oven, ready for a fresh coat of sauce.  On the other hand, you lose a lot of the texture if you coat it and try to heat it up after.  And texture, in my opinion, is one of the most understated parts of eating!

** An easy gochujjang substitute that will do in a pinch:
  • 1/3 cup fine or medium ground dried red chili pepper
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/4 small white or yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • water as needed to mix it into a thick paste

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