Lately I’ve been craving spicy, comfort foods and for me Korean fried chicken is definitely one of them. Korean fried chicken is something my sister and I grew up with. My mom never made it (she’s not a big fan of frying or fried foods), but every now and then we would go to the Korean market with my mom and she would get us an order of honey and peanut (which by the way, peanuts need to be crushed and sprinkled onto a lot more savory stuff) glazed Korean fried chicken in the prepared foods section and we would happily nosh on the package together because it was a big pile of sweet, sticky, crispy, rich, deliciousness. Even if it was slightly soggy from steaming in the package on the way home, we didn’t care, it was just that good to us.
I’m not sure why this random childhood food memory of eating fried chicken is so clear in both our minds. Maybe it’s because during the peak of our “cat-fighting stage” of sisterhood we were able to set whatever adolescent issue we had with one another aside and enjoy a casual meal together with a lot of parent gossip and laughs. Those times growing up were my absolute favorite.
Today we have a similar version of this nostalgic meal but in nugget form….yep, Korean Chicken Nuggets, and with a spicy Korean bbq sauce. These are easy to pop in your mouth bone/hassle free and although the sauce is quite spicy, the drizzle of honey helps to balance the heat and the black sesame seeds add a nice nutty flavor and crunch. (OR you can substitute crushed peanuts, which are also delicious) I know frying can be a pain in the butt at times, but when the right occasion calls for it, these are totally worth the extra work. Enjoy! xx, Jenny
Korean Fried Chicken
Serves 5 to 7
Spicy Korean bbq sauce:
¼ cup gochugang (Korean Chile Paste)
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons peeled and minced ginger
1 green onion, thinly sliced
2 ½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons sesame oil
12 chicken tenders, each cut into 3 equal pieces
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 ¼ cup cold water
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil for frying
1. Preheat oil to 350°F.
2. For the spicy Korean bbq sauce: Place all ingredients into a bowl and whisk together until fully incorporated. Set aside.
3. Sift together the flour and cornstarch into a mixing bowl. Whisk in water until fully incorporated and no lumps remain.
4. Dip each nugget piece into the batter and shake to remove any excess. Carefully drop each battered nugget into the hot oil and fry for 5 to 6 minutes (this will have to be done in batches).
5. Drain onto paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Once all nuggets have been fried, place nuggets back into the fryer and fry a second time (double fry) for 5 to 7 minutes or until light golden brown and crispy. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
6. Using a pastry brush, paint each nugget with a small amount of the spicy bbq sauce, garnish with black sesame seeds and finish with a drizzle of honey.
**You can pour the sauce into a bowl, thin it out with a small amount of water, add the nuggets and toss together to coat them quickly, before transferring onto a serving dish with a slotted spoon and garnishing