Andrew came into the kitchen one evening and said bluntly, “We’ve been having a lot of soup.” Although this isn’t entirely true (we’d had soup once a week for about a month, hardly what I consider a lot), but I took heed. I started browsing for something new and exciting, and the search ended when I ran into Saveur’s Korean Fried Chicken.
Aside from the chile paste, I had everything I needed. This will surprise him, I thought. But then I dipped my spoon into the spicy glaze for a taste and my throat burned. I quickly downed half a glass of milk, and proceeded to add loads more honey, and a little extra soy sauce and rice wine vinegar to mellow the flavors. The end result was a surprisingly finger-licking-good dinner.
Korean Fried Chicken
Recipe adapted from Saveur
Use chicken wings, drum sticks, or whatever you can find. And don’t skimp on the double frying. It makes the chicken super crispy.
Canola oil, for frying
5 cloves garlic
1 1 1⁄2" piece peeled ginger
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. Korean chile paste (find it in the Asian section of your supermarket)
1 1⁄2 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tbsp. Asian sesame oil
1 tbsp. honey
2⁄3 cup flour
1 tbsp. cornstarch
16 chicken wings (about 1 3⁄4 lbs.)
1. Pour oil into a 6-qt. pot to a depth of 2", or heat oil in a deep fryer. Heat over medium-high heat until a thermometer reads 350˚. Chop garlic and ginger in a food processor. Add soy, gojujang, vinegar, sesame oil, and honey; purée. Put sauce into a bowl.
Sauce note: I found these measurements to be on the spicy side. The glaze will be all about your preferences. Start with less chile paste, and add more if you want more kick. Alternatively, if it’s too hot, add more honey, vinegar and soy sauce to cool it down.
2. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and 2⁄3 cup water in another bowl. Add chicken; toss. Working in 3 batches, fry chicken until golden, 6–8 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Return oil to 350˚. Fry chicken until crisp, 6–8 minutes more. Drain again. Brush the sauce onto chicken and serve, sprinkled with chopped green onion.