Yangnyeom Chicken (Spicy Korean Fried Chicken)

yangnyeom chicken

Yangneyom chicken (양념치킨) is deep-fried chicken smothered in a sticky, spicy red sauce. It literally translates to seasoned chicken, and along with dakgangjeong, it’s one of many variations of chicken dishes that are made popular by fast food chains in Korea. Its popularity also seems to grow fast outside Korea. In the U.S., Korean fried chicken is called “the other KFC” by some people. If you like deep-fried chicken, you should really give this recipe a try, especially if you haven’t tried “the other KFC”. The thin crust is extra crispy from double frying, and the sauce is simply amazing!

Yangnyeom chicken

I used chicken wings here, but any cut of chicken will work. I marinated the chicken with a little bit of salt, pepper and ginger, and then lightly coated with the potato starch. This gives it the nice thin crust. You can also use deep-frying mix to coat the chicken if you want. To deep fry wings nice and crispy, the Korean technique usually calls for frying them at relatively low temperature and then fry them again at a high temperature. The first frying can be done ahead of time.

The red sauce’s main ingredients typically include gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste), ketchup, garlic, and corn syrup. Gochujang and ketchup pair very well – like a match made in heaven! In this recipe, I used Heinz chili sauce instead of ketchup. The chili sauce has more spice, so it gives extra bite and depth to the sauce. I also used Frank’s hot sauce for its unique acidic flavor and heat. The sauce can be easily modified with the ingredients you have in your pantry or fridge.  You can also use the sauce to coat other fried food or as a dipping sauce. 

yangnyeom chicken

 

Yangnyeom Chicken
finger-licking Korean fried chicken (KFC) in a sticky, sweet and spicy sauce
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For the chicken
  1. 2 pounds chicken (about 16 drumettes and wingettes)
  2. 1 teaspoon salt
  3. pinch black pepper
  4. 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  5. 1/2 cup potato (or corn) starch (or deep-frying mix)
  6. oil for frying (about 5 to 6 cups)
For the sauce
  1. 2 tablespoons grated onion
  2. 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  3. 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  4. 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  5. 4 tablespoons rice wine (or mirin)
  6. 2 - 3 tablespoons hot sauce (I used Frank’s Original)
  7. 4 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup (I used Heinz chili sauce)
  8. 2 tablespoons gochujang, Korean red chili pepper paste
  9. 2 tablespoons corn syrup or honey
  10. 1 tablespoon sugar (or more to taste)
  11. 1/2 teaspoon honey dijon mustard - optional
  12. 1 teaspoon sesame oil
For the Garnish
  1. 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Wash chicken wings, and drain thoroughly. Mix with the salt, pepper, and ginger. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.
    yangnyeom chicken
  2. Heat a pan over medium low heat. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil and then the onion, garlic, and ginger. Stir for a minute until fragrant. Add all other sauce ingredients, and stir well. Simmer until it thickens slightly, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the heat off.
    DSC_0712
  3. Remove any excess water from the marinated chicken. Add the potato (or corn) starch to the chicken, and toss well to coat evenly.
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  4. Add the oil to a deep fryer, wok, or large pot. Heat the oil to 320°F. Using tongs or chopsticks, drop the chicken in the oil, one piece at a time. Fry them in two batches. Cook until lightly golden, about 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken wings. Remove them with a wire skimmer or a slotted spoon. Drain on a wire rack or in a large mesh strainer set on a bowl.
    Yangnyeom Chicken
  5. Reheat the oil to 370°F. Add the chicken (you can do this in one batch for the second frying), and deep fry again, for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly golden brown. Drain on a wire rack or in a large mesh strainer set on a bowl.
    yangnyeom chicken
  6. Heat the sauce over medium low heat. Add the chicken, and stir well until the chicken wings are evenly coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to serve.
    yangnyeom chicken
Notes
  1. Add 1 teaspoon gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes), preferably fine grounds, to the sauce ingredients, if you like it very spicy. You can grind coarse gochugaru in a spice grinder if you don't have fine grounds.
  2. If you let the oil temperature go up too high, turn the heat off until it cools down to the desired temperature.
Korean Bapsang http://www.koreanbapsang.com/

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Comments

  1. Sharon Smith says:
    How would I adapt this recipe to bake the chicken instead of frying it?
    • Just bake the wings in the oven once coated with starch, and then coated with the sauce. Or see this for the baked wings: http://www.koreanbapsang.com/2011/02/chicken-wings.html
  2. Just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed reading your blog. I discovered it a few days ago. I hope you get that cookbook published!
  3. This was amazing!!! Thank you for the recipe.
  4. Hi i just subscribed to ur blog and I love reading your description of each food. Makes me droll just reading it. How can I make this suitable for my 3 smaller kids?
    • Hi ivy - Thank you for subscribing! Just use ketchup and omit the gochujang, Korean red chili pepper paste. Hope your kids like it.
  5. Thanks for your recipes - what an amazing blog! I made this fried chicken dish and it was so delicious - thank you. I posted about it on my blog and I also gave your blog a name check on my radio show (you can listen here: https://www.mixcloud.com/Resonance/lucky-cat-25th-april-2015/). I look forward to trying other recipes. Best Wishes, Zoë
    • That's awesome! I heard it. It was at a point about 12 minutes remaining. Thank you so much for mentioning on your radio show and for the nice words! Best wishes to you as well!
  6. Hi! I really enjoyed your recipe, it looks detailed and neat~ I wonder is there any other way of deep frying or baking it? (i'm a newbie cook). 감사합니다! ^^
  7. Yui Jin Lee says:
    Thank you ...i just this site ...i love Korean food
  8. You are my saviour! Finally found recipe for Yangnyeom recipe. Beautiful!!
  9. just found out about your blog ! really enjoyed reading your blog and seriously gonna try this recipe ! and i wanna asked what type of soy sauce did you used ? is it sweet soy sauce or is there specific type of soy sauce ? hehe
  10. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I just made this today and it tasted soooooo good! Can't wait to make another batch of this!
  11. I am soooo excited to try this! I ordered Korean spices like gochujang, gochugaru and doenjang online and they arrived today 😊 thanks for this recipe 😃
  12. Sounds delicious & easy. I'll try it! Thank you, arol How about Korean Barbeque recipe?
  13. Bill Wilson says:
    I'm I missing something? You call for a teaspoon of salt and pinch of black pepper with a 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger. Then you call for 2 pounds of chicken to marinate in those 3 ingredients! That is not make a marinade. mar·i·nade is a sauce, typically made of oil, vinegar, spices, and herbs, in which meat, fish, or other food is soaked before cooking in order to flavor or soften it. verb
    • This chicken dish is deep-fried chicken smothered in a sticky, spicy red sauce. Those are just to season the chicken pieces before frying, and there are sauce ingredients right below them in the recipe.