Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Korean Fried Chicken)

Crispy Korean fried chicken pieces glazed in a sticky, sweet, and spicy sauce. The dakgangjeong recipe uses bite sized boneless chicken pieces, so it cooks up very fast for a quick snack! The easiest Korean fried chicken recipe you can make!Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)
 
Dakgangjeong (닭강정) is a deep-fried crispy chicken dish glazed in a sticky, sweet, and spicy sauce. It’s traditionally made with a whole chicken that’s been cut up. Some people make it only with chicken wings.
 
However, dakgangjeong made with bite sized boneless chicken pieces has become a recent food craze in Korea, adding to the growing trends of Korean fried chicken. I personally like the boneless version because it’s quicker and easier to make.

Dak means chicken in Korean. Gangjeong is a type of traditional Korean confectionery. It’s made by deep-frying sweet rice batter into crackers, coating with a syrup, and finally covering with puffed rice, sesame seeds, or nuts. Traditionally, the similar concept/technique — deep frying and coating with a sticky syrup — is also used to make various other sweet and savory dishes. Dakgangjeong is the chicken version.  
 

Crispy Korean fried chicken in a sweet tangy sauce

To make this dish, I first soaked the raw chicken in milk for a couple of hours, but it’s not absolutely necessary. The milk helps tenderize the meat and remove any odor, resulting in tender, juicy, and flavorful fried chicken. Then, marinate the chicken pieces with a little bit of salt, ginger and garlic before lightly coating them with the potato starch. 

The potato starch creates a thin, crispy crust for the fried chicken. 

Sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken sauce

The sauce is sweet and tangy with a little spicy kick from the gochujang (Korean red chili pepper paste). It’s far from fiery hot, but reduce or omit the gochujang if you’d like. You can replace gochujang partially or entirely with ketchup. It’s very common to use ketchup in a dakgangjeong sauce for a milder taste. You can also boost the heat level by simmering the sauce with a little bit of gochugaru (Korean red chili pepper flakes) or whole dried red peppers.

Garnish with chopped nuts or seeds, if desired. Peanuts are common, but sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds are great as well. 

I try not to eat too much fried food, but I couldn’t stop popping these into my mouth. So addictive! Who wouldn’t like crispy tender chicken that’s sweet, tangy, and spicy all in one bite?

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Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)

Bite sized Korean fried chicken! Sweet, sticky, crispy!

DSC 5350 150x150 1 150x150 - Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Korean Fried Chicken)
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4.53 from 36 votes

Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Korean Fried Chicken)

Crispy Korean fried chicken pieces glazed in a sticky, sweet, and spicy sauce. The dakgangjeong recipe uses bite sized boneless chicken pieces, so it cooks up very fast for a quick snack! The easiest Korean fried chicken recipe you can make!
Servings: 4
Author: Hyosun

Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thigh and/or breast
  • 1/2 cup milk optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine if not using milk
  • 1/3 cup potato starch or corn starch
  • oil for deep frying

Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine or mirin
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang Korean red chili pepper paste
  • 3 tablespoons honey or corn or rice syrup
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • pinch pepper
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped peanuts or seeds

Instructions

  • Soak the chicken pieces in milk for at least 2 hours in the fridge. This step is optional.
    Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)
  • Drain thoroughly. Remove any visible fat. Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Mix with the salt, pepper, rice wine (if you didn’t use milk) garlic, and ginger. Let it stand for 20 to 30 minutes.
    Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)
  • In a pan, add all the sauce ingredients, and stir well. Bring it to a boil. When it starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer until it thickens slightly, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the heat off.
    Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)
  • Add the potato (or corn) starch to the chicken, and mix well to coat evenly.
    Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)
  • Pour about 1 inch of oil in to a heavy bottom pan. When the oil is sufficiently hot (350°F or starts smoking), drop the chicken pieces in one at a time. Fry them in two batches. Overcrowding will drop the oil temperature too quickly. Cook until light golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove and set them on a wire rack or a paper towel-lined plate.
    Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)
  • Reheat the oil to 350°F. Deep fry again until golden brown, about 30 to 40 seconds. You can do the second frying in one batch.
    Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)
  • Heat the sauce over medium low heat. Add the chicken and stir well until the chicken pieces are evenly coated.
    Dakgangjeong (Sweet Crispy Chicken)
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