Yangnyeom Chicken (Spicy Korean Fried Chicken Recipe)

My restaurant-style Korean fried chicken (KFC) is double fried until extra crispy, then tossed in a sticky, sweet and spicy sauce. The only Korean Fried Chicken recipe you’ll ever need!

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Korean fried chicken wings and drumsticks tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce and sprinkled with sesame seeds - Korean fried chicken recipe

Yangneyom chicken (양념치킨) is a crispy and tender Korean 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 spicy 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 and I think it can easily compete with its American brother.

 Korean Fried Chicken – the other KFC

If you like deep-fried chicken, you should really give this Korean fried chicken recipe a try, especially if you haven’t tried “the other KFC”. The thin crust is extra crispy from double frying, and the sweet and spicy sauce is simply amazing!

The sweet and spicy red sauce is what makes this Korean fried chicken recipe so special. The 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 Korean fried chicken recipe, I used Heinz chili sauce instead of ketchup. The chili sauce has more spice, so it gives an 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.  

yangnyeom chicken aka. Korean fried chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds and served in a paper-lined oval dish

 

Tips and Variations on this Korean Fried Chicken recipe: 

 I marinated the chicken with a little bit of salt, pepper and ginger, and then lightly coated it with the potato starch. This gives it the nice thin crust. You can also use a 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 a relatively low temperature and then fry them again at a high temperature. The first frying can be done ahead of time.

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.

If you let the oil temperature go up too high, turn the heat off until it cools down to the desired temperature.

I used chicken wings here, but any cut of chicken will work. If you don’t like chicken you can also use the sweet and spicy Korean sauce to coat other fried food or as a dipping sauce for fries. 

For a kid-friendly version of this Korean fried chicken, just use ketchup and omit the gochujang.

FAQ: 
Which side dishes shall I serve with Korean Fried Chicken? 

 I like to serve Korean fried chicken with light and refreshing side dishes like my pickled cucumbers or this sweet and sour radish salad. 

 

a hand holding a Korean fried chicken wing coated in sweet and spicy sauce with a dish with more fried chicken in the background

How is Korean Fried Chicken different from the American version? 

Even though it’s fried twice, Korean fried chicken feels a lot lighter than other styles of fried chicken. There is less batter, so the chicken skin is crispier while the meat remains very moist.

How to make this Korean Fried Chicken recipe: 

Start by washing the chicken wings, then drain them thoroughly. Season them with the salt, pepper, and ginger and let them marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.

In the meantime, 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 this sweet and spicy sauce until it thickens slightly, about 4 to 5 minutes. Then, turn the heat off. 

Remove any excess water from the marinated chicken, dab dry and coat with the potato starch (or corn). Heat the oil in a deep fryer, wok, or large pot to 320°F.

Using tongs or chopsticks, drop the chicken into the oil, one piece at a time. Fry them in two batches to not reduce the oil temperature too much. Cook until lightly golden, about 5 to 7 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken wings. Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack or in a large mesh strainer set on a bowl.

Reheat the oil to 370°F. Add the chicken (you can do this in one batch for the second frying), and deep fry the chicken again, for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly golden brown.

Drain for a second time on a wire rack or in a large mesh strainer set on a bowl.  In the meantime, heat the sweet and spicy sauce medium-low heat. Add the drained, Korean fried chicken, and stir well until the chicken wings are evenly coated.

Sprinkle your Korean fried chicken with sesame seeds and serve.

Did you make and love this Korean Fried Chicken recipe? Give it your review below! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram!

5 from 2 votes
Korean Fried Chicken {Yangnyeom Chicken}
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Marinating
30 mins
Total Time
45 mins
 

Try this finger-licking-good recipe for restaurant-style Korean fried chicken (KFC) - double fried until extra crispy, then tossed in a sticky, sweet and spicy sauce. 

Course: Main
Cuisine: Asian, Korean
Keyword: chicken, dinner, easy, fried, Korean, restaurant-style, sauce, spicy, sweet and spicy
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hyosun Ro
Ingredients
For the chicken:
  • 2 pounds chicken about 16 drumettes and wingettes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 cup potato starch or corn starch (or deep-frying mix)
  • 5-6 cups oil for frying
For the sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine or mirin
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons hot sauce I used Frank’s Original
  • 4 tablespoons chili sauce or ketchup I used Heinz chili sauce
  • 2 tablespoons gochujang Korean red chili pepper paste
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup or honey
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey dijon mustard - optional
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
For the garnish:
  • 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.
    DSC_0720
  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
Recipe Notes

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.
If you let the oil temperature go up too high, turn the heat off until it cools down to the desired temperature.

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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.
  14. Great recipe, made it last night and it was so yummy! Question: how advance can the first frying be? Could I do the first frying the night before, refrigerate and fry the second time the next day? Thanks!
  15. Tried it today, it is AMAZING. Thank you so much! I added more chilli sauce and chopped 1 onion bulb instead of grating it because i love onion, still came out perfect. This is my first attempt at making korean food in general, I am so pleased that it came out so good. Thank you!
  16. hi, can the gochajang cili paste be replace with other chili paste? example dry chili paste?
  17. ZiedaLolo says:
    This recipe is a treasure and definitely our favorite!! Thank you for sharing.
  18. this was so helpful thanks btw love you recipes