Yangnyeom Chicken (Spicy Korean Fried Chicken)

This 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!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!

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

How to prepare the chicken 

For this Korean fried 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 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.

Sweet and spicy sauce for Korean fried chicken

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!

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.

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

I like to serve Korean fried chicken with light and refreshing side dishes like my 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

Have you tried this Korean Fried Chicken recipe?  Please rate the recipe below by either clicking the stars in the recipe card or in the comment section! And make sure to share your creations by tagging me on Instagram! Stay in touch by following me on PinterestTwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

DSC 08613 150x150 1 - Yangnyeom Chicken (Spicy Korean Fried Chicken)

Korean Fried Chicken {Yangnyeom Chicken}

4.5 from 18 votes
Main
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinating: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hyosun
Print Recipe

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

  • Wash chicken wings, and drain thoroughly. Mix with the salt, pepper, and ginger. Marinate for 20 to 30 minutes.
    yangnyeom chicken
  • 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.
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  • 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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  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

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.
Tried this recipe?Mention @koreanbapsang or tag #koreanbapsang!
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