Korean Fried Chicken 2, the spicy version

by Beyond Kimchee on January 26, 2012 · 33 comments


Spicy Korean Fried Chicken

I received a revelation (?).
“Thou shall make another KFC (Korean Fried Chicken), nevertheless it shall be spicy…”.
It was a still small voice that came from my hungry stomach, ha ha ha!
I had posted a non-spicy version of KFC and this is a sequel episode.

Chicken is our global protein source.
Some people don’t eat pork and some don’t eat beef for their religious belief.
Some people don’t eat fish nor seafood because they are not used to, and some don’t eat tofu because they just can’t stand it.
But, chicken?
Everyone in this planet eat chicken at least 2-3 times a week I bet.., except those who are vegetarians, or those who witnessed the murdering of chicken.
I sometimes wonder if our chickens ever realize how popular they are in this world.



Anyhow, Koreans love their chicken fried just like Col. Sanders in Kentucky did in his.
This spicy fried chicken is one of our favorite, and it will make you lick your fingers off!

It is not overly spicy either for your sake.
Then, of course, you can hide a tablespoon of cayenne chili powder in the sauce to knock off your husband’s buddies who come over for Superbowl game and claims your brand new HD flat screen TV as if their own.
Here is how;

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken

“May I take your coat?”
This step is totally optional and depends on your preference.
I would remove the skin of these wings since they will enter to my family’s stomach.
If you like the skin, don’t bother…

Season your lovely chicken with some ginger, rice wine, salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a blender combine onion, ginger, garlic.

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken

Spin their lives together until smooth.

Grab these sauce ingredients.

This is strawberry preservative. Apricot is another good option.
Yes, I know…, it is quite a random thing to add in Korean chicken recipe, but trust me. I know what I am doing.

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken

Combine them all together in a sauce pan.

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken

You might want to smash the strawberry chunks if there are any.

Bring them to gentle boil…

and simmer for 3-4 minutes over low heat stirring occasionally until it gets slightly thicken.
Taste the sauce!  You will so madly fall in love that you will want to drizzle on your ice cream.
Set aside.

Go back to your lonely chicken. Put them in a Ziploc bag with some corn starch.

Shake them, babe!

Drop your chicken in a hot frying oil and cook for 3-5 minutes.
I like to deep fry twice.

After first frying, the color is somewhat unappealing and less crunch.
Put them back in the hot oil and fry again for the second time, about 2-3 minutes.

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken

After second frying.  This is what we call NGB; nice golden brown.

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken

Smother the fried chicken with the sauce. Just toss them around in a pot.

Spicy Korean Fried Chicken

Sprinkle some nuts of your choice as garnish. I used walnuts and sesame seeds. Almonds, peanuts, pine nuts are good options, too.

Yes, very sticky.

So make sure your fingers are religiously clean to be worth of licking.

The strawberry preserve in the sauce will give the

“je ne sais quoi” that no one can guess.

Now, even though I made both versions of spicy and non-spicy KFC

I still can’t decide which one I like better.

To be spicy, or not to be spicy,

that is the question.

Oh, Hamlet
Where are thou?


Spicy Korean Fried Chicken
Korean Fried Chicken (spicy version)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 2 lb chicken drummettes and wings
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • canola oil for frying
  • 2 tablespoon chopped walnut, peanut, or almond for garnish
For the sauce:
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ¼" slice fresh ginger, or 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, or ¼ tsp powdered ginger
  • 4 tablespoon Korean chili paste
  • 2 tablespoon soy sauce (low sodium if possible)
  • 2-3 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoon strawberry or apricot preserve or jam
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon corn syrup
  1. Season chicken pieces with rice wine, ginger, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a small blender or processor, puree onion, garlic, ginger together until smooth.
  3. In a saucepan, pour the onion puree and add the rest of sauce ingredients, mix well. You might need to smash the chunks of strawberries, if there are any, with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bring the pot of sauce over medium heat and boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3-4 minutes until it gets thicken slightly. Set aside.
  5. Place the chickens in a ziplock bag and add cornstarch. Shake the bag well to coat the chicken thoroughly.
  6. Heat oil in a heavy skillet until it reaches 170-180 degree. Drop the chicken and fry for 3-5 minutes until it gets lightly golden. Take them out and place on a plate with paper towel.
  7. When all the chicken pieces are fried, go back to the first batch and fry for second time, about 2-3 minutes or until they get nicely golden brown.
  8. Put fried chicken pieces in the pot of sauce and toss well to coat evenly. Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and sprinkle chopped nuts over. Enjoy
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4-6 as an appetizer



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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

Lyndsey@TheTinySkillet January 25, 2012 at 6:17 am

The KFC certainly looks like a piece of art! Wonderful directions and photos. I can imagine how finger-licking good they are! :d


ReNee McDonald January 25, 2012 at 7:24 am

OH my goodness….it is 8 am…and I want to go make these little lovelies…RIGHT NOW!!!  I can't wait to try them!!!  Thank you for sharing!


Joanne (Inspired Taste) January 25, 2012 at 12:24 pm

These look so sticky and good! Can't wait to give them a try!


Simply Tia January 25, 2012 at 2:22 pm

That photo of the cow is gorgeous. I loveeee photos of cattle for some reason. BUT your chicken looks great!!! I'm going to give your recipe a go! Thanks for sharing. 



beyondkimchee January 25, 2012 at 4:21 pm

Thanks ReNee. They are good and hope you can give it a try.


beyondkimchee January 25, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Thanks for the compliment, Lindsey. They are on the sticky side but the sauce is so finger licking good.


beyondkimchee January 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Thanks Joanne. They are indeed good.


FigFondue January 25, 2012 at 6:42 pm

this looks excellent. will have to try it, but where on earth did you find chicken that looks so tender and rich in Hong Kong? the supermarkets we go to (taste, and one i can't remember the name of in Tai Koo's Cityplaza) have horrible stiff chicken! 


Dumpling Love January 26, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Looks delicious! Great idea to skin the chicken…I'm going to try that next time. This is making me even more hungry! haha. Thanks for sharing =)


beyondkimchee January 26, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Luckily I live in Malaysia now that I can access kampong chicken here. I remember chicken was not that flavorful nor tender in HK. Look for organic chicken in Oliver's or Great at pacific place.


Faye January 30, 2012 at 12:29 am

That looks amazing ! I've been following your blog since my studies in US – I just returned to KL for a job and its so funny that I found out you have moved to KL :) 

Your recipes are great. 


kitchenriffs January 30, 2012 at 7:36 am

Make mine extra spicy, please.  Nice recipe – I love the strawberry preserves.  It does sound a little strange at first, but mentally tasting it, it seems like a perfect fit.  An interesting version might be to substitute some maple syrup for the preserves, and substitute dark soy sauce for the lighter (maple syrup and dark soy sauce are a great combo, I've recently learned).  Anyway, thanks for this.


Nora saad700 January 31, 2012 at 2:15 am

Seems to be delicious

I do not eat pork because it is forbidden religious (I am a Muslim)

Is it possible to find a way to have rice

I want to learn Korean cooking but I want to
substitute alcohol and pork?

Alcohol and pork is forbidden.


beyondkimchee January 31, 2012 at 4:42 am

This particular recipe is for chicken so you shouldn't have a problem.
You can omit the rice wine in most Korean dishes.
For the pork dishes, if the pork is the main ingredient, there is nothing you can do about it except I often suggest with other types of meat for those who can't have pork.
You can find rice cakes in most Korean grocery stores these days either fresh or frozen.


beyondkimchee January 31, 2012 at 4:44 am

I like the maple syrup idea. Thanks for suggesting the dark soy sauce with maple syrup combination. That will make quite nice glaze.


beyondkimchee January 31, 2012 at 4:45 am

Thanks Faye. I like KL and I am happy to know there are some people in KL who like my blog.


Mandy February 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm

I made the sauce tonight with baked chicken and it was so delicious!! Thank you so much for this recipe, it will be great to keep this up my sleeve for parties and entertaining!


beyondkimchee February 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm

Thanks Mandy. I glad that you tried with baked chicken. It will be healthier option and still delicious.


Mother to 9 February 6, 2012 at 9:43 pm

I tripled this recipe for dinner tonight.  As we sat down to eat, by picky 12-year old daughter said, with disgust, "I don't like chicken wings."  I insisted that she take at least one bite, and then she proceeded to eat more than 10 wings, sucking all of the sauce from the bones and asking if there was any extra sauce.  "These are the BEST chicken wings I've ever had!!" she said.  Between the 7 of us, we finished all but a few of the 6 lbs of wings.  I just have enough for my lunch tomorrow.  Now I can't wait to try your other KFC recipe!


ieja October 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

after checking few of your recipes i realize koreans frequently used rice wine. i have a bit of problem about that since i’m a muslim. so is there anything that i can used to replace rice wine?


Holly October 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

The alcohol in the rice wine is subtle and will be evaporated during cooking, but you can leave it out if it not accepted to your diet. It won’t change the flavor that much.


futsu November 17, 2012 at 9:49 pm

I tried the recipe last night, and it was finger licking good! It’s spicy and sweet, and I just love it. But I don’t used the rice wine, and I don’t think there’s a problem.
Thanks to you my dinner overwhelmed with joy :)

Oh, one thing, If I want it to be more spicy, what should I add?


Yashashree Jadhav December 26, 2012 at 11:38 am

Hi! I tried this recipe today and must I say, it was fantastic! I love the way the spiciness is well complimented with the sweetness and my friends were left wondering where that awesome taste came from!
this being the first Korean recipe I tried, I wanted it to be good and it went beyond my expectations :D


Xue February 2, 2013 at 2:34 am

This sounds good and would like to make it! Is there another ingredient that I can use to substitute the Korean chili paste? I have Asian grocery stores in my town but none carry the Korean chili paste.


Holly February 2, 2013 at 10:49 am

Hi Xue

Unfortunately the Korean chili paste is the most important ingredient in this recipe, therefore I can’t recommend any substitute. Sorry!


Sook April 10, 2013 at 4:23 am

Tried the sauce with shrimp today – really good! Love the idea of adding strawberry jam! Genius!


hailey July 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Hello there! I absolutely love your recipes! Tried a few and they tasted awesome. May I know if there is any substitute for corn syrup? Thank you ^^


Holly July 26, 2013 at 10:13 am

You can skip the corn syrup. It is used to add a little lust.


shantaram gorivale October 2, 2013 at 2:26 pm

This is the very nice recipe I try it… yum


Bianca January 8, 2014 at 6:22 pm

I have been using your recipe for KFC for ages now, and just wanted to say that it is the BEST! My partner even thinks it is better than any KFC he has had before (in restaurants)!

We are travelling to KL in July and were wondering (albeit a very strange request) if you knew of any good places that have KFC over there?


Holly January 9, 2014 at 11:25 am

Hi Bianca, I’ve seen one restaurant near Ampang point called kokodak (꼬꼬닭) but haven’t tried. Thanks for the comment. I am so glad that you and your partner loved my recipe.


Susan July 22, 2014 at 1:25 am

I just started following your blog and I think it’s absolutely wonderful! Your chicken recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it out. I just posted a video on my version of Korean Chicken Wings with sesame seeds and Thai chili peppers! It’s a really inexpensive, easy, recipe to make too :)

Can’t wait to see your other recipes + try them out.



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