Crispy, sticky, tangy, and sweet! These Korean chicken nuggets (dakgangjeong) are coated with a mildly spicy glaze made with chili sauce and gochujang. They will maintain their crispiness until every last one is gobbled up.
Who wouldn’t enjoy munching on these little crispy Korean chicken nuggets that are sticky, sweet, and tangy? The nice thing about this recipe is that the chicken will stay crisp even after it gets coated with sauce. It has a tiny bit of spiciness due to the Korean chili paste, but not the kind of spicy that kills your senses.
This particular Korean chicken appetizer is called Dakgangjeong (닭강정). Yes, these crispy Korean chicken nuggets are deep-fried, which makes this chicken so tasty and irresistible.
As long as you don’t eat them by a bucketful, a few pieces will calm your craving and won’t hurt you too badly. As you can see, they are small pieces.
My recipe is a different take on dakgangjeong that you will not find elsewhere. I assure you that you will love the crisp texture and the delectable glaze that goes with the chicken.
And the sauce? Well, you’ll have to try it yourself!
Tips On Making Crispy Korean Fried Chicken
- Cake flour and Potato Starch: The mixture of both flours will form a light, yet almost crunchy coating texture to the chicken. The crispiness will maintain even after the chicken pieces are glazed with sauce.
- Egg White and Oil: Beaten egg white will give the proper amount of moisture to the chicken so that it grabs the coating mixture. A little oil will help chicken pieces not to stick to each other.
- Deep-fry Twice: For any deep fried dishes that need crispiness, you need to deep fry twice or even three times. The reason is that moisture in the deep fried food moves to the surface and the surface gets soggy when the food cools. Then you cook off that moisture again on the second fry.
- Chicken Breast or Thigh? The answer is… whichever you prefer. I like to use chicken thigh parts for this recipe. The fattiness of chicken thighs maintains moistness better than breast meat.
Korean Rice Syrup (jocheong, 조청): It’s a natural sweetener extracted from rice into a liquid form. It is also known as a malt syrup. It adds a subtle sweetness and shine–literally–to the dish. Korean rice syrup has a darker shade than Korean corn syrup (mulyeot). If unavailable, you can use dark corn syrup as a substitute.
What You’ll Need To Make Crispy Korean Chicken Nuggets
Chicken thighs, garlic, Korean chili paste (gochujang), Korean chili flakes, chili sauce, chili oil, sugar, ginger puree, rice vinegar, ketchup, Korean rice syrup (or dark corn syrup), rice wine.
Dakgangjeong Recipe Instructions
Cut chicken thighs into small bite size chunks.
For the coating mixture, combine cake flour, cornstarch, onion powder, and salt; mix well. Take away 2 tablespoons from the mixture.
For the chicken, Add the 2 tablespoon of coating mixture to the chicken along with ginger, salt, pepper, beaten egg white, rice wine, and oil. Mix them all together.
Put the coating mixture in a zip bag and add the chicken; shake well to coat evenly.
Deep-fry chicken in small batches, about 2-3 minutes, until they are lightly golden. As you deep-fry, stir them with metal tongs or a strainer to keep them from sticking to each other. Shake off excess oil as you take the chicken pieces out of the oil.
After the first frying is over, do the second frying until they get deep golden brown; about 2 minutes. Keep them on a wired rack to prevent them from getting soggy.
Meanwhile, combine chili sauce, Korean chili paste, ketchup, Korean rice syrup, sugar, garlic, rice vinegar, and rice wine in a skillet.
Bring the sauce to boil over medium high heat until it thickens to a glaze consistency, stirring constantly.
Add chicken and toss well to coat with the glaze. To garnish, sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
Try other Korean Appetizers. Some of my favorites are:
- Korean Fried Chicken, KFC vs KFC
- Korean Fried Chicken 2, the spicy version
- Rice Cake Skewers, Tteok Kkochi (떡꼬치)
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Crispy Korean Chicken Nuggets (Dakgangjeong)
- 2 lb chicken thighs diced into bite size pieces
- 1/4 cup finely chopped peanut optional
- oil for deep-frying
For chicken coating
- 1/2 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
For chicken seasoning
- 2 tsp ginger puree
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp sweet rice wine (mirim)
- 1 egg white beaten
- 1 tbsp oil
To make the chicken coating
- Mix all the ingredients well. Reserve 2 tablespoon of the mixture on the side. Put the rest of coating mixture in a zip bag and set aside.
To season the chicken
- Put chicken in a large mixing bowl, add reserved 2 tablespoon of chicken coating, ginger, salt, pepper, rice wine, egg white, and oil. Mix with your hand to coat evenly.
- Heat oil to 340˚F. Add chicken into the coating mixture in a zip bag; shake well to coat evenly. Shake off the excess coating from chicken pieces.
- Deep-fry chicken in small batches, about 2-3 minutes, until they are lightly golden. As you deep-fry, stir them with metal tongs or a wire skimmer to keep them from sticking to each other. Shake off excess oil as you take the chicken pieces out of the oil.
- After the first frying is over, do the second frying until they get deep golden brown; about 2 minutes. Keep them on a wired rack to prevent them from getting soggy.
To make the chili glaze
- Combine chili sauce, Korean chili paste, ketchup, Korean rice syrup, sugar, garlic, chili oil, rice vinegar, and rice wine in a skillet.
- Bring the sauce to boil over medium high heat until it thickens to a glaze consistency, stirring constantly.
- Add chicken and toss well to coat with the glaze. To garnish, sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Serve hot.