Yangnyeom Chicken (Korean Fried Chicken)
Yangnyeom chicken is a popular Korean street food snack. Bite-sized pieces of chicken are deep-fried and coated in a sweet and spicy glaze. With this recipe, you’ll get an extra crunchy crust!
Yangnyeom chicken (양념치킨) is great for snacking or sharing. I like to eat mine with a glass of cold beer. In Korea, they call this popular pairing chi-maek (치맥). Chi (치) is for chicken and maek (맥) is from the Korean word for beer, maekju (맥주). We usually enjoychi-maek when gathering with friends at a bar or for a sports watch party. This fried chicken would be great to have on Super Bowl Sunday.
Boneless Chicken Thigh
You can use chicken wings or drumsticks for Korean fried chicken, but I like to use bite-sized pieces of boneless, skinless chicken thigh. Although it is boneless, the meat will stay tender and moist because it is the dark meat of the chicken thigh. Using smaller, boneless pieces also makes the cook time a lot shorter.
Extra Crunchy Crust
I saw a lot of recipes that use equal parts all purpose flour and potato starch for their batter. While this may be more authentic, I like to use corn starch instead of potato starch. When deep-fried, potato starch gives you a thin, crispy skin, whereas corn starch makes a thicker, crunchy coating.
I adapted my batter recipe from a General Tso’s Chicken recipe by Binging with Babish, who in turn adapted his recipe from Serious Eats. This batter recipe is so crunchy that you don’t need to do the usual double-fry that most yangnyeom chicken recipes recommend.
I usually see this dish garnished with some crushed peanuts, but I opted for pistachios in my recipe. As you read through my other recipes, you’ll notice my preference for pistachios. In terms of presentation, I also thought the green would create nice color contrast against the red glaze.
Yangnyeom Chicken Sauce
Yangnyeom (양념) means seasoned in Korean. I played around with the recipe for the yangnyeom glaze quite a bit before I was finally satisfied. I tried combinations with strawberry jam, gochugaru, ginger, dark brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, and oligodang syrup. Ultimately, the recipe I came up with is pretty simple in terms of ingredients, which I think is a win-win for everyone. The sticky glaze can get a little messy, but it is so worth it and finger lickin good.
Hope you enjoy!
MISE EN PLACE
If you make this Yangnyeom Chicken I would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to leave a comment and/or recipe rating at the bottom of this page. And if you have a photo of your food, be sure to tag me on Instagram!
Yangnyeom Chicken (Korean Fried Chicken)
- 1 ⅓ lb skinless, boneless chicken thigh, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup canola or sunflower seed oil
- pistachios, crushed optional
- 2 eggs (egg whites only)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp mirin
- 2 tbsp water
- ¼ tsp baking soda (3g)
- 3 tbsp cornstarch (30g)
- 1 cup all purpose flour (150g)
- 1 cup cornstarch (140g)
- 1 tsp baking powder (3g)
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp gochujang
- 2 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp garlic, crushed
- Heat the ketchup, gochujang, coconut sugar, honey, and garlic in a saucepan over medium heat and let it simmer for about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, set aside and let it cool.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg whites until slightly foamy. Stir in the soy sauce, mirin, water, and pour out half of the marinade into another bowl for later use.
- Stir in the baking soda and cornstarch with the remaining marinade. Mix in the chicken until the pieces are evenly coated.
- Whisk together the flour, corn starch, baking powder, and salt in another large bowl. Whisk in the reserved marinade to form tiny clumps. (These clumps, when fried, will turn into delicious crunchy bits).
- Heat the canola or sunflower seed oil in a deep pan to 350°F.
- Going piece by piece, toss the chicken in the breading mixture, making sure each piece is well coated (try to get the tiny clumps of breading on the chicken too). No need to shake off the marinade from the chicken bits. It can carry over into breading and create more clumps (so more crunchy bits!)
- Carefully lower the coated chicken into the oil, and let it cook for about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a cooling rack. Try not to crowd the pan with the chicken bits and fry in batches.
- Place the fried chicken in a large, clean bowl and toss with the glaze sauce until all of the pieces are evenly coated.
- Plate the glazed chicken. Garnish with crushed pistachios and serve immediately.