The first time I had KFC (Korean fried chicken, not Kentucky) was in New York about seven years ago. I led Mike on a merry chase around the city visiting random Korean joints that smelled deliciously of deep fried goodness. Our chicken adventures took us to shady, hard to find karaoke bars and actual Korean chains from Korea. At first Mike thought I was a little obsessive, but after that first bite into that sweet and spicy double fried crunch, he was a little obsessed too.
These little popcorn bites aren’t technically Korean fried chicken – I didn’t fry them twice. Nope, these guys are basically popcorn chicken (I LOVE popcorn chicken) tossed with spicy Korean chili seasoning. They’re super crunchy due to a triple dip – flour, then buttermilk, then flour again.
It’s the middle of Summer and I know you guys are all salads and popsicles all day, but guys, this chicken is worth hanging out at the stove. It’s crispy, spicy, bite-sized, and delicious. It tastes good right out of the oil or after it’s cooled down to room temp. It even tastes good cold, especially when you dip it into some homemade spicy ranch.
I collaborated with Season with Spice for this post! They have some truly awesome spices!
Spicy Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
- 1 tsp korean chili flakes
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups flour
- 2 tsp korean chili flakes
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tablespoon spicy Korean chili seasoning, or to taste
Mix the chili flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper together in a large bowl. Add the chicken and mix well, so all the pieces are seasoned. If you have the foresight, do this overnight. If not, a good hour should do the trick.
In a shallow bowl, mix together the flour, chili flakes, pepper and garlic powder. Pour the buttermilk into a shallow bowl. Set up a large dish or tray (big enough to lay out the chicken pieces in one layer). Dip the chicken pieces into the flour mix, then the buttermilk and back into the flour mix. Double coating ensures extra crispiness. As you coat, lay your coated pieces on your dish/tray. Let the chicken rest while you wash up. Resting lets the flour and buttermilk crust up for extra crunch.
Place a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet lined with paper towels. In a deep-sided pot, heat up 2 inches of oil (I like to use grapeseed, rice bran or sunflower) over medium to medium high heat until it reaches 350°F. Fry the chicken pieces, being careful not to crowd the pan, until deeply golden brown and crispy, about 5-6 minutes. Drain the chicken on your prepared rack. Continue frying until all the chicken is cooked. Toss in a bowl with the spicy Korean chili seasoning and enjoy with spicy ranch dressing.
Spicy Ranch Dressing
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon spicy Korean chili seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste
Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a small bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper.