Korean Fried Chicken. Juicy fried battered chicken with a golden brown crispy coating. An easy Korean recipe made with simple ingredients!
What is Korean Fried Chicken?
Korean Fried Chicken is made of flavorful fried chicken with a crunchy crust that is juicy on the inside. The chicken is seasoned in a soy marinade and a hint of curry (the secret ingredient that sets it apart from American fried chicken).
In the 1940's during the Korean war, the idea of fried chicken was brought to South Korea from the United States by African-American troops. This Korean dish is popularly sold at many Korean restaurants. In fact there are chicken restaurants specializing in this dish.
This popular Korean food is often enjoyed with a cold beer. It's important to note that there are variations of this dish like yangnyeom chicken, which has spicy sauce. There's a version with a soy garlic sauce. Today, we're making the sauceless one which is my personal favorite!
Please scroll down to below recipe card for exact measurements.
- Chicken drumsticks: or substitute with bone-in skin on chicken thighs or chicken wings but please refer to recipe card for instructions.
- Neutral oil: like avocado oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, peanut oil, vegetable oil or canola oil. Avoid olive oil or heavy scented oils.
- Rice Vinegar, Dry Sherry or White Wine: or substitute with apple cider vinegar as a last resort
- Regular soy sauce: or substitute with low sodium soy sauce or light soy sauce. If you’re gluten-free, substitute with tamari sauce, coconut aminos or a gluten-free soy sauce of your choice.
- Black Pepper & Salt
- Tapioca flour: or sub with potato starch or cornstarch. Avoid using all purpose flour or it won't be crispy
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Curry powder
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Baking powder: don't skip as it makes the chicken extra crispy
- Cold water: this makes the coating light and flaky!
Note: Your grocery store or Asian market should carry most of these ingredients.
How to make Korean Fried Chicken
In a large bowl or Ziplock bag, combine Marinade ingredients as listed. Add chicken to marinade and mix well. Cover or seal the bag and let this sit for 10 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge for best results.
Prepare Wet Batter
In another large mixing bowl, combine Wet batter ingredients as listed until you have a thick but runny batter. The batter will settle and almost "solidify" but that is normal. You will just need to mix it again when you're ready to batter the chicken.
Once your chicken has marinated, add it to your batter and mix. You'll need some arm strength here to evenly coat the chicken.
In a wok or deep pan or heavy bottom pot, heat your cooking oil over medium heat (oil temperature should be around 350 degrees F). You can check the temperature by using an digital instant read cooking thermometer or place a wooden chopstick in the oil to check if the oil is hot enough by looking for bubbles. Once you see bubbles form at the tip of the chopstick, your oil is hot enough.
Carefully lower battered chicken pieces into hot oil away from you to avoid splash back. The batter will run off the chicken a bit but that's normal. Do not overcrowd the pan or cover your pot with a lid.
Cook your drumsticks for 10 minutes on each side, 20 minutes in total, flipping around every now and then. Cook until golden crispy brown and juices run clear. The internal temperature of cooked chicken is 165 F with a meat thermometer.
Let Excess Oil Drip
Transfer to a cooling rack or a pan lined with paper towels so excess oil can drip off to maintain the crispy exterior (extra oil creates a soggy exterior).
Storage & Reheating
This will last up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
To reheat, you can bake in the oven or air fry at 350 degrees F for 5-7 minutes until hot throughout. Or microwave for 2-3 minutes.
- Marinate the chicken for longer if possible for best flavors!
- Opt for bone-in, skin-on dark meat for juicy chicken!
- Batter will be runny and will solidify – that’s totally normal! Just mix it again when you batter the chicken.
- Fry in a heavy bottom pot or a deep fryer. This helps maintain the oil temperature.
- Rest chicken on a wire rack or paper towel lined plate to soak up excess oil which can cause chicken to go soggy.
Yes! Please find deep frying instructions for each cut in the recipe card below.
Yes, I share a recipe on how to make it the air fryer, check it out here.
Other chicken recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed this easy Korean fried chicken recipe, check these out:
- Sweet Spicy Gochujang Chicken
- Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
- Japanese Chicken Katsu
- Sweet And Sour Chicken
- Chicken Karaage
- General Tso Chicken
Easy Crispy Korean Fried Chicken
- 8 chicken drumsticks
- 4 cups vegetable oil or any neutral oil
- In a large mixing bowl, combine marinade ingredients as listed. Marinate your chicken for 10 minutes or overnight for best results.
- In another large mixing bowl, combine batter ingredients until you have a thick but runny batter. The batter will settle and almost "solidify" but that is normal. You will just need to mix it again when you're ready to batter the chicken.
- Add marinated chicken it to your batter and mix. You'll need some arm strength here to evenly coat the chicken.
- In a large wok, deep pan or heavy bottomed pot, heat oil or neutral oil in a pot over medium heat (around 350 degrees F). Place a wooden chopstick in the oil to check if the oil is hot enough by looking for bubbles. Once you see bubbles form at the tip of the chopstick, your oil is hot enough.
- In small batches, carefully lower battered chicken into hot oil away from you. The batter will run off the chicken a bit but that's normal. Do not overcrowd the pan (about 4 pieces per batch).
- Fry drumsticks for 10 minutes on each side for a total of 20 minutes. Flipping around every now and then until golden crispy brown. The internal temperature of cooked chicken is 165 degrees F with an digital cooking thermometer.
- Transfer fried chicken to a cooling rack or paper towel lined baking sheet to allow excess oil to drip off. Enjoy!