Korean Fried Chicken. Crunchy, juicy fried battered chicken. A delicious, indulgent way to have chicken. Perfect with some beer or a carbonated drink.
Easy to Make
My Korean fried chicken is easy to make and delicious! You're simply marinating your chicken pieces in a simple marinade for 10 minutes or overnight for best results.
Then in a large bowl, create your batter by combining the dry ingredients with cold water. Then we'll fry it for 20 minutes to cook it through. You can fry it a second time over medium-high heat for crispy perfection, but this is optional.
A Beloved South-Korean Dish
Asian fried chicken is very popular, but it is incredibly popular in South Korea. The idea of fried chicken was brought over from North America by American troops during the Korean war.
It's one of the most popular dishes in South Korean food. Being sold at many Korean restaurants or as street food. In fact, there are fried chicken restaurants focusing solely on making the best fried chicken. Fried chicken is the main course at these restaurants.
So popular there's a term for it!
In South Korea, having fried juicy chicken with beer or alcoholic beverages is a delicious and fun way to enjoy delicious food with friends. In fact, there's even a Korean term for it called "Chimaek".
This word is derived by combining the two Korean words: Chikin, meaning 'fried chicken', and maekju, meaning 'beer'.
This type of fried chicken is very similar to American fried chicken in terms of taste and texture. But there are different recipes of fried chicken. Such as, "Yangnyeom Chicken".
This version falls under the branch spicy Korean fried chicken. Furthermore, it's bite sized pieces of chicken coated in a gochujang sauce that is a spicy sauce.
There's also another version called "Dakgangjeong" where the chicken is a little bit crispier and it's a spicy sweet sauce as well but sweeter.
What's the secret ingredient?
But the secret ingredients to Korean fried chicken are the curry powder and the usage of a lighter starch instead of all-purpose flour to create a crispy coating.
The chicken also goes through a first fry to cook the chicken and then a second fry to ensure a golden brown crunchy crust. Then it's served without sauce or with a fried chicken sauce.
What You'll Need
You will need the following Korean fried chicken ingredients:
- chicken drumsticks
- avocado oil, or any neutral tasting oil
- dry sherry, or sub with white wine
- black pepper
- regular soy sauce
- garlic, minced
Korean fried chicken batter:
- tapioca flour, or sub with potato starch or corn starch
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- curry powder
- black pepper
- baking powder
- cold water
How to make Korean Fried Chicken
Below are visuals to show you how to make this Korean fried chicken recipe. ***Please scroll down to the recipe card below to find full instructions and details***
In a large mixing bowl, mix your marinade ingredients. Marinate your chicken for 10 minutes or overnight for best results.
Meanwhile, in another large mixing bowl, mix your 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.
Once your chicken has marinated, add it to your batter and mix. You'll need some arm strength here to evenly coat the chicken.
Heat your cooking oil in a pot over medium heat. 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 place battered chicken into hot oil. The batter will run off the chicken a bit but that's normal. Do not overcrowd the pot or cover your pot with a lid.
Cook your drumsticks for 10 minutes on both sides (20 minutes in total), flipping around every now and then until golden crispy brown.
Transfer to a cooling rack or paper towel to drain off excess oil and enjoy!
Below are tips on making best Korean fried chicken recipe:
Marinate the chicken
After you season the chicken in the marinade, store it in an airtight container and let it marinate for 10 minutes or overnight. This ensures those flavor seep into the meat down to the bone!
Dark meat works best
For tender chicken, I strongly recommend using chicken drumsticks since they contain dark meat. Dark meat is much juicier. You can also use chicken thighs with the bone in, but this may take a bit more time during the cooking process.
Batter will be runny and will solidify but that's what we want!
Tapioca starch will cause a natural phenomenon to happen where the starch solidifies when mixed with cold water. We want this to happen as this creates a light crispy coating over your chicken. It will also run off your chicken but don't panic when this happens. This is totally normal.
Fry in a heavy bottom pot or a deep fryer
For best results, I find deep frying in a heavy bottom pot like a large dutch oven to be fantastic as the thick base maintains the heat of the oil. But you can also use a deep fryer or a large wok too if that's all you have!
Fry chicken for 20 minutes
Make sure to flip at the 10-minute mark to ensure both sides are golden brown.
Transfer cooked chicken to a wire rack or sheet pan lined with paper towel
This allows any excess oil to drip off. Excess oil creates a soggy crust.
Below are frequently asked questions about this recipe:
Can I use chicken wings or thighs for this recipe?
Yes! Please find deep frying instructions for each cut below:
Chicken wings: Heat oil to 375 degrees F and fry chicken wings for 8-10 minutes flipping over halfway. Cook until juices run clear or until an internal temperature of 165 F.
Chicken thighs with bone in skin on heat oil to 350 F and fry thighs for 14-15 minutes flipping over halfway. Cook until juices run clear or until an internal temperature of 165 F.
Can I make this in the air fryer?
I share a recipe on how to make Korean fried chicken in the air fryer, check it out here.
What kind of oil can I use to deep fry with?
Any neutral tasting oil that has a high smoke point will work, such as avocado oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil or peanut oil.
Is there a way to make this gluten free?
Yes, replace the regular soy sauce with tamari sauce or coconut aminos for a gluten free version. The rest of the ingredients in this recipe are gluten free.
Other recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed my Korean style fried chicken, check out these other fried chicken recipes:
Sweet Spicy Gochujang Chicken
Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
Japanese Chicken Katsu
Sweet And Sour Chicken
General Tso Chicken
I hope you give my Korean fried chicken a try and enjoy it!
If you enjoyed my crispy chicken recipe, please leave a star rating and share it with your family and friends or on social media! Take a picture of your re-creation and make sure to tag me @ChristieAtHome in your feed or stories as I would love to see it!
*This Korean crispy fried chicken recipe contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Easy Korean Fried Chicken
- 8 chicken drumsticks
- 4 cups avocado oil (or any neutral oil like vegetable oil, grapeseed, peanut oil or canola oil)
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry (or sub with white wine)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1.5 teaspoon regular soy sauce (not light or dark soy sauce)
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon salt
Korean fried chicken batter:
- 2.5 cups tapioca starch aka Tapioca Flour depending on the brand. You can also sub with potato starch or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 ¼ cups water cold
- In a large mixing bowl, mix your marinade ingredients. Marinate your chicken for 10 minutes or overnight for best results.
- Meanwhile, in another large mixing bowl, mix your 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.
- Once your chicken has marinated, add it to your batter and mix. You'll need some arm strength here to evenly coat the chicken.
- Heat your avocado oil or neutral oil in a pot over medium heat. 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 place battered chicken into hot oil. The batter will run off the chicken a bit but that's normal. Do not overcrowd the pot (about 4 pieces per fry). Do not cover with a lid.
- Cook your drumsticks for 10 minutes on both sides (20 minutes in total), flipping around every now and then until golden crispy brown.
- Transfer to a cooling rack or paper towel to drain off excess oil and enjoy!
Michelle | Sift & Simmer
I love Korean fried chicken! This looks so crispy and delicious!
Katherine | Love In My Oven
We love fried chicken and I love this Korean spin! It sounds so flavorful!
Heidi | The Frugal Girls
Your fried chicken batter is absolutely wonderful... talk about the perfect base to a totally tempting fried chicken dinner. Yum!
Katerina | Once a Foodie
Gosh this fried chicken looks absolutely amazing, Christie! I can just imagine the crunch! And pairing it with some beer sounds like a fab idea - I loved the tidbits about the Korean names for the meal - so interesting! Hope you've been well x
Tasia ~ two sugar bugs
Your fried chicken looks so CRISPY!! I love the addition of curry to the batter and I bet it's so flavorful! Perfect with a cold beer!
Tried this recipe and it's like being back in Korea eating BBQ Chicken with a beer.
This is on fleek
Yum, this fried chicken recipe came out so well!! I was looking for a good Asian-style fried chicken recipe, but a lot of the results I found called for potato starch and I only had tapioca starch on hand, which is how I found this one. I'm glad I did! I love the addition of curry powder into the batter - the resulting chicken doesnt taste strongly of curry, but the crispy shell is super nicely seasoned and crispy. I actually made double the amount of drumsticks and still had plenty of batter left over, so keep that in mind if you plan to scale up this recipe!
So glad you enjoyed this! Thank you for making my recipe! I love using potato starch for that crispy texture!
Could these be cooked in the air fryer? If so, how would you adjust?
Hi Pam, unfortunately not since it's a wet batter, it will slide off into the air fryer. I will be developing an air fryer recipe for these in the near future so stay tuned. - Christie
My daughter and I are making this, but with chicken breasts cut into strips. I wonder if the cooking time is different?
Hi Carol, yes the cooking time would be reduced since there is no bone. I would suggest cooking for 5-6 minutes and then checking the middle of one piece to see if it's cooked through and if not, cook it for another few more minutes until it is. Good luck!
hai.. is there any non alcoholic substitute for sherry or white wine??
Please use rice vinegar.
I don’t usually comment on recipes, but this chicken recipe is like chicken on crack! It’s so crispy and delicious. The curry powder definitely elevates the flavor. Your recipe for the batter goes a long way. I was able to coat about 4 dozen chicken wings with some to spare. Thanks for sharing this - it’s a big hit with my family and I’ll definitely be making it again many times!
Thank you Sheryll for the kind review! I'm so glad you enjoyed it and happy the batter went event further! I hope you continue to like it as much as the first time 🙂
Hi just wanted to clarify before I try this recipe. In the beginning of the post you mentioned “tapioca flour” but in the recipe it says to you “tapioca starch” which one is correct? I can’t wait to try this.
Hi Kim, tapioca starch and tapioca flour are essentially the same thing depending on the manufacturer. Thanks!
Yum! We made this tonight, never had Korean fried chicken before. This was delicious!
So happy you enjoyed it Katy! I appreciate you making my recipe and for sharing these kind words 🙂
Great instructions and great recipe. My wings came out superbly.
Thank you so much for making my recipe! I am really happy to hear that they turned out superbly!