October 24, 2007

KFC -Chicken with a Twist

Back in the Spring the New York Times ran an article on the latest food fad there and in LA : Korean Fried Chicken. It seems that in Seoul, the Korean capital, every corner has a Mom and Pop cafe that cooks these crunchy, spicy concoctions.

You won't find any biscuits or grits served with the KFC - hot pickled radish ( " Kakdookee " ) is the usual side dish and Korean beer which is very good.

This is not a difficult dish to cook. Most recipes call for chicken wings separated into two pieces, ( the wing and the drumette ) or boneless chicken thighs cut into small bites.

Here's my recipe for Korean Fried Chicken :

3 lbs. boneless chicken thighs, cut into 4 pieces
( or wings and drumettes )
4 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
4 teaspoon toasted sesame seed
8 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon low sodium Kikkoman Soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 green onions, including tops, finely minced

Mix all dry ingredients. Add soy sauce , sesame seed, garlic and green onions to slightly beaten eggs and then to the dry mixture. Mix well and pour over chicken. Marinate for 2 hours or overnight.

Using a deep fryer bring vegetable oil to around 350 degrees. Fry for 10 minutes, remove from oil, shake vigorously in a wire strainer , or use paper towels , and allow to cool for a few minutes. Fry for 10 more minutes, drain again on paper towels. Serve chicken plain with a small dish of salt and pepper or lightly brushed with a soy-garlic glaze or a hot sauce .

I know a lot of my fellow Southerners will find this blasphemous because it is contrary to our traditional dish . While it is trendy and tasty, I don't think the Colonel has anything to worry about.


  1. Looks great! Korean bars were very popular in Hawaii because they had the best free pupus. Our friend who was a heavy drinker and frequented the bars almost daily would get wonderful special treats because he was such a steady customer. He took us to a bar one evening and among many other things, they served fried chicken wings but coated with a hot pepper sauce with sesame seeds and green onion. It was delicious. I tried to come up with a version of it but never quite duplicated it. I simplified the recipe quite a bit by just making regular fried chicken wings then throwing the wings back into a wok after first frying some garlic and adding a Chinese hot garlic sauce (Lan chi) some green onions and roasted sesame seeds. I think the bar cook marinated the chicken wings in some hot sauce as well as other spices. Will have to try your recipe one day.

  2. Had to look up the word pupus, Ki. For non-Hawaiians they are spareribs.

    Thanks for visiting.

  3. Hi Carolyn Gail,
    In Hawaii the word pupu was used generically for any kind of finger food or appetizer usually served with drinks. So pupus could be poke, pronounced po kay (Hawaiian raw fish with salt and raw seaweed) , teriyaki meat or chicken on a stick, etc. Sort of like the Spanish tapas.

    Here's a recipe for poke:
    4 cups ahi (yellowfin tuna, sashimi grade) diced
    1/8 tsp. roasted, ground kukui nut
    small amount of limu kohu (seaweed) chopped
    1/2 cup onion , minced
    1/4 cup green onion, minced
    1 cup soy sauce
    2 tablespoons sesame oil
    Hawaiian salt and pepper to taste.

    Surprisingly the word has even appeared in Chinese menus here in NJ!

  4. Thanks for the lowdown. That recipe looks yummy and I'm going to try it out if I can find kukui nut . Is there a substitute for kukui nut if I can't ?

    I've finally got you up on my blogroll.

  5. Kukui nut is sort of bitter and a strong laxative so only a very small amount is used...like a spice. Most people don't use kukui nut in their recipes but to be authentic I thought I should include it. I suppose if you really want to go all out to be authentic, you should use alaea salt, which is a sea salt mixed with a bit of baked red clay. A lot of people also added red pepper flakes to give the bland fish a kick. The most difficult ingredient to find would be the seaweed which looks like small brown/red branches and is crunchy. I actually did see some small pieces on the beaches in NJ which amazed me to no end because I thought it grew only in warm waters but I forgot that the ocean water temperature in NJ gets into the 70's in late summer.

  6. Thanks, Ki. Don't want to make an "Oriental express " with the kukui nuts ! I may be able to find the ingredients at this large Asian supermarket I go to that has fruits, veggies and condiments from all around the world.

    My daughter would add the red pepper flakes because she loves her food to be kicked up.


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