Junghyun Park and Jungyoon Choi take a deep dive into Korean cooking – and drive awareness of the cuisine beyond the joys of Korean barbeque – in their soon-to-be published Korean Cookbook. Park, who runs Atoboy, Naro, Seoul Salon and the two-Michelin-starred Atomix in New York City, and Choi, a culinary researcher, lecturer and writer in Korea, have compiled 350 recipes that span Korea’s various regional cuisines.
But alongside instructions for making fermented foods, rice dishes, hotpots, stews and more are essays digging into the history of Korea’s cuisine, its regions and its master artisans.
This recipe, for yangnyeom dak twigim – sweet and spicy fried chicken – is an easy route to Korean fried chicken at home; it’s on the table in just 30 minutes.
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“Korean fried chicken seasoned with a sauce made with soy sauce, gochujang (red chilli paste), gochugaru (red chilli flakes), and corn (golden) syrup is as popular and common as the Korean fried chicken,” the duo write. “This recipe is an easy way to enjoy fried chicken with different flavours, by eating half as simply fried and the other half tossed in this sauce. The coating is made with a packaged fried chicken mix commonly sold in Korea.”
Most ingredients are available at Korean grocery stores.
Junghyun Park and Jungyoon Choi’s sweet and spicy Korean fried chicken
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
3 tbsp corn (golden) syrup
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp gochujang (red chilli paste)
2 tbsp ganjang (Korean soy sauce)
1 tbsp minced garlic
½ tbsp fine gochugaru (red chilli powder)
1 tbsp sugar
800g bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
1 tbsp mat-gogeum (MSG-salt blend)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2L neutral cooking oil for deep-frying
180g Korean seasoned fried chicken mix
To make the sauce, combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring well. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes before removing from the heat.
For the chicken, pat the pieces dry with paper towels. In a bowl, sprinkle the chicken with the MSG-salt blend, sugar and black pepper, and mix well. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Pour 7.5cm–10cm oil into a large, deep pot or deep-fryer and heat to 180°C.
In a small bowl, stir together 6½ tbsp of the fried chicken mix and 4 tbsp water to make a batter, and mix well until uniform. Place the remaining 130g fried chicken mix in a large plastic bag.
Working with one piece at a time, place the seasoned chicken in the plastic bag and shake well until the chicken is well coated. Let settle for 30 seconds before removing from the bag, shaking off any excess mix.
Set a wire rack in a sheet pan. Once the oil is up to temperature, reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the chicken pieces, starting with any larger pieces, such as a thigh or drumstick. Deep-fry for 12 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and set on the rack to cool for 3 minutes.
Sauce the chicken by combining the fried chicken with the desired amount of sauce and tossing well in the bowl. Plate and serve immediately.
The Korean Cookbook by Junghyun Park and Jungyoon Choi will be published by Phaidon on September 26, for $74.95.