Korean Extra Crispy Fried Chicken w Sweet Spicy Glaze 매운 양념 치킨

Here is yet another Korean fried chicken recipe that we made recently with a sweet & spicy glaze. We have been yearning for something hot and spicy and we finally got it. The extra heat came from using Thai chili peppers (aka Bird’s eye chili peppers) that we found at the local Asian market. These cute, little peppers are quite deceiving, measuring anywhere between 25,000 to 50,000 in Scoville Units, which simply means that they are hot enough to make it on the top ten list of hottest peppers. FYI, the hottest peppers in the world measure near a million Scoville, where a person can experience a painful burning sensation lasting 30 minutes or more from a single seed consumption. Now that’s pretty spicy if I do say so myself. Anyways, we are not that hard-core but we did thoroughly enjoy this glaze which provided plenty of heat with a bit of sweetness and tangy flavors. As for the wings themselves, we didn’t do the double-fry technique to get that extra-crispy outside because the first batch came out crispier than expected. By using cornstarch by itself (which is pure starch) instead of flour, it leaves the fat rendered and the outer skin extra-light and clean tasting. The taste and texture are amazing and is totally different than your regular, heavy-battered Southern fried chicken. Just so you know, the “regular” way of frying usually incorporates flour in the batter, which contains proteins, and leaves a thicker and sometimes leathery covering if not fried correctly. It’s great to have a go-to recipe that never fails; now we get to experiment with different sauces and glazes for our fried chicken.
Servings: 4~6 people
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes (10 min for each batch)
  • 24 chicken wings, cut into 3 pieces and tips discarded
  • canola oil, for frying (peanut oil if available)
  • 2 cloves garlic (or garlic powder)
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3, 4 Thai chili peppers, deseeded and finely minced
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1, 2  tbsp rice vinegar (or cider vinegar)
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 cups cornstarch (1 cup coating, 1 cup for batter)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • sesame seeds (garnish)
1. Cut and discard the end tip of each chicken wing. cut remaining pieces in half at the joint to create 2 pieces. Rinse pieces under cold water and set to dry for at least 10 minutes. In a heavy pot such as a dutch oven, pour in canola or peanut oil to a depth of 3 inches. Heat over medium-high for about 15 minutes or until ready for frying.
2. In the meantime, combine sauce ingredients of soy, vinegar, sugar, honey, ketchup, sesame oil, Thai chili peppers, and the seasoning in a small sauce pan. Boil until sauce slightly thickens and then set at low heat. Adjust the spiciness/sweetness of the sauce by adding more minced red peppers and/or sugar, continuously tasting for desired result.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix 1 cup cornstarch and salt and pepper. Individually coat each chicken wing pieces with the cornstarch and set aside.
4. In another bowl, whisk the remaining cornstarch and water together to make a runny, liquidy batter. Add each chicken wing one at a time and coat well. Shake off excess batter and fry the chicken in batches for about 10~13 minutes, or until golden brown, then drain on paper towels. Do not overcrowd the pan when frying each batch.
5. Flavor the wings with a brush or by tossing them all together in a mixing bowl. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with sesame seeds. Enjoy and eat while hot!

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