Asian cuisine may be the holy grail of all food. I am of the opinion that most Epicureans adore Asian fare because it is so balanced. Every dish is filled with salty, sweet, tangy, crunchy, savory, and umami goodness.
Most people get their Asian fix through cheap takeout or delivery food, so many people are really missing out on the full pleasure of good Asian cuisine. Part of the problem is many towns do not have legitimate quality sit-down Asian restaurants, aside from the oh-so-common Japanese Steakhouse (which is delicious for its own reasons). As a lucky Savannahian, I am part of a sea port that has a variety of quality Asian restaurants to choose from.
An easy and great way to try higher quality Asian food is to make it at home. I assure you, replicating takeout food is not as difficult as it may seem. If you are a good Southerner that knows how to fry chicken, than you can conquer this dish. A few extra ingredients from the store (most of which you can find anywhere) and you are ready to cook.
For this recipe I used Hawaiian bread sandwich rolls, which adds just a touch of sweetness to this spicy sandwich. The pickles on top are the much needed addition to cut through the richness of the powerful chicken. Making things even easier, you can pair any side dish with this sandwich; sweet potato fries, chips, corn, slaw, etc. (It’s even okay to buy them pre-made if you want to cut a few corners.)
Korean Fried Chicken
- 4 Chicken Thighs, deboned
- 1 Cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
- 2 3/4 Cup of Water, divided
- 3 Tablespoons of Salt
- 1 Tablespoon of Sesame Oil
- 1 Teaspoon of Garlic, minced
- 1 Teaspoon of Fresh Ginger, grated
- 3 Tablespoons of Sugar
- 3 Tablespoons of Gochujang
- 1 Cup of All Purpose Flour
- 3 Tablespoons of Cornstarch
- Vegetable Oil for Frying, about 2 Quarts
- The night before or morning before you plan on cooking, combine one cup of water, rice wine vinegar, and salt in a sealable Tupperware container. Place chicken in the brine, and refrigerate until ready to cook.
- When ready to cook, remove chicken from Tupperware and dry with a paper towel. Set aside.
- Combine your sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a small sauce pan, heat over medium until the ginger and garlic are fragrant. 2-3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in 1/4 cup of water, sugar, gochujang, and soy sauce until smooth. Set Aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While your oil is heating, combine flour, con starch, and remaining 1 1/2 cups of water in a large bowl.
- Set wire rack on a baking sheet, and set aside.
- Dip your thighs into your flour mixture, allowing excess batter to drip into bowl before adding to your hot oil. Once all the chicken is in the oil, increase your heat to high to cook.
- Once coating is starting to lightly golden on each side, about 10 minutes, remove from heat and transfer to your prepared rack.
- Let the chicken rest for 5 minutes. While the chicken is resting, turn the heat down on your oil to medium.
- After 5 minutes, turn the oil back up to high and continue to cook the chicken until golden brown on each side. About another 10 minutes.
- Once crisp remove from oil and return to wired rack to let stand for 2 minutes before tossing chicken in your sauce.
- 1 Clove of Garlic
- 2 Shallots, Sliced Thin
- 1 Cup of Julienned Carrots
- 1/2 Cup of Sliced Cauliflower
- 1 Cup of Rice Wine Vinegar
- 1 Cup of Water
- 1 Tablespoon of Salt
- 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
- In a heat proof bowl, combine carrots, shallots, garlic, and cauliflower. Set aside.
- In a small sauce pan, combine water, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Heat to a low boil.
- Pour heated vinegar mixture over vegetables. Set aside until ready to use.
- 1/2 Cup of Mayonnaise
- 1 Clove of Garlic, minced
- 1/8 Teaspoon of Sesame Oil
- In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until fully combined. Set in fridge until ready to use.
- Using bread of choice, place your chicken onto each bun.
- Coat the top bun with a healthy helping of Sesame Mayonnaise
- Top chicken with pickled vegetables.