Citizens, after being on the road for a week with 2 Finnish friends, I learned that one of them used to be a diplomat and lived in Seoul for some time. He expressed in poetic and dulcet tones how much he loved and missed the “Korean Fried Chicken” from the Seoul street food scene – spicy, sweet, sticky and utterly delicious.
I, the merciful and all-powerful TFD, have undertaken to rectify my friend’s craving – Jussi (pronounced You-see), this one is for you! 😀
Korean fried chicken or KFC, usually called chikin (치킨, from the English “chicken”) in Korea, refers to a variety of fried chicken dishes from South Korea. In South Korea, fried chicken is consumed as a meal, an appetizer, anju (food that is served and eaten with drinks), or as an after-meal snack.
Korean fried chicken differs from typical American fried chicken because it is fried twice; the skin is therefore crunchier and less greasy. Furthermore, Korean-style chicken is not characterized by the crags and crusty nubs associated with American fried chicken; it was described by Julia Moskin of The New York Times as a “thin, crackly and almost transparent crust”.
The chicken is usually seasoned with spices, sugar, and salt, prior to and after being fried. Pickled radishes, beer, and soju are often served with Korean fried chicken.
The Korean word chikin (치킨) refers to fried chicken (and occasionally also to roasted chicken), while the name for the domesticated fowl is dak (닭). The word is shortened from peuraideu chikin (프라이드 치킨), which is a transliteration of the English phrase “fried chicken”.
According to the National Institute of Korean Language, the word chikin (치킨) refers to “a dish made by coating chopped chicken with flour, and frying or baking it”. Fried chickens that are not chopped before frying are called tongdak (통닭, “whole chicken”). Both chikin and tongdak are occasionally referred to as dak twigim (닭튀김, “chicken fritter”).
The first modern-style fried-chicken franchise, Lims Chicken, was established in 1977 in the basement of Shinsegae Department Store, Chungmu-ro, Seoul. Pelicana Chicken claim to have invented the recipe for yangnyeom chikin, using gochujang and strawberry jam as seasoning, in 1982.
In recent years, owing to market saturation in Korea, many of Korea’s major fried chicken chains, such as Mexicana Chicken, Genesis BBQ, Kyochon Chicken and Pelicana Chicken, have expanded to set up new presences in the United States, China and Southeast Asia.
Yangnyeom chikin (양념 치킨, “seasoned chicken”) – also known in the West as yangnyeom tongdak (양념 통닭, “seasoned whole chicken”) despite not being tongdak, and also sometimes used as a synonym for “Korean fried chicken” by Western media, this is fried chicken coated in gochujang-based sweet and spicy sauce.
Citizens, this last is the version of the “KFC” recipe I like most ( it is also known as Dakgangjeong in Korean) and it is supremely tasty and addictive – try it for yourself and know the true glory of this magnificent and awe-inspiring recipe (aka my own!). J
Battle on – The Generalissimo