This Korean Garlic Fried chicken recipe began life Chinese and like a lot of dishes, migrated over to the Korean peninsula where they did what they do best and put their own spicy stamp on it and made it their own.
The chicken pieces are marinated in soy and ginger, battered in egg and flour (I used plain because I couldn’t get my hands on the traditional non-glutenous rice flour) and DOUBLE fried, because Koreans know exactly what they’re doing! It is then added to a spicy, sweet, salty vegetable sauce made using an oil infused with garlic, leek and chilli. The garlic and leek used to infuse the oil are added back into the dish right before serving and add a real crunch to the sauce. I couldn’t believe how sweet the leeks went and how this sweetness permiated the rest of the sauce.
There were two negatives I found with this dish, besides that it takes a while and you can’t even begin to think about calories, I found that the dish looked a tiny fraction as good as it tasted, which as a food blogger is a real disadvantage because food blog readers eat with their eyes. I also served this with noodles when rice would have been better.
- 2 chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 egg
- 300g plain flour
- 200ml rapeseed oil
- 1 leek, sliced julienne or into fine matchsticks
- 1 bulb of garlic, peeled, cloves halved lengthwise
- 200ml rapeseed oil
- 2 tbsp gochugaru (Korean chilli flakes) or 1 tbsp regular chilli flakes
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 small carrots, finely sliced on the diagonal
- 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced julienne
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1 tbsp flour
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
- Combine the chicken, ginger and soy sauce in a bowl, mix and set aside to marinade.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the halved garlic cloves. Fry over a high heat for a couple of minutes until they start to colour.
- Add the leek and stir-fry until golden-brown and really crispy, about 7 minutes.
- Then remove the garlic and leek from the oil and set them aside, leaving as much of the oil in the pan as possible.
- Add the chilli flakes to the hot oil and fry for 30 seconds. Then pass the oil through a fine sieve, discarding the chilli flakes and setting the infield oil aside until later.
- Return to the marinating chicken and mix in the egg and then the flour.
- Heat the oil in another frying pan and deep fry for about 7 minutes turning halfway through.
- Once golden and crispy, take them out and set them aside to fry again later.
- Reheat the infused oil in one pan and the oil the chicken was frying in in another pan.
- Add the fresh vegetables to the infused oil and stir-fry for 5 minutes and return the chicken to the other pan to fry for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Once the vegetables have had 5 minutes and have softened, add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, water and sugar and mix really well.
- Now sprinkle over the flour and stir in to thicken
- Once the chicken has had 10 minutes of frying, remove it with a slotted spoon, draining off as much oil as you can and add the chicken to the pan with the vegetables. Mix it in over a medium-low heat.
- Pile in the crispy fried leek and garlic from earlier and mix in.
- Drizzle over the sesame oil and serve with rice.