Korean Fried Chicken Recipe – insanely easy, super addictive

by Irvin on January 21, 2014 · 75 comments

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This insanely easy, super addictive Korean Fried Chicken Recipe is baked in the oven not deep-fried but still creates a super crisp skin!

Korean Fried Chicken Recipe. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

“Oh Man! Is that what we missed?!?” said my sister when she saw AJ post a picture of the Korean Fried Chicken Recipe that I had made. I originally had plans to make the Korean Fried Chicken when they were visiting but a flight cancellation and a reshuffling of family events meant I wouldn’t time to make them for everyone. Just as well, because that meant more for AJ and me! (Jump directly to the recipe.)

Korean Fried Chicken. Recipe and Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com
The first time I had Korean Fried Chicken, which those in-the-know refer to as “the other KFC” was in New York with my friend Calvin. I had coincidentally arrived in the city for a conference that also coincided with his birthday. He rounded up a few friends and we all headed to Korea Town to get Korean Fried Chicken at Mad for Chicken. Spicy and sweet with a shatteringly crispy skin, I was immediately smitten.

Korean Fried Chicken with sweet and spicy sauce. Photo and recipe by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Traditionally you make KFC by double frying the chicken. Much like a French fry, the double frying of the chicken results in a super crisp brittle skin that snaps and cracks the second you bite into it, coated with deep, rich sweet and spicy sauce (or a sweet and garlic filled soy sauce for those who don’t like the heat). I’m not afraid of deep-frying but then I found a recipe by the innovative folks behind the blog Ideas in Food. Their cookbook Maximum Flavor had a technique for first coating the chicken in a salt, baking soda, egg white mixture and letting it dry out in the refrigerator. Unorthodox in nature I was pretty impressed with how they turned out, especially since it could just stick the chicken in the oven, and not have to deal with all the oil. Easy Korean Fried Chicken, oven baked! I’m so making these all the time now.

Korean Fried Chicken baked in the oven! Recipe and Photo by Irvin Lin of Eat the Love. www.eatthelove.com

Be sure to visit Eat the Love all this week. I’ll be posting a new chicken wings recipe each day from Monday, January 20th to Friday, January 24, 2014.


If you like this Korean Fried Chicken Recipe, check out these other Korean inspired chicken recipes from around the web:
David Lebovitz’ Olympic Seoul Chicken
Savory Sweet Life’s Korean BBQ Chicken Bulgogi
No Recipe’s Samgyetang, Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup
Taste and Tell’s Korean BBQ Chicken Tacos with Asian Pear and Jicama Slaw
Closet Cooking’s Korean Spicy BBQ chicken and Egg Burritos

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{ 75 comments… read them below or add one }

Belinda @zomppa January 21, 2014 at 6:19 am

These are SUPER addictive!! So going to make this…superbowl Sunday?

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nossi @ the kosher gastronome January 21, 2014 at 6:44 am

I really like this idea for oven “frying.” So you don’t dry the chicken first with paper towels or with a flour dredge?

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Irvin January 22, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Nope. You coat them in the egg white mixture and then let them dry out overnight in the fridge. By the next day, the wings should be dry to the touch. When you bake them, the egg white crisps up and creates a super thin layer that is crispy. No need for flour!

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The Suzzzz January 21, 2014 at 8:09 am

Fried chicken without making your whole house smell like fryer grease? I think I’m in love with these wings and I haven’t even tried them yet.

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foodnerd4life January 21, 2014 at 8:13 am

Dammmmmmmn these look so good!!! I want them in my face right now!

FoodNerd x

www,foodnerd4life.com

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Linn January 21, 2014 at 10:52 am

It looks STICKYLICIOUS !! Yum!

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Trent @ Food Assault January 21, 2014 at 6:21 pm

These look fantastic…..nice and sticky fingers to go with it. Putting this one in the vault to make later :)

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Jean | Lemons & Anchovies January 21, 2014 at 6:40 pm

I am so making these. There’s a place in SF that’s really popular for their Korean chicken. My parents used to take me and my sisters there. That was over 30 years ago but I haven’t forgotten how great they are. Can’t wait to try your baked version. They look so good!

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Faye January 21, 2014 at 9:53 pm

Believe it or not, I’ve never had Korean Fried Chicken, but that’s all about to change!

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Gerry @ Foodness Gracious January 22, 2014 at 12:11 am

I am totally making these…I love my wings crispy but always thought fried was the way to go, not any more!

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Miss Kim @ behgopa January 22, 2014 at 1:19 am

Looks sooo yummy! I wonder which wings recipe is your favorite out of all the ones you’re posting this week. I think this might be mine.

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Adriana @ GreatFood360˚ January 22, 2014 at 2:41 am

The hardest part, other than finding the chili paste, will be making room for the wings in the refrigerator. I’m loving the logic behind this technique.

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Irvin January 22, 2014 at 5:15 pm

If you don’t live near an Asian grocery store you can always order the gojuchang from Amazon.

And it’s true, finding room for the wings in the fridge is a pain! The original recipe actually called for 4 lbs of wings, placed on two pans/racks. I SO couldn’t find room for two pans in my refrigerator!

That said. Since it’s only for overnight, I just sort of moved things around and placed the wings on top of stuff. As long as the pan wasn’t in danger of shifting around or falling it was all good. Though my partner was a bit surprised when he opened the fridge in the morning and saw a pan of raw chicken sitting out on the shelf!

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Jayrudq January 22, 2014 at 6:21 am

Cannot wait to try this. Off to my Korean market to buy the sauce today. BTW: steaming the wings before baking also creates a crispy-fried-like skin. Thanks.

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Irvin January 30, 2014 at 12:16 am

I’ve seen the method for steaming the wings (I’ve also heard boiling them does the same trick as well). But both methods require an extra step and additional pan to clean up and I’m fairly lazy when it comes to my cooking. But maybe I’ll try those methods and compare and contrast one of these days!

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Jayrudq January 30, 2014 at 11:11 am

Do try and post your results. If you have a steamer insert, it really isn’t anymore work than making the egg wash and putting them in the refrig…you do forgo the crispy skin from egg white though. I might do both. Glutton for punishment!

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Dawn | KitchenTravels January 22, 2014 at 8:39 am

Whaaaaaat? My family would go nuts for these. Great idea!

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Kristin January 22, 2014 at 9:54 am

It’s not easy to make meat look good but, you did an amazing job with this Korean Fried Chicken recipe.
Thank you for all that you do!
Pinned,
K-

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Irvin January 22, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Thanks Kristin! It’s been a fun time photographing meat, after all the dessert photos I’ve been taking for this blog!

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Min January 22, 2014 at 1:51 pm

A pinch of curry powder will make the chicken more perfect.

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Jersey Girl Cooks January 22, 2014 at 4:08 pm

I love Korean Fried chicken but have a deep fear of frying. Can’t wait to make this! The sauce looks fantastic.

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Michelle T. January 22, 2014 at 4:18 pm

Is the chili paste = Shiracha (or however you spell it)? These look soooooooooooooo good!!

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Irvin January 22, 2014 at 5:12 pm

Nope. Sriracha is something different. Gochujang has a deeper savory flavor to it and is salty and a touch sweet too. Sriracha is more a straightforward hot flavor, with a vinegar tang to it. It usually comes in a red rectangular tub. If you can’t find, you can always order a tub of it from Amazon.

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Michelle T. January 22, 2014 at 6:29 pm

Thank you! :)

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Emily Jones January 22, 2014 at 6:47 pm

In case of dire straits wherein gojujang simply cannot be found, is there a way of possibly fudging it with other ingredients to supply the heat/funk/sweetness?

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Irvin January 22, 2014 at 7:12 pm

That’s a really good question. Gochujang is pretty integral to the sauce. It’s a fermented sweet spicy sauce and it hard to make at home, though there are recipes out there that on the web that show you how to do it (like Kimchi Mom’s version). It also requires letting it sit out and ferment so there’s that. Of course the ingredients to make it pretty much require you to go to an Asian market anyway – one that would probably carry gochujang to begin with.

That said, there is a gochujang recipe substitution online that seems fairly straightforward without all the homemade DIY fermentation. It uses miso paste to get the funky fermented taste so you can try it in place. That said, having never substituted it before, I can’t guarantee how it’ll taste or turn out. But if you do try substituting out, come back and let me know how it turns out!

Of course, it might just be easier to order some online at Amazon.com.

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Vencogirl January 22, 2014 at 10:53 pm

I have a shellfish allergy and reacted once to fish sauce and have avoided it ever since. Any recommendations for a substitute–or a brand that doesn’t have shellfish?

Also, you mention a “or a sweet and garlic filled soy sauce for those who don’t like the heat”. Is there a recipe for that or just improvise? I have one kid who hates heat.

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Irvin January 22, 2014 at 11:06 pm

I’m partial to Red Boat fish sauce which is made with anchovies and sea salt only (that’s their only ingredients listed). In fact, their bottle says “gluten free, no shellfish” on it, so you should be safe. But if you can’t find it, just leave the fish sauce out of the recipe. It adds a nice subtle depth and umami flavor to the sauce but it isn’t totally necessarily.

As for the soy sauce version, you could try the Serious Eats version of the sweet soy sauce for their Korean Fried Chicken. Just leave out the crushed dried red pepper.

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Vencogirl January 22, 2014 at 11:33 pm

Thanks!!

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Adrienne January 23, 2014 at 10:43 am

Can you tell me how much sodium is in this recipe?

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Irvin January 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm

Hi Adrienne! Sorry I’m not sure. One of the reasons that I don’t include nutritional information with my recipes is because I’m not a dietician and I wouldn’t want to give false or unreliable information. You may want to try using a site like My Fitness Pal to calculate that sort of information for recipes.

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Gwen January 24, 2014 at 10:48 pm

Hi Irvin! This looks delicious. Do you think it would work just as well for chicken legs? I’m not really a wing girl. :-)

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Irvin January 30, 2014 at 12:18 am

It might work, as long as the legs have skin on them. You should adjust the cooking time though, as legs have more meat on them (probably an additional 15 minutes will do, but test the chicken to make sure it’s cooked thoroughly before removing them from the oven).

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Gwen January 24, 2014 at 10:49 pm

Hi Irvin! This looks delicious. Do you think it would work just as well for chicken legs? I’m not really a wing girl. :-) Thanks!

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Irvin January 27, 2014 at 2:06 am

I think so, but because the chicken leg is larger than the wing, you should probably bake the chicken for longer – maybe an additional 15 minute more (for a total of an hour).

But check the chicken after flipping it and baking for 15 minutes. Pierce a piece a leg with a thin skewer. If the juice runs out clear it’s done. If it’s pink, cook it longer. Or use a thermometer and cook it until 170˚F.

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Doris January 25, 2014 at 2:37 pm

I sure would like to just taste this before I make it….It looks really tasty, but wonder if the sauce is hot and spicy…..I have no idea what the sauce tastes like.

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Irvin January 27, 2014 at 2:08 am

Gochujang isn’t super spicy but there is a little heat. It’s more a savory umami flavor with some heat and sweetness. Think red chili peppers or a tiny amount of cayenne mixed with miso paste.

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Jessica January 25, 2014 at 5:12 pm

I’m going to be cliche and make these for Super Bowl watching. It’s only been in this last year that I have tried chicken wings. And it’s only been a bite here or there if I’m at a restaurant I trust. The mass consumption of wings, especially in this area of the country (Cleveland) has always freaked me out a little. And yet I married one who consumes them every chance he gets.

This recipe has me intrigued, so I thank you. If I get a chance I will post my results/impressions.

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Irvin January 27, 2014 at 2:09 am

Please do! I’d love to hear how they turned out and if you liked them!

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Jessica March 10, 2014 at 5:41 pm

I made them! A bit late for the Super Bowl. Irvin, they were great. Now that I’ve done it I feel like I have the ability to make kick ass wings whenever I want. I prepared the chicken at 9 am, threw it in fridge all day, and we ate around 7. Very satisfied people.

I was lucky to be in Columbia, MD a few weekends ago and got to visit one of the big Korean grocery stores. Got a vat of the Gochujang there.

The only thing I forgot was to flip them in the fridge. They were super fused to the rack when I took out. No biggie though.

Thanks again. You are a wizard.

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Floyd Looney January 25, 2014 at 6:01 pm

I wonder if the sauce is anything like the Chinese place around here, Happy Dragon, uses?

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Irvin January 27, 2014 at 2:09 am

Sorry. I’m not familiar with Happy Dragon, so I couldn’t tell you.

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Libby January 25, 2014 at 6:36 pm

Is the chile sauce anything close to Franks sweet Chili Sauce?

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Irvin January 27, 2014 at 2:12 am

I’ve never had Franks sweet Chili Sauce but my guess is no. Korean Guchujang is fermented so it definitely has a more earthy and savory depth to it that I’ve not had it sweet or spicy American based chili sauces.

But if you substitute Franks sweet chili sauce I’m sure the wings will still be delicious. Just different! If you do it, let me know what you think!

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Beth January 26, 2014 at 12:45 pm

Would these work with chicken breasts or thighs?

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Irvin January 27, 2014 at 2:13 am

I think they wouldn’t but I’ve never done it. If you do try it with breasts or thighs, make sure to adjust the cooking time in the oven. You might also want to lower the temperature and bake longer. You don’t want to burn the outside and still have raw chicken on the inside!

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Danita January 26, 2014 at 9:06 pm

Made this yesterday and received rave reviews. The sauce has a subtle spiciness that is the perfect amount of heat in my opinion. This sauce would be very good on my baby back rib recipe.

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Irvin January 27, 2014 at 2:13 am

I’m so glad! I could totally see the sauce on baby back ribs too. That sounds fabulous!

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PD January 26, 2014 at 10:17 pm

How about grilling instead of baking?

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Irvin January 27, 2014 at 2:17 am

One of the signature parts of Korean Fried Chicken is the super crispy skin that you get when you double fry it, which is why I coat the wings with the egg white first and let it dry out before baking it.

Because of that, if you grill it, you’ll just get a different sort of wing. I’m sure it’ll still be delicious, but not the same as Korean Fried Chicken, baked or fried. If you do grill it, you might want to try making the sauce and basting the wings at the very end of you grilling them. They won’t get the crispy outside but they’ll have a smoky sweet spicy to them that I’m sure would be great.

Or try my Korean BBQ wings recipe, which has instructions for grilling. They are different than the wings recipe above but also really tasty.

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Denise Tin January 27, 2014 at 1:53 am

I love your recipes. What is the substitue of rice wine vinegar if not available here in my place.

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Irvin January 27, 2014 at 2:20 am

Rice wine vinegar is a little more mild and slightly sweet, so I’d just use white wine vinegar or or apple cider vinegar in it’s place. You might want to add a pinch of extra sugar as well to add the sweetness.

If all you have regular white vinegar, add 2 teaspoons of it, and add 1 teaspoon of water to dilute it a bit as it’s a little stronger. And add the pinch of extra sugar.

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Denise January 27, 2014 at 7:21 am

I didn’t read the recipe, was so excited to see the Korean and the baked and the yum-ness, I only have chicken breasts — but they are in the fridge drying now and I CAN’T WAIT to eat them tonight!!!!!

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carrie@bakeaholicmama January 27, 2014 at 7:35 am

These look amazing Irvin! I love Korean BBQ I also love some oven fried chicken. I think we will be having these this weekend! Thanks for the recipe ;)

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B. Gray January 27, 2014 at 9:44 am

Made a trial run of these over the weekend and they were DELICIOUS. Only thing I might do differently is lightly cook/brown the garlic and ginger with the oil a little before adding the rest of the sauce ingedients. THANK YOU for a great recipe.

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Kristen January 27, 2014 at 8:03 pm

This may have been my favorite week ever on Eat The Love. I love a good chicken wing recipe! Thanks for sharing :)

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Kim Beaulieu January 28, 2014 at 2:18 pm

This is one of those recipes that make me use my favourite movie saying “get in mah bellah”! What can I say, it’s my thing. I love this recipe. Going to give it a whirl next time we have friends over.

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Fiona January 28, 2014 at 3:39 pm

Made these today – great way to get crispy, baked chicken wings. Had to make my own gluten-free gochujang paste, but google helped with that. Result was delicious and my husband is hoping I’ll make them again … tomorrow! Thanks for the recipe!

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Carla January 31, 2014 at 6:42 pm

I bake wings all the time but usually it’s just a toss in oil. I’m intrigued by this method and will have to try it (plus I love the sound of the Korean sauce!)

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Keri February 3, 2014 at 5:20 pm

Made these for the SB – huge hit with everyone! I baked the wings with convection to get them even crispier – loved learning this technique and will be using it again.

Thanks!

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MaryEllen February 4, 2014 at 12:28 pm

Wow these were amazing! Thanks for this recipe, it was an instant crowd favorite that I will be making again and again!

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Michelle | DailyWaffle February 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm

These were a total win for the Super Bowl. I did wings and a few drumsticks because wings are always high effort, low return. The egg white treatment works for both, I’ll definitely be using it again — thanks!

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Fern | To Food with Love February 7, 2014 at 1:22 am

Loving that gorgeous colour and sheen on those wings. Great idea with the egg white coating, and I can’t wait to try it out. Thanks for the recipe!

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Fern | To Food with Love February 7, 2014 at 1:24 am

Loving the gorgeous colour and sheen on those wings! Can’t wait to try this out. Thanks!

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La Diva Cucina February 17, 2014 at 9:07 am

Made. Loved. Shared! Gracias!

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Claire February 18, 2014 at 3:55 am

Found the gochujang (Korean chile paste) in the fridge at my nearest Chinese supermarket! Now I’m making these! How long does the gochujang (Korean chile paste) last once it’s opened????

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Irvin February 18, 2014 at 7:05 pm

Your tub of gochujang should have an expiration date on it, but everything I’ve read online says it lasts at least a year in the fridge if not longer. If you don’t plan on using it within the year, you can freeze it but it’s pretty hardy. There’s a lot of salt, sugar and spices in there and all of those things act as natural preservatives…

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Tye March 3, 2014 at 8:24 am

What’s the best rack you use for baking in the oven? I’ve been looking all over, but I can’t find one that they don’t recommend keeping under 400 degrees.

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gg March 6, 2014 at 3:41 am

Hello. go to Sam”s Warehouse and purchase a 2pack-11×17- $10.00 silver finish cookie/baking sheet pans line the pan with foil or use a silplat.

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Sharon Solomon June 1, 2014 at 8:28 am

Hi there can you email me the double fried chicken wing recipe. I can’t find it.
Thanks
Sharon

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Irvin June 1, 2014 at 2:02 pm

If you google Korean Fried Chicken Recipe there are a number of versions that come up, including several double fried versions. I don’t have a specific double fry version that I use so you will have to try one of those. Best of luck!

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Enrique June 3, 2014 at 12:26 am

Hi! not sure if this was asked, but would this coating work if fried??

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Irvin June 3, 2014 at 7:50 pm

This coating is specifically designed for baking in the oven. I’m not sure how it would work out with deep frying it. There are a number of deep fried versions of Korean Fried Chicken out there, just google Korean Fried Chicken recipe and they will pop up! Or you can try using the batter for my Pok Pok chicken wings, just skip the overnight fish sauce marinade if you plan on making them for Korean Fried Chicken. That particular batter is so crisp you don’t need to double fry it.

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Jolin August 7, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Hi, is it alright if i leave it in the fridge for 24 hours?

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Rita August 14, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Annie chun makes a gochujang sauce. Sprouts carries it. Check on the Asian section of your grocery store, it is more like the thinner sauce you make with the paste but it has the same flavor.

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