Monday, July 21, 2014

Korean Fried Chicken Sauce – The Sauce of Things to Come

Who says you have to read H. G. Wells to reference him? Anyway, this lovely sweet and sour sauce is part one of a two-part series on Korean fried chicken. That video will be posted on Wednesday, and if you want to enjoy it at 100% awesomeness, you’ll want to whip up a batch of this stuff.

As I disclaimed in the video, this is just my take, and while I think it’s pretty classic, there are a couple of things I do differently. I like to add lots of green onion and garlic, as well as not cook this quite as long as most recipes call for. The result is a sauce with those ingredients a little more up-front in the flavor profile. The only drawback is you don’t get quite as deep a red color, but I can’t even pretend to be concerned with that.

By the way, you should try to find some Korean chili flakes and/or paste if you can. I’ve used them before, and the flavor is great, and obviously more authentic, but if you can’t, any hot chili flakes or paste will work. Now, all we need is some “KFC” to spoon this over. Stay tuned, and as always, enjoy!

Ingredients for about 6 servings:
1/2 cup ketchup
2 green onions, chopped fine
4 cloves of garlic, minced fine
2 tbsp honey
1 to 2 tsp red chili flakes, to taste
1 tbsp sambal chili sauce, or other ground chili sauce/paste, to taste
1 pinch of salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 lemon, juiced, or more to taste
1/4 cup water to adjust thickness, more as needed
*Note: everything in this is “to taste,” so adjust until you think it’s balanced between sweet, sour, and spicy.
-- Combine ingredients and simmer on low for about 5 minutes. Cool and serve at room temperature.
*Click here for the Korean Fried Chicken recipe


Michael Minasian said...

No gochujang?

Unknown said...

Hey chef! Did you try Gochujang for your fried chicken?

It's a fermented red pepper paste with a sweet flavor to it. Absolutely yummy!

Hope you can find it around.

philogaia said...

I was looking forward to seeing how you chose to alter the Korean recipe for this sauce. I'm rather a nut for Korean food so I do have the proper pepper flakes and paste (the only really specialty ingredients needed.) But I do have to drive across town to the Korean market to get them. It is great for folks to have a version that can be done if can't get (or don't want to get) the Korean chili. Your version isn't as sweet either which suits me. I don't like it quite so sweet.

Foodfanataholic said...

Did I miss the amount of dry ingredients somewhere? Is there a separate post?

Chung said...

As a Korean, I do make fried chicken sauce and store them in a refrigerator.
It is perfect with chicken nuggets as well. I put 2-3 spoons of strawberry jelly which gives more flavor and gelatin texture. I wonder chef john will try or not.

Unknown said...

I.m sorry that is not korean style...

Unknown said...

I dont care what style this might be chef john, its delicious and all the family loved it!
Another winner from you, thanks so much and keep up the excellent work with your blog.
Chung, good idea with the strawberry jelly, might try! :-)

Unknown said...

I use the extra sauce on everything! So yummy.

Unknown said...

Hey chef john!
I have no honey or lemon, can I sub with sugar and lime, I have those?

Chef John said...

You can use them but it won't taste the same, not necessarily worse or better, just not the same.

Robbo said...

Greetings from Australia. This recipe is the 4th I have tried for Korean Fried Chicken, I must say by far the best (as well as the sauce recipe) KFC is the way to go not the mob who changed their name from Kentucky FRIED chicken that dripped down your arm with fat1

philogaia said...

Guys, really. If you want authentic Korean see this recipe on Maangchi's site. I am happy that Chef John did a version that didn't require the proper hot pepper paste. Yep, I have it along with the correct hot pepper flakes in my freezer but not everyone can or wants to obtain them. Yes I do think that the real Korean flavor is only obtained with those ingredients but heck, does everyone have access or that level of interest? I enjoy that CJ has given a very approachable facsimile. You go CJ. ;)

Unknown said...

Hi John: That sauce recipe is not the real sauce that you mentioned. The real commercial version is sold in a rectangular red container sold in specialty stores. It's imported from Korea. Maybe your recipe is close but I've always used the imported version.

Unknown said...

John: Sambal is not Korean in origin. It's Indonesian or Malaysian in origin. As I said you need the imported version of Korean pepper paste. It's in a red rectangular container available in Asian specialty stores.

Lyndsay said...

I am interested to see what this tastes like! For me, a korean sauce usually has some kind of sesame seed oil or flavour. You or your followers might want to try that and see how it tastes.

Unknown said...

I am not sure how authentic this is, but it is fantastic and I use it on any chicken recipe, including wings.