If Korean Fried Chicken is on the menu in a restaurant, I find it very difficult to ignore. It is the same story with the rest of the family, so usually we will order a serve of those delightfully crunchy, sticky, spicy, tasty little morsels to share before we hit the mains. So this got me thinking, how about we upsize Korean Fried Chicken by making it a main meal? A Korean Fried Chicken Schnitzel as such? Still with the same, sticky, spicy sauce but served with rice and steamed Asian greens. I love how my brain works some times as this was ridiculously good.
To make the sticky, spicy sauce, I used Gochujang paste which is a Korean chilli paste. It is thick and quite spicy so if you are feeding the kids, maybe back off a little on the Gochujang and use only half, or give them sweet chilli sauce as a substitute. It is readily available in most big supermarket chains and Asian Supermarkets. If you cant get it you could use Sriracha, Thai chilli paste or Sambal Oeleck.
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Marinating time: At least one hour but the longer the better (up to 24 hours)
Cooking time: 30 Minutes
For the Marinade:
4 x Chicken breast fillets
1 cup of buttermilk
1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of ground white pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
For the Seasoned Coating:
1.5 cups of plain flour
1 tsp of sea salt
1 tsp of ground black pepper
1/2 tsp of garlic powder
1/2 tsp of celery salt
1 tsp of dried thyme
1 tsp of sweet paprika
1 tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
Vegetable or canola oil for frying
For the Gochujang Sauce:
2 tbs of Gochujang paste
1 tbs of honey
1 tbs of honey
2 tbs of brown sugar
1/2 a cup of soy sauce
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
2cm piece of ginger, finely minced
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tbs of vegetable or canola oil
2 tsp of sesame oil
3 spring onions, finely sliced diagonally and placed in a bowl of ice and water for maximum crunch and freshness, drain before serving
2 tbs of sesame seeds
Steamed broccolini or Asian greens of your choice
Steamed Jasmine rice
To marinate the Korean Fried Chicken, place the breast fillets between two pieces of baking paper or cling wrap and lightly pound with a rolling pin to even them out so they are the same thickness all the way through. This will ensure an even cook.
Pour the butter milk into a shallow baking dish and stir in the garlic powder, salt and white pepper. Place the breast fillets in the dish and make sure they are evenly coated in the butter milk, cover and place in the fridge for at least one hour but the longer the better as your chicken will be superbly tender.
To make the sauce, place the soy, Gochujang paste, brown sugar, honey, ginger, garlic, vegetable oil and sesame oil in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the sugar has dissolved and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes until nice and syrupy. Add the juice of half a lime and set the sauce aside, reheat just before serving. It may not look like much but it is quite sweet so you only need about 1-2 tablespoons per person.
To cook the chicken, place all of the ingredients (except the frying oil) in a shallow baking tray and combine with a spoon so all of the spices are evenly combined in the flour mixture. Heat a large frypan and pour in enough oil to cover the base of the pan by about 1cm. Lift a breast fillet out of the butter milk and allow it to run off slightly before placing it in the flour mixture, turning it over and then shaking it off slightly before placing it in the hot pan. To test that your oil is hot enough, place a pinch of the flour in the pan and if it sizzles and bubbles immediately, it is hot enough. Allow the chicken to cook on one side for a few minutes, until golden and crispy before turning with a set of tongs and cooking on the other side until golden, for approximately 3-4 minutes. Place the cooked chicken on a lined tray with a rack and keep warm in a preheated 180°c oven. You will need to cook the chicken in batches of maybe two to three depending on the size of your pan.
To serve the Korean Fried Chicken, place portions of steamed Jasmine rice on each plate along with your choice of steamed greens. Cut the breast fillet in half diagonally and lay on top of the rice and greens, then spoon over the sauce. Place a nice pile of spring onions on top and scatter over sesame seeds. This is best served immediately.
Are you a fan of Korean food……you might like this?