Friday, June 12, 2015

Korean Fried Chicken with garlic wasabi soy glaze

If there's one thing I can't resist, it's crispy Korean Fried Chicken (see my earlier posts here and here). So far, this is one of my favourites, with a lightly battered yet slightly chewy and crispy skin. The sweet, salty and sticky garlic soy glaze has a hint of wasabi to give it some kick. Chew on that crispy skin smothered with the soy glaze and sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and you're in heaven. I almost forgot, every bite should be enjoyed with some of those thin ribbons of scallions. It helps to lighten up the dish, adds some freshness and makes the chicken taste more healthy than oily. Like, really. It's not just a garnish, it's a main ingredient. Don't skip it.

Here's a closer look at the crispy chicken wings!
The batter for the chicken was based on a recipe from Saveur. The soy glaze is my own concoction based on the famous "Red Pepper Korean Fried Chicken" at Strathfield Sports Club. Koreans enjoy their fried chicken with a glass of cold beer. I think I might try that next time.

Korean Fried Chicken with Soy Glaze
Recipe for batter adapted from Saveur


800g (about 1 lb) chicken wings
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
Canola/Vegetable oil for frying

2/3 cup plain flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2/3 cup water

Soy glaze:
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon mirin
2 tablespoon water
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon brown sugar (or to taste)
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon wasabi paste (or to taste)

Toasted sesame seeds
Scallions, julienned into thin long ribbons


Prepare soy glaze first. Mix the soy, mirin, water and garlic in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for 1-2 minutes, and add brown sugar and corn syrup and simmer again briefly until it starts to reduce slightly. Stir in sesame oil and wasabi paste. Turn off heat and set aside.

Rinse the chicken wings and pat dry with paper towels. Rub all over with salt and lay out in a single layer to draw the moisture out, about 10 minutes. Brush off excess salt and pat the chicken dry again with paper towels.

Mix the batter ingredients with a whisk until you get a smooth paste. Add chicken and coat in the batter. Heat sufficient oil in a wok for deep-frying (about 2 inches deep) at medium-high heat (180C/350F). Shake off excess batter from each chicken wing before frying it in the hot oil. Fry in batches for 6-8 minutes until golden. Drain on a wire rack or paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the wings. Once all the wings have been fried once, bring the oil back to temperature again, on high heat. Fry the chicken a second time for 3-4 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Drain again. Arrange on a serving plate and drizzle with the soy glaze. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and top with scallions. Enjoy immediately!

Note: If the soy glaze has thickened upon cooling, just heat up slightly in the microwave before serving.