Korean Fried Chicken (Yangnyeom Chicken)

Mastering Korean fried chicken has been one of my top priorities, and I can confidently say that this is THE ONE! This KFC is tender, flavorful, with a thin & CRISPY batter, and covered in a sweet & spicy yangnyeom sauce that is finger-lickin’ good. 

I LOVE Korean fried chicken! Some of my favorite memories in Korea are of eating yangnyeom chicken with my cousins, often with beer and soju. Fortunately, KFC has become super popular in the states so it’s easily accessible for the most part. If you have never tried it, you are seriously in for a treat!

Yangnyeom means seasoned and mostly refers to anything covered in a red, sweet & spicy sauce. This is one of the original flavors for Korean fried chicken, but there are many more now. When I go out for KFC, I usually order a half & half plate: half yangnyeom chicken and half plain spicy chicken. 

The two most important things about Korean fried chicken are:

1. A thin, light, & CRISPY batter. It should not be thick and crunchy, or overly browned. This happens when the batter is mostly all purpose flour. Korean fried chicken should be battered with mostly potato starch. 

2. KFC is double fried! The first fry at a lower temperature, then rested on a cooling rack before it goes back into the fryer at a higher temp. 

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Chicken wings- For this recipe you will need 2 lbs of chicken wings and drumettes. Try to avoid super small wings and drumettes- anything more than 16 pieces is too small. You may opt for bigger wings (between 12-14 for 2 lbs), but just keep in mind that the frying time for these will be slightly longer. 

  • Seasoning- I prefer to do a dry brine for the chicken with a simple seasoning mix of salt, garlic powder, pepper, and cayenne pepper. The ratio of cayenne pepper to everything else might seem shocking to you (it’s 3x more), but don’t worry about it being spicy. Do add more if you want it spicy though. 

  • Wet batter- Potato starch, all purpose flour, egg, baking powder, and cold club soda (or water). 

  • Dry batter- Potato starch, all purpose flour, salt, chicken bouillon, and cayenne pepper.

  • Yangnyeom Sauce- I’ve tried A LOT of yangnyeom sauces. Many of them are too sweet or tangy for my taste, but this one is perfectly balanced and tastes just like the yangnyeom chicken in Korea! The ratio of ingredients is the key to getting this sauce right (measurements in recipe card below).

    • extra spicy gochujang

    • ketchup

    • rice syrup (or corn syrup)

    • water

    • soy sauce

    • sugar

    • plum vinegar

    • gochugaru

    • garlic

How to make it

Here are step-by-step instructions with pictures for all my visual learners (like me!). You can find the ingredient list/measurements in the recipe card at the end of this post. 

1. Combine the chicken seasoning ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Leave out the cayenne pepper if you don’t want any spice at all.

2. Pat the chicken dry, then season all over. Dry brine uncovered in the fridge over night, or brine on your counter at room temperature for an hour before you fry them.

3. Make the yangnyeom sauce: combine all the yangnyeom sauce ingredients except for the minced garlic and neutral oil.

4. Over medium low heat, lightly fry the minced garlic in neutral oil (I used canola) until fragrant. Do not let it brown too much.

5. Add the yangnyeom sauce

6. Mix and allow the sauce to bubble a little, making sure the heat is not too high. Remove from heat after 2-3 minutes. If you’re making this several hours or days ahead of time, you can keep it in the fridge and reheat it once you are ready to use it.

7. Make the dry batter: mix together potato starch, all purpose flour, chicken bouillon, salt, and cayenne pepper. You can leave out the cayenne pepper if you don’t want any spice. But it’s really not that spicy (so add more if you want spice!)

8. For the wet batter, mix together potato starch, all purpose flour, egg, baking powder (NOT baking soda), and cold club soda.

9. Dip the chicken wings into the wet batter first, shaking off as much excess batter as you can.

10. Then dip into the dry batter, packing it in tightly. Shake off as much excess dry batter as possible- tap it against the side of the bowl multiple times.

11. Fry in peanut oil (or canola or vegetable oil) in batches, do not overcrowd your pot. Use a candy thermometer for this- it is extremely important to monitor the temperature for the first fry. Bring the oil to about 350 degrees, then carefully drop in the coated chicken wings and set your timer for 6-7 minutes. The temperature will drop when you add the chicken. Keep the temperature between 320-335 degrees.

Note: if your wings are larger (about 12-14 wings), add 1 minute to frying time.

12. After 6-7 minutes, rest on a cooling rack and repeat with the rest of your batches.

13. Once all of your chicken has gone through the first fry & resting period, fry them for a second time. This time bring the temperature to about 370 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperature will drop when you add the chicken- just don’t let it drop below 350 degrees. Set your timer for 1 minute.

14. Remove from oil and let it rest for a few minutes.

15. Add the yangnyeom sauce and toss to coat or use a brush. Sprinkle with sesame seeds

16. Serve with pickled radish, cabbage salad, and beer for the ultimate KFC experience. 

The cabbage salad is super simple- just thinly slice some green cabbage and wash thoroughly. Drizzle over dressing, which is 2 parts kewpie mayo, 1 part ketchup, and just a touch of mustard. 

My tips for making the best KFC

1. Invest in a candy thermometer. Trust me, you need this! Frying temps are crucial when making Korean fried chicken at home. For the first fry, you really want to make sure the temperature is between 320-335 degrees Fahrenheit. For the second fry, pump up the heat to 370 and don’t let it drop below 350. 

2. Shake off excess wet batter from the chicken before adding to the dry batter, and do the same with the dry batter. We want a thin & crispy coating on the chicken, not thick and crunchy. 

3. Add more cayenne pepper to the chicken and the seasoned batter if you plan to eat these plain (without yangnyeom sauce), but still want that signature spicy fried chicken flavor. 

4. Use extra spicy gochujang for the yangnyeom sauce.

Did you know that gochujang comes in mild, hot, and extra hot? See the photo below if you’re not sure what to look for.

Yangnyeom sauce has a lot of sugar which tends to tame the spice from gochujang. However, reducing the amount of sugar doesn’t necessarily make it spicier, and also creates a lack of balance. In my opinion, regular gochujang is not even that spicy. So if you really want to feel the heat, use extra spicy gochujang. 

Korean Fried Chicken (Yangnyeom Chicken)

4.98 from 35 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lbs chicken wings & drumettes about 16 pieces
  • peanut oil for frying or canola oil
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Seasoning for chicken

  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper optional (spicy)

Wet batter

  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cold club soda or cold water

Dry batter

  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper optional

Yangnyeom Sauce

  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup extra spicy gochujang
  • 1/4 cup rice syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp plum vinegar or rice or white vinegar
  • 1 tsp gochugaru
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 3 garlic cloves minced

Instructions
 

  • Combine the chicken seasoning ingredients: salt, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Leave out the cayenne pepper if you don't want any spice at all.
  • Pat the chicken dry, then season all over. Dry brine uncovered in the fridge over night, or brine on your counter at room temperature for an hour before you fry them.

Make the yangnyeom sauce

  • Combine all the yangnyeom sauce ingredients except for the minced garlic and neutral oil.
  • Over medium low heat, lightly fry the minced garlic in neutral oil (I used canola) until fragrant. Do not let it brown too much.
  • Add the yangnyeom sauce
  • Mix and allow the sauce to bubble a little, making sure the heat is not too high. Remove from heat after 2-3 minutes. If you're making this several hours or days ahead of time, you can keep it in the fridge and reheat it once you are ready to use it.

Make the dry & wet batter

  • For the dry batter, mix together potato starch, all purpose flour, chicken bouillon, salt, and cayenne pepper. You can leave out the cayenne pepper if you don't want any spice. But it's really not that spicy (so add more if you want spice!)
  • For the wet batter, mix together potato starch, all purpose flour, egg, baking powder (NOT baking soda), and cold club soda.
  • Dip the chicken wings into the wet batter first, shaking off as much excess batter as you can.
  • Then dip into the dry batter, packing it in tightly. Shake off as much excess dry batter as possible- tap it against the side of the bowl multiple times.
  • Fry in peanut oil (or canola or vegetable oil) in batches, do not overcrowd your pot. Use a candy thermometer for this- it is extremely important to monitor the temperature for the first fry. Bring the oil to about 350 degrees, then carefully drop in the coated chicken wings and set your timer for 6-7 minutes. The temperature will drop when you add the chicken. Keep the temperature between 320-335 degrees.
    Note: if your wings are larger (about 12-14 wings), increase the timer for 7-8 minutes.
  • After 6-7 minutes, rest on a cooling rack and repeat with the rest of your batches.
  • Once all of your chicken has gone through the first fry & resting period, fry them for a second time. This time bring the temperature to about 370 degrees. The temperature will drop when you add the chicken- just don't let it drop below 350 degrees. Set your timer for 1 minute.
  • Remove from oil and let it rest for a few minutes.
  • Add the yangnyeom sauce and toss to coat or use a brush. Sprinkle with sesame seeds
  • Serve with pickled radish, cabbage salad, and beer for the ultimate KFC experience.

*This post contains affiliate links to products that I actually use & recommend. I am not sponsored by these brands, but I do make a small commission from qualifying purchases made through these links.

This Post Has 35 Comments

  1. Lam

    5 stars
    Such a tasty recipe. I love making it at home this way vs going out. I can’t go back to other fried chicken spots now that I’ve had these. 🤣 Thank you for being so detailed!

  2. @oolongka

    5 stars
    Can’t wait to try this! Been looking for a good Korean fried chicken recipe and love how she included pictures with her very detailed instructions, which is super helpful because my kitchen skills are akin to that of a potato. Thanks, Stella!

  3. Josephine_kwok

    5 stars
    Quite some work but so much better than what you can get at most of the restaurants!

  4. Sarah Vang

    5 stars
    One of my favorite recipes of yours! But my absolute favorite Korean Fried Chicken recipe. Super easy to follow and hard to mess up on.

  5. JD Martin

    4 stars
    Texture, taste, flavors pop in your mouth. A great addition to party foods!

  6. Joe

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe! The sauce is so delicious!

  7. Anna

    5 stars
    This is just one of my favorite recipe of yours! Our family loves a good fried chicken, and although I’ve tried multiple recipes, this is by far my favorite one! It’s easy to follow especially those people who loves some detailed instructions,.and I love how you show you’re step by step so it makes it a lot easier for beginner cooks! Keep them yummy recipe coming, because I love your content!

  8. Jeannel

    5 stars
    This dish is packed with flavor and great texture—the right amount of crisp and tenderness! Enjoyed making it as much as others enjoyed eating it

  9. Limairyy

    5 stars
    Now this recipe was a hit in my home! Bb.q was one of our favorite spots until I started making this myself. It’s been a biweekly staple since you posted it and we just can’t get enough! Much like your other recipes!

  10. Tania Yanez

    5 stars
    Talk about ✨f l a v o r✨ ~ now you’re talking my language 😋 this crispy Korean chicken is such a perfect balance of crispy, tenderness, and did I mention f l a v o r!! If you love good chicken, this is a MUST TRY!
    Thank you for sharing Stella 🫶🏻

  11. Krystina

    5 stars
    I have made so many Korean fried chicken recipes and this one has been the best.

    Thank you for sharing.

  12. Nita

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! It has a great balance of seasons and very crispy.

  13. Angie

    5 stars
    This recipe is spot on. Crispy and delicious. I make double the sauce and keep the rest for dipping veggies or whatever. It doesn’t last long in my house!

  14. Josephine

    5 stars
    This KFC recipe was a huuuge hit with my family. Will definitely make again. Thank you!

  15. Maria

    5 stars
    One of my many favorites!!! All the recipes are easy to follow and FLAVOR components are always PERFECT!!! You truly can’t go wrong with anyone you pick to try!! Korean Fried Chicken is our addiction 😋

  16. Trinh

    5 stars
    This is my go to recipe for fried chicken. It comes out the right texture and crunchiness just like restaurants.

  17. Ryan Wu

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. Always turns out super flavorful and juicy.

  18. Michelle Nguyen

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe 2 weeks ago and it was by far the best recipe I’ve tried ever! Everyone loved the batter and flavor.

  19. Dya

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe once cause I love yangnyeom chicken so much. I basically bought bb.q or bonchon almost every 2 weeks and my wallet is crying. So, making it at home is a cheaper option. I definitely had to tweak the recipe a bit to get it taste the way I like em. But overall, this was pretty easy recipe to follow. Thank you so much!

  20. 5 stars
    So I gave an extra star for the simple fact that if there is one thing I miss about Seoul… it’s the fried chicken & beer OMG! Definitely appreciate a recipe that sings good memories at every crunchy bite. Cheers! 🍻

  21. @cledamarie

    5 stars
    I’ve made this several times and it’s sooooo good. It’s the perfect crisp and consistency. Thanks for perfecting this recipe!

  22. Jenny

    5 stars
    Omg these were so delicious, I make them whenever I find myself craving fried chicken.

  23. May N.

    5 stars
    The BEST Korean fried chicken recipe. Thank you so much!

  24. Juan Lopez

    5 stars
    This recipe was made for ME! I fell in love with Korean fried chicken and this recipe helped me get that amazing crunch at home 😋

  25. Anonymous

    5 stars
    I tried this recipe because I was craving some KFC but didn’t want to go out, and it was amazing!! Thank you

  26. @phuongplus4

    5 stars
    My daughter loves KFC and this is the best recipe! So easy to follow and delicious!! Thank you!

  27. Jacklyn

    5 stars
    Fried chicken is the love language in our household (not good for the waistline but YOLO)

  28. Jessica Mae Visaya

    5 stars
    Best Korean fried chicken recipe. Love it!

  29. CMarie

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice now and it is perfection each time! The seasoning and crisp is exactly what I have been looking for in a recipe!

  30. Elyce

    5 stars
    This chicken is delicious! This was my first attempt at deep frying so I was scared for many different reasons lol but it still came out picture perfect with amazing crunch and flavor. Thank you for sharing!

  31. Matt De La Mare

    5 stars
    This was great! I am a huge subscriber to your recipes- I love your carne asada!
    This one was amazing! The sauce was deceiving- it smelled so strong of gochujang I thought it’d be super hot and overpowering but it was only a small part. I did a boneless wings version, but still great!

    1. Charmaine Shelton

      5 stars
      Matt, How did you do the Boneless version?That is what I would like to do

    2. Jasmine

      5 stars
      I absolutely hate deep frying things but this recipe makes it worth it! I can almost smell the photos.

      Thanks for always making me hungry!

  32. Theresa

    5 stars
    Fantastic! This is a great recipe. Well written. Precise and accurate measurements and cooking times are the key. Thank you!

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Hi, I'm Stella!

I come from a multicultural background, and cooking has been one of the best ways for me to stay connected to my heritage. My recipes are tried and tested, many of them passed down through family. I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as we do!

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