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Korean Fried Chicken (Dakgangjeong)
40 minutes plus marinating
In Seoul, we learned that South Korea is home to multiple styles of fried chicken. Of them, we were especially smitten with dakgangjeong—two-bite pieces of crisp, well-seasoned chicken coated with a sticky, garlicky, sweet-salty, umami-rich glaze. Our recipe is based on versions shown to us by chefs Ryan Phillips and Donill Keum. As they taught us, we briefly marinate our chicken in a soy-based mixture to guarantee that each bite is thoroughly seasoned. We then remove the chicken but reserve some of the marinade to combine with flour, cornstarch and water, creating a slurry for coating the pieces before slipping them into the hot oil. The slurry fries into a light, crisp crust. But the real trick to dakgangjeong is double-frying the chicken, with a few minutes of rest between stints in the hot oil. This creates a superlative crispness—one that holds its texture even after saucing—without overcooking the chicken. Finally, we toss the golden-brown, just-fried pieces with a simple no-cook gochujang-honey sauce that clings deliciously and makes this fried chicken all the more enticing.
cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided, plus more if needed
tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger