When I was five, the first deep-fried chicken restaurant opened in the city I lived at in China. My mom biked there with me on the back of her bicycle and we waited in a long line. I could smell the oil from outside, and though I’d never had fried chicken before, I knew it was going to be great.
At the front, we ordered fried chicken and my mom gave me a piece to try. Sitting on the backseat of her bike, I sunk my teeth into the crispy chicken. For a moment, it was as if all the traffic around us stopped and all I could hear was the crunch crunch of the chicken. Then came the tender inside. I was convinced this was one of the best food inventions of all time.
Fast forward, I am a current med student in California. I’ve been living in California since I was six, but interestingly I have never had fried chicken at KFC. Recently I told a classmate this. It was most strange to him, and he insisted that I try at least once. So one day after we had taken our winter finals, we went to KFC.
Standing inside KFC, the smell reminded me of that line when I was little. The chicken was so delicious as well, convincing me fried chicken was tasty globally. Although I have only had fried chicken a few times in my life, the impression this dish has made on me is great. I can’t eat it often because it isn’t healthy, but I’m sure this will always be my special treat food In fact, I wish that after I take board exams this coming Spring (it’s the one big standardized test medical students take), that I can have some fried chicken with french fries and a soda. My cardiology professors may cringe, a little.
This recipe is an Asian flavored take on fried chicken. It’s super crunchy, with a sweet and spicy taste. Although double frying makes this dish take about 15 minutes longer to make than frying just one time, it makes sure that the chicken stays crunchy for a long time instead of becoming soggy after a few minutes. This recipe was adapted from Maangchi‘s Dakgangjeong recipe. I highly recommend the video she has of her making it, as it is a great help!
- 3 lbs chicken drumsticks
- 4 cups canola oil
- 1 cup corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 5 cloves minced garlic
- 5 small dried chili peppers
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Place chicken in a large bowl. Add all the ingredients listed under chicken coating and mix well. Coat chicken with corn starch by rolling each drum stick in a bowl of cornstarch.
- Add 4 cups canola oil to a pot, and heat on medium high heat for about 8 minutes -- until a wing dipped in it bubbles.
- Add all the wings to the pot and let cook for 15 minutes, turning with tongs so each side gets fried.
- Remove wings to a colander, and let cool a few minutes. Add wings back to the oil and continue cooking for another 15 min. This is double frying and makes the chicken extra crispy. You should hear a "scratch scratch" sound when you grab the chicken with tongs, letting you know the chicken is fully crispy. Remove and set on paper towels.
- Prepare sauce by adding all sauce ingredients to a non-stick pot and cooking till bubbly.
- Add chicken to sauce and toss with spatula till well coated.
- Serve warm.