Spicy garlic fried chicken

Kkanpunggi 깐풍기

Kkanpunggi is spicy garlic fried chicken stir-fried with vegetables and a sweet, sour, spicy sauce. It’s a Korean Chinese dish, originating in China but modified to suit Korean tastes, with Korean ingredients.

I can remember eating this only a few times as a kid. When we went to a Korean Chinese restaurant, I almost always ordered jjajjangmyeon! But I can remember having it once and admiring the beautiful balls of chicken the restaurant made. In Chinese, kkan means dry, pung means stir fry and gi means chicken.

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In my version I infuse the cooking oil with coarse red chili flakes, garlic, leeks to make the lightly fried chicken spicy, garlicky, and leek-y. You can use the oil for other stir-fried dishes featuring vegetables, mushrooms, or meat. Someday I’ll post the shrimp version of this recipe, it’s also delicious. And if you want a nonspicy version, just leave out the spicy stuff.

This dish is fast to make: it fries quickly because it’s made with boneless pieces of chicken. It also creates a delicious aroma that will fill your kitchen. Few people can resist kkanpunggi!

kkanpunggi (깐풍기)

Ingredients (for 2-3 servings)

Chicken:

  • ½ pound chicken breast (about 230 grams), cut into bite size small pieces
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup potato starch
  • 1 egg white (If you use 1 pound chicken, use 1 whole egg)

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Spicy garlic- and leek-infused oil:

  • ¼ cup vegetable or corn oil
  • ½ cup thinly shredded leek
  • 4 garlic cloves, cut into halves
  • 1 tablespoon coarse red chili flakes

Vegetables and seasonings:

  • 1 green chili pepper, deseeded, sliced thinly
  • 1 fresh red chili pepper, deseeded, sliced thinly
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • ½ medium sized onion, chopped
  • 3-4 small dried red chili peppers

Sweet and sour sauce (all mixed together in a small bowl):

Oil:

  • 1 cup cooking oil (grapeseed oil, vegetable oil, or corn oil)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Directions

Prep the chicken

  1. Combine the chicken, ginger, soy sauce, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Mix well with a spoon and let sit for 10 to 20 minutes.
  2. Add the egg white and ½ cup potato starch. Mix well by hand.prep chickenprepped chicken

Prep the spicy garlic- and leek-infused oil

  1. Heat up a small pan with ¼ cup cooking oil. When the oil is heated, lower the heat to medium and add the garlic and leek. Stir them with a wooden spoon for a couple of minutes until the garlic and leek turn light golden brown and crispy.
  2. Take the garlic and leek out with tongs and put them in a small plate. 
    fried leek
  3. Turn off the heat and add the chili pepper flakes to the hot oil. Stir it and let it cool for a few minutes. Strain the oil.infused-oil

Fry the chicken

  1. Heat up 1 cup of cooking oil in a 12 inch skillet or frying pan for 3-4 minutes over high heat (335-350°F).
  2. Turn down the heat to medium high and fry the chicken. When the bottom of a piece of chicken turns crunchy and light golden brown, turn it over with your tongs. It’s ok if the skillet is crowded, but split the chicken pieces with your tongs if they get stuck together. Keep rotating the chicken pieces and turning them over so they’re cooked evenly, about 5 minutes.frying
  3. Take them out and strain, and turn off the heat.
  4. Heat up a large pan. Add the spicy garlic leek infused oil. When the oil is heated, add the onion, green onion, red chili pepper, green chili pepper, and the small dried red chili peppers. Stir over medium high heat until the onion starts turning crispy for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the sweet and sour sauce and stir it for about 20 to 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.
    kkanpunggi (깐풍기) saucekkanpunggi-sauce
  5. Reheat the oil in the skillet and fry the chicken one more time for about 3 to 5 minutes, turning over with your tongs until it’s very crunchy and golden brown. Strain.double-frying
  6. Reheat the sauce until it’s sizzling. Add the chicken, the fried leek and garlic, and a drop of sesame oil. Stir and mix to coat the chicken.kkanpunggi (깐풍기)kkanpunggi (깐풍기)

Serve

  1. Serve right away. Goes well with Coke : )

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60 Comments:

  1. krisalis903 Dallas, TX joined 11/18 & has 2 comments

    I’ve been making a lot of your recipes this week. This one has been my favorite. I think the acidity of the vinegar or perhaps the spice of the pepper being cooked filled the house with such a strong aroma that it made my husband’s eyes water! The chicken turned out delicious and tender, but not too spicy at all. Loved it!


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  2. Sanotthe Aschaffenburg, Germany joined 5/17 & has 3 comments

    Sorry, I posted this twice by mistake!

  3. Sanotthe Aschaffenburg, Germany joined 5/17 & has 3 comments

    The kkangpunggi I made for lunch today. This morning it was snowing in Germany an I thought about your kkanpunggi video and found you are right: comfort food is the best thing to make on a grey snowy winter Sunday like today.


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  4. peonygirl portland, oregon joined 8/09 & has 46 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    This looks so tasty! I think it’s the same as Kung pao chicken I used to get in Chinese restaurants. They also served Kung Pao beef, which was good too.

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