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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61 Comments:

  1. SallyAnne Texas joined 6/16 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi,

    I made this for the first time last night and my family LOVED it. I quadrupled the recipe because I have a husband and son who eat big, and there is none left! Thank you so much! So delicious.

  2. HongMy Denmark joined 5/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi
    I love to watch you on youtube and I admire your passion for food. This is the first time I have tried your recipe and the result was amazing. It must be the best dish I have made This year. I did not have rice sirup so I just added sirup and a little bit of mirin. It turned out very well. I love the combi of salt, sour and sweetnes of the dish. It reflects our life.

    A million thanks for your inspiration.

    Greetings from a vietnamese girl from Denmark.


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  3. Aniron Oklahoma joined 5/16 & has 6 comments

    My onion tears and grease burns are nothing compared to how amazing this turned out. You’re my spirit animal, Maangchi!


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    • sanne Munich joined 8/14 & has 200 comments

      Onion tears? Use a really sharp knife (that goes for any food processor, too!), and/or cut the onions first lengthwise and then diagonally.
      That way, the cells aren’t damaged that much (knife) and the juices haven’t that much time reacting with oxygen (latter method).

      Bye, Sanne.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,676 comments

      Your kkanpunggi looks exactly like mine! Yummy!

  4. Kristinroberts East Texas joined 4/16 & has 1 comment

    I love watching your cooking videos. You have inspired me to do a Korean food night with all my friends!! Love your videos. Thank you for sharing your insights and knowledge. :)

  5. Eli G Austin, TX joined 4/16 & has 1 comment

    Absolutely love this recipe. so delicious, thanks for sharing!

  6. andyb Dublin, Ireland joined 3/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi, is corn syrup OK as a substitute for the rice syrup in this recipe? Thanks!!

  7. HyunsoosMom joined 3/15 & has 3 comments

    I have made this dish a few times since you posted it and every time my husband tells me how great it is. I used thigh instead of breast because he doesn’t like chicken breast and it still turns out amazing. We go to a Korean Chinese restaurant here in Atlanta, but he said he can’t order this at the restaurant anymore because this recipe is so much better. He also told his mother that he likes this dish and she has requested that I make it when we visit Korea this summer. I am always a little nervous to cook for his mother but using this site for a couple years now has made me feel more confident in cooking Korean food! So thank you for that, and I am sure my husband is thankful towards you too! :)

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 11,676 comments

      I’m so happy to hear that your husband loves your cooking! Your mother-in-law will be impressed by your delicious food. Please update me later!

  8. Nad Fl. joined 3/16 & has 1 comment

    I made this tonight and it came out excellent! I will try to include a photo.


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  9. SuzyCreamCheese Florida joined 1/15 & has 3 comments

    I made this for dinner last night. It came out exactly like your pictures! So delicious. I didn’t have potato starch, so I substituted rice flour. My husband requested it again very soon.

  10. mudhoney15 California joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

    I’m cooking this tomorrow night for my friends. I cant wait to try it. Is there any other dish you recommend serving with it?

  11. sl100048 Singapore joined 6/11 & has 15 comments

    Hi Maangchi, this was the kind of recipe I was looking for! It made a perfect dish during the Lunar New Year. My kids loved it! Thanks for sharing.

  12. aSlightDrizzle United Kingdom joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

    I made this for my family today, Maangchi, it was beautiful! I used Corn Flour (UK version of Corn Starch) as I couldn’t get Potato Starch, didn’t turn out as crispy as yours did in the video, but it tasted amazing! I’m definitely making it again!

  13. maczek Wroclaw, Poland joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi :) I prepared this yesterday and it was spicy & delicious! Thank you very much! :)

  14. liammcg Northern Ireland joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi! I was wondering if I can substitute the chicken for diced pork loin? If so how much would you recommend I use?

  15. Absal0m North Carolina joined 2/16 & has 1 comment

    Can I use corn starch instead of potato starch? Does it affect the taste a lot?

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