Hi everybody!
I wanted to update my recipe with a few improvements I’ve developed over the years, as well as the proper measurements. This new version is almost the same as the one in my book Real Korean Cooking, with just a tweak to the amount of flour used.</recipe for>

What makes Korean fried chicken so different from other kinds of fried chicken is its lightness and crispiness, which comes from double frying. The first fry cooks the chicken through and the second fry at a higher temperature finishes it off and creates a crispy exterior.

Yangnyeom means seasoned and tongdak means a whole chicken but it’s really just bite sized fried chicken, so sometimes we just call it yangnyeom chicken. It’s crispy Korean fried chicken but then coat it with a spicy sauce. The history of yangnyeom-tongdak in South Korea is not long, it started in early 1980s. I remember when that kind of fried chicken was popular and I used to order it all the time for my family. I’d call up the chicken shop and they’d deliver delicious, hot, spicy, garlicky, and crunchy chicken to our house in less than an hour.

The chicken shops making yangnyeom-tongdak were usually franchises. All of them tasted similar, the only difference between this place or that place came down to 2 elements: batter mix and the sauce. I remember some of funny popular franchise names such as:

“Mother-in-Law’s Chicken” (Korean mothers-in-law are always nice to the sons-in-law): 장모님 치킨 (Jangmonim Chicken)
“Son-in-Law Mr.Lee’s chicken”: 이서방 치킨 (Lee Seobang Chicken)
“Pelicana Chicken”: 펠리카나 치킨 (Pelicana Chicken)
“Wife’s Parent’s House Chicken”: 처가집 치킨(Cheogajip Chicken)
“Very Large Chicken”: 아주커 치킨 (Ahju-keo Chicken)

One day on my way home from work, I stopped by our local chicken shop for take out. “Can you make and wrap 1 order of yangnyeom-tongdak for me?” I knew the store owner because he was my long time neighbor. He cooked the chicken right in front of me and I saw the entire process. I watched as he made the batter, fried it twice, and made the red garlicky sauce with ketchup and gochujang. My eyes burned into his hands. It looked so easy!

Later I made it at home. My children said, “It tastes exactly like the fried chicken place!”

My 2 children are grown-ups now and I asked them: “Do you remember the first time I made yangnyeom-tongdak at home, just like the fried chicken shop?”

Yes, they remembered! : ) That chicken was delicious and it’s the same chicken I’ve been sharing with all of you. Enjoy the recipe!


For 3 to 4 servings

For the sauce:

For a side dish, pickled radish (chicken-mu), optional


Start the first fry:

  1. Heat 2 inches of oil in a large heavy frying pan or pot over medium hight heat for about 10 to 12 minutes until the oil temperature reaches 330-350ºF. I used my 12 inch pan but if your pan is smaller, work by batches. If you don’t have a thermometer, test it by dipping one piece of chicken in the oil. If it bubbles, it is ready.
  2. While the oil is heating, combine chicken, salt, ground black pepper, starch, flour, baking soda, and eggs in a large bowl. Mix altogether well by hand.
  3. Add the coated chicken to hot oil one by one. Fry them for 12 minutes until the all sides of the chicken are golden brown and crunchy, turning over with tongs.
    Yangnyeom chicken
  4. Take out the chicken with tongs or a large slotted spoon to wire strainer over a bowl to remove the excess oil.

Make seasoning sauce:

  1. Heat the 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Stir in garlic until light brown for about 30 seconds. Add the ketchup, rice syrup, gochujang, vinegar and stir well with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to low and stir until bubbling. Remove from the heat.

Start the second fry:

  1. Let the oil heat up for 2 minutes over medium high heat until it reaches 330-350ºF.
  2. Fry the chicken one more time, turning over with tongs for about another 12 minutes until very crunchy.
    Frying chicken
  3. Reheat the sauce over medium high heat until it’s bubbling again. Add all the hot crunchy chicken and mix well with a wooden spoon and tongs.sweet spicy crunchy Korean fried chicken

Finish and serve:

  1. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and transfer to a serving plate. Serve with chicken-mu (pickled radish) if you have it.sweet spicy crunchy fried chicken

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  1. JoyN Canada joined 3/23 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi! I have been following and using your website (and recommending it to others!) since I discovered your first posting of the JapChae recipe. Still my favourite comfort dish! Yesterday is the first time I tried the Korean Fried Chicken recipe and it is the BEST! So clear and easy to follow and, best of all, delicious! Thank you so much for all you do for us! You are a delight!

  2. Jonatan Sweden joined 1/23 & has 1 comment

    Looking forward to cook this recipe. I have never deep fried anything before and I have a question. Can you reuse the oil? Because you’re using a lot of oil when you deep fry, what do you do with it afterwards?

  3. martik777 Vancouver, BC Canada joined 12/18 & has 4 comments

    I used some really old hot pepper paste, like years old, but it looked and tasted ok, not quite as red as your photos. Is it ok to use un refrigerated Gochujang ?

  4. gooshipsam Seattle, USA joined 9/22 & has 1 comment

    Thank you for this recipe !! I have been visiting your site since 2012, when I followed your recipe to make kimchi.

    I decided to make yangnyeom chicken following this recipe and it turned out sooo good. ㄱㅅㄱㅅ

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  5. HKim Korea joined 8/22 & has 1 comment

    Came out great! Thank you Maangchi

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  6. Menna Egypt joined 4/22 & has 1 comment

    i really love ur recipes especially this one…its super tasty XD but i was wondering what side dishes can i serve with it to make it a more filling meal
    i was thinking to make the braised potatoes , white rice & spicy cucumber salad
    what do u think???? will these go well with it?? is there something better to use??

  7. danowen st andrews west, ont, canada joined 8/12 & has 2 comments

    I been using your recipes for quite a few years now probably once a month. I always use wings and use deep fryer double fried at six minutes each. Perfect. Any longer tends to over cook and dry out the wings. Great recipe and a favorite around here. Thank you so much

  8. TheTravelingFoodie San Francisco, CA joined 1/22 & has 3 comments

    This one is my crowd pleaser anytime I need to feed a gathering! No other Korean fried chicken recipe matches up! The absolute BEST!

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  9. AllieCK UK joined 9/21 & has 1 comment

    Just wanna say you are a genius! I only use your recipes to make Korean dishes and they pushed my cooking skills to the next level for sure!

    However, somehow I made a stupid mistake when making Korean fried chicken today, I mistakenly used tbsp instead of teaspoon for measuring lol… The chicken turned out OK, but I can still taste the extra baking soda in it (which has a weird bitter taste)… So I changed the sauce ingredients and made it extra sour and IT WORKED!

  10. Madhu1010 USA joined 11/19 & has 3 comments

    I didn’t have any chicken, so I tried this with potatoes and O. M. G. Finger-licking good! So crispy and flavorful. I will definitely try this recipe again! Substitutions I made were: potatoes instead of chicken, golden syrup instead of rice syrup, and rice vinegar instead of white vinegar. So good!

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  11. katgirl1709 Canada joined 5/21 & has 1 comment

    This is a grear recipe, thank you. It was the best fried chicken ever. I make it a month ago and will do so again soon. I just made the sauce to soon, so it ended up to thick and sticky. Also I will need to word on my oil temperature. I may have had the heat to high. ;) new stove.

  12. AisyaHermosa Malaysia joined 2/21 & has 3 comments

    Tqsm maangchi for delicious recipe!! Had used your recipe many times, but this is 1st time i post my cooks here. I’d tried several 양념통닭 recipe, but this the best. It suits with me, hubby & frens/relative tastes. I add on 1tbsp 고추가루 to make it spicier. Love to make extra sauce & put in fridge, so when I’m not around, hubby can fried Frozen fried chicken & just coating with this sauce

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  13. Jessicaf North carolina joined 6/20 & has 14 comments

    Your fried chicken recipes are to die for. Much better than Kentucky kfc. My husband requests Korean kfc like once a week. I think our family favorite is the honey butter flavor kind. It really is chicken candy. Almost like a fancy version of Cracker Jack caramel popcorn. One time I ended up making extra sauce, and did not label it so when we rediscovered it in fridge a few days later, someone thought it was caramel for ice cream. U know, it was pretty good on ice cream too!!. All of them r great though. Got any new fried chicken versions coming soon?
    Consider this an enthusiastic request
    Love your site.
    Kimchis have all been delicious too.

  14. dsladek Edinburgh joined 7/20 & has 1 comment

    Dear Maangchi,

    Thanks for the recipes! We’re enjoying Korean food in Edinburgh!

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  15. Zuhal Turkey joined 5/20 & has 1 comment

    HI Maangchi! I’ve just found your lovely website and have made a few recipes already like the kimchi and bulgogi! I made the fried chicken and it was amazing! My only problem is that I use a small pot and fry the chicken in two batches. But then the cornflour that is in the ends up burning and leaves dark brown pieces in the oil. What can I do?

  16. ilovepastry Toronto, Canada joined 5/20 & has 18 comments

    Thanks again Maangchi for another delicious recipe. I have used your recipe several times already! :)

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  17. ngyep Russia joined 8/19 & has 3 comments

    I’m sorry I have commented wrong recipe…

  18. SungHero03 Louisiana joined 3/18 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi,
    I am in Korea now, teaching English and I wanted to be able to make Yangnyeom Chicken at home instead of ordering it. Every time I try to make it, the coating for the chicken is too thick and clumpy. I’m doing it exactly as the recipe says… Can I add water to the batter to make it lighter? What do you suggest?

  19. Yash India joined 6/19 & has 4 comments

    Hi maangchi!
    I made yangnyeom-tongdak today for Father’s Day for my dad and my Husband who is celebrating his first Father’s Day :) I used chicken wings and used only cornstarch coating like u did in your dakgangjeong recipe. And used this sauce. It turned out so delicious that we all enjoyed and had an amazing lunch. I also made gamja salad.

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  20. juniper89 Daegu, Korea joined 1/14 & has 3 comments

    Hey Maangchi! I’m planning on making this soon and wanted to know how I can add ddeok to it. When I lived in Korea, I used to go to the local chicken shop and get Yangnyeom with ddeok! It was crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle, could I fry it, then add it to the chicken and sauce?

  21. I never use ketchup because I find it unnecessarily overly sweet and kept avoiding this dish because all recipes seemed to use it. Hoping for best, I skipped the rice syrup and added hot pepper flakes using your video with FIrstWeFeast and it had a delicious balance of savory, spicy, and sweet.

  22. jyoo214 Seattle, WA joined 7/18 & has 1 comment

    Thank you so much for this recipe, Maangchi! Your recipes are always amazing and bring so much happiness to our family. As someone diagnosed with Celiac disease, I make modifications with gluten-free flour instead of regular flour. This has allowed me to eat delicious Korean fried chicken at home!

  23. Lashayya.K United Kingdom joined 7/18 & has 1 comment

    I made this for my family yesterday and they loved it (it was spicy for them but perfect for me hehe) Thank you Maangchi!

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  24. Ondrejsrb London joined 5/18 & has 1 comment

    Hi, I have combined this and your other way to make Korean chicken. I have used corn starch and an egg and it worked brilliantly. Love Korean food. Love at first bite.

  25. NoAngel815 Northern Illinois joined 2/18 & has 1 comment

    Do you think I could make this in an airfryer? I can’t eat foods fried in oil anymore but I love this dish!

  26. daphishere Corona, California joined 2/18 & has 3 comments

    This recipe is so yummy! I’ve made it twice and loved it! Mine turned out so good.

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