Sweet, sour, & spicy Korean fried chicken

Yangnyeom-tongdak 양념통닭

Hi everybody!
I wanted to update my recipe for yangnyeom-tongdak Korean fried chicken which I originally posted in 2011 after so many people requested it, even back then. Now millions of people have used and enjoyed the recipe and I’ve included it in my cookbook too. I’ve been making this for decades so I really wanted to make an improved HD video for the recipe with a few improvements I’ve developed over the years, as well as proper measurements. This new version is almost the same as the one in Real Korean Cooking, with just a tweak to the amount of flour used.

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. The history of yangnyeom-tongdak is not long, starting 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


Fry chicken:

  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 it 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 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 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.
  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

Leave your rating:

So far this is rated 5/5 from 53276 votes

Be the first to rate this.


  1. KFCupcake2345 Perth, Western Australia joined 2/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!

    I LOVE your recipes and I cook them all the time.. xD
    Haha! I seem to be the only 14 year old in Australia that’s ever even heard of you..

    Anyway, I absolutely can’t stand tomato ketchup, so is it possible to substitute this for a different sauce like chilli sauce or smokey barbecue or something?

    Cheers.. ^^

  2. bo Hawaii joined 7/10 & has 49 comments

    I thought I left a comment but it must have been on FB. This recipe was five stars, two thumbs-up… A perfect TEN!! It was so unbelievably crunchy and sweet and spicy. I used all chicken wings because that’s MY favorite. It was heaven!

    Mahalo so much!

  3. dexterous21 Philippines joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    Hello! I have been using this site to try new recipes but this is just my first time to post a comment here. My husband and I were inlove with korean foods. I tried to cook this one last night. I was so happy that I was successful. It feels awesome to try new recipe after a long time of not cooking. :)

    Thanks, Maanchi!

  4. marbbq Menifee, CA joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    Is this like Kampungi, if not does anyone have a recipe for Kampungi

  5. cobugi Davis, CA joined 5/10 & has 7 comments

    I made this for a bbq party this past weekend and it was such a big success! The batter is really great and the chicken came out so crispy on the outside and succulent and moist inside! Oh and they were so professional looking!
    Thank you for the great recipe maangchi!

    a few little changes i made were, I doubled the sauce and used 4 lbs instead of 3 lbs of chicken. I also added a lot more kotchujang and a little honey to my sauce because it was a little too ketchupy for me and I like it spicier. I added salt and garlic power to the batter and used a lot of those to marinate the chicken as well.

  6. Hi Maangchi! I made this today and it turned out so great! I love it so much! But I didn’t use any rice syrup, how would it affect my cooking? Is it just to add sweetness? Because the one that I made today is pretty sweet to me already.. Thanks for the recipe and for answering Maangchi!

  7. jparklee Fullerton joined 6/10 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi!!
    One of my husband’s favorite dishes is tong-dak and yang-nyum tong-dak. I made this for today and he absolutely loved it!! I was so amazed at how easy you made it!! Thank you for another great recipe!

  8. Hi!
    This is my first time posting a comment, event though I’ve been using your site for a long time!
    What I want to ask is:
    What is the song playing in this video? You usually post the name, it sounds like the music from 춘향뎐, which I really love and want to find on cd. Thank you for all the wonderful recipes!
    Actually when I made kimchi and let my Korean teachers try it, they said it was the best they’ve had in the US and asked for the recipe so they could tell their wives and daughters about it!
    Thank you!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,047 comments

      ” Actually when I made kimchi and let my Korean teachers try it, they said it was the best they’ve had in the US..” awesome! You must have been very happy when you hear the compliment! I’m very happy for you! : )

      Music: “Jindo Arirang” played by Chae Okseon (gayageum musical instrument)

  9. Jinnie NJ joined 2/11 & has 1 comment

    Thanks!!! I’m not a huge fan of deep frying but this was well worth it. My husband loved it. It really does taste like the real thing.

  10. tyas jakarta, indonesia joined 1/11 & has 5 comments

    Wanna make it too !
    Thank you, maangchi :)

  11. SerenaK North Jersey joined 12/09 & has 5 comments

    maangchi unnie, do you have a recipe for the cubed radish that normally comes with YangNyeomTongDak?

  12. katoo joined 2/11 & has 3 comments

    hi maangchi,
    Last sunday,i searched on google with code word”kimchi recipe” and happened to find your website.I spent an hour to read all your posts.Let me say one word about them AWESOME!!!And,of course i read both whole napa cabbage kimchi and mak kimchi too.I tried to make both of them.They turned out so great!I really want to make kaktugi too.But i’m just a beginner so step-by-step direction is very important to me.
    Could you post a recipe for only kaktugi in the future,plz!
    I’m looking forward to your answer,
    Have a nice day!

  13. Do you know the recipe to Bon Chon Chicken? I love your website btw!

  14. Unnie, unnie! is this similar to chicken from Chicky Pub or something?? i love that kind of chicken, i used to buy it often when i was still in Seattle *-* i’ve moved to Perth now, i wanna try to make this but it’s hard to find decent Asian markets to shop in here :( plus ever since mom came to visit me, i never cook anymore because she did it for me. now that she’s gone, i must do the cooking myself again, and i’m kinda afraid that i’ve forgot how to do that… ^^;; one question, are all ingredients you mentioned a must? what substitutes can i use, or what can i skip if i couldn’t find something from the list? hope you can answer soon because i can’t wait to try this recipe! :D

  15. eyw8888 Bayside, New York joined 4/10 & has 2 comments

    I made this last nite and boy o boy was it DEELISH! Thank you Mangchi for another great recipe!

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 2 3 4 11

Leave a Reply

You must create a profile and be logged in to post a comment.