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. KerrBear New Jersey joined 4/12 & has 1 comment

    I just made this tonight and HOLY CANNOLI! I have had a lot of great sauces, but I think this just became my new favorite! It was AMAZING!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this! Oh how I wish you would come cook with me! :)

  2. mel1223 kuala lumpur joined 3/12 & has 1 comment

    Ever since I stumble onto your blog while looking for tteokbokki recipe, I have fallen in love with all your recipes! The steps you shown are so easy to follow and it has always been a successful cooking attempt each time I followed through u ^^

    This dish is so mouth watering and I been craving for it for so long so I am gona try to make it real soon. Just one question – if I am unable to find Kosher salt (is this different from the normal salt we used for all other cookings?), what is the replacement for it? (I stay in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, not used to seeing this term here, so not sure if I can find it)


  3. faye_chen bali joined 3/12 & has 1 comment

    Thank you Maangchi! I am so going to try this recipe ^^ It’s one of my boyfriend’s (and mine, after he introduced me to korean famous two-two chicken) favourite dish. Will post the picture if I succeed!

  4. lmhjgsfever Hungary joined 1/12 & has 18 comments

    언니 감사합니다

    this was a hit with every one that tried it, it was gone in minutes thanks for another hit

  5. tantr33 Indonesia joined 8/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi! I really really love ur recipe especially this Yangnyeom Tongdak recipe :) I really want to make it but here is very difficult to find Gochujang, can I skip that or is there any alternative ingredient? Thank you so much Maangchi!! I have watched almost all ur recipes!! Keke~~ ^^ Gamsahamnida, Annyeonghaseyo!! :D

  6. yuvalerie Rockville, Maryland joined 2/12 & has 1 comment

    HI Maangchi! i really love this recipe, but i think there’s a typo on step 2. I think it’s suppose to be 1 ts of ground black powder not 1 tbs.

  7. sangtran Houston, TX joined 2/12 & has 1 comment

    I mom recently passed and I used to make your recipes when she was sick. It brought her comfort just like when she grew up on her old Korean farm…Your style of cooking was very similar to hers. I love this recipe! Can I make this a DAY IN ADVANCE? If so, how do you think I can reheat it without drying it out?

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Oh I’m sorry to hear about your mom! You used to cook for her when she was sick? You are such a nice daughter!

      “Can I make this a DAY IN ADVANCE?” I wouldn’t make this dish in advance. It’s best right after making but it will be ok to make several hours in advance. If you have to make it one day in advance for some reasons, keep it in the fridge and roast it in the oven.

  8. INDO170845 Jakarta, Indonesia joined 2/12 & has 1 comment

    can I use corn starch instead of potato starch?????

  9. Ryan Germany joined 7/11 & has 14 comments

    Hey Maangchi,
    I am craving for this recipe but I don’t have sweet rice flour on hand, with what can I substitute it (maybe rice flour or even plain flour) ? Another question, can I just skip the baking soda, because I don’t really like to eat something chemically (or factory-) made things, will they be still crispy and crunchy ?
    Thank you !

  10. yukialia Singapore joined 2/12 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi,

    I’ve tried this recipe, friends & family likes it..
    I love all your videos, as you teach step by step & easy to follow for me
    as i’m a beginner in cooking.
    Thank you so much for the recipes.

  11. Finally cooked this tonight and i love it! i loved it since i had a taste of this dish in Korea. Now i can cook it whenever i crave for it. Thanks for sharing, Maangchi!

  12. TDenham77 McLeansboro, IL joined 12/11 & has 8 comments

    Wow….this looks just like the chicken my samchoon got for my sisters & I when we were in Korea! Definitely gonna have to try it out! :)

  13. sedaniel Michigan joined 12/11 & has 1 comment

    I’ve tried to make fried chicken before to no avail, I can never get it as crispy as I’d like. This recipe worked to perfection, and was so tasty! The chicken was very crispy and I like the sauce, my only problem was that I used honey instead of rice syrup because I couldn’t find any, and next time I will add a little less honey because it was a bit too sweet for me. I also did not use the sweet rice flour because I couldn’t find it, so I used cornstarch instead and it worked very well. For anyone wondering, about 300 to 325 F is the perfect temp for the oil, I used my candy thermometer to check it. Great recipe overall, thanks!

  14. quseio pennsylvannuia joined 12/11 & has 2 comments

    would you forgive me if i get someone else to make chicken ?:) There is a place nearby that makes incredible fried chicken, they high pressure fry it. and it i so juicy mmmmmmm

    i was thinking of bottling the sauce for myself

  15. franklkt Malaysia joined 11/11 & has 4 comments

    I cooked this dish twice and it was delicious~~ Thank you Maangchi for this wonderful recipe!!! Love ya cooking so much…

  16. igarci18 Mexico joined 11/11 & has 3 comments

    Last keekend I made this recipe, and I’m thinking to do the same for next weekend, did not find hot peper paste or flakes, I use mexican red hot peper, same flavor, thank you,
    thank you.

  17. chef Benedict Manila, Philippines joined 11/11 & has 45 comments

    this is the best fried chicken ever. fried chicken in a Korean way, also i first tasted it on an international food sampling on international family fun day at the school of my best friend’s kids. in a Korean booth. Later on I made my own version instead of chicken its fish. it was cooked on a same way which i served on my mother’s birthday. Where I served this dish. And it becomes a family favorite dish and first one to be finished. It becomes a new favorite.

  18. JG1 U.S.A. joined 12/08 & has 3 comments

    I made this for dinner tonight. I didn’t have rice flour so I used Tapioca flour which is also super fine like rice flour. I didn’t have potato starch so I used potato flour. I had no rice syrup so I used honey. Otherwise I followed your measurements and cooked everything exactly the way it was shown.
    The chicken looked just like yours! It was so delicious! The whole family loved it! I will definately make this again. Hopefully next time I will have the exact ingredients to use so I can see if there is a flavor difference.
    Thank you again for another delicious meal!

  19. xine manila joined 11/11 & has 1 comment

    Hi, will plain rice flour instead of sweet rice flour work for this recipe? Thank you it looks absolutely delicious

  20. liefdego Sydney joined 11/11 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi.. Thanks so much for the recipe. My bf and me love it so much. So tasty!!! Cant stop eating it! Will make another run very soon 

  21. MrsKorea Montreal joined 7/11 & has 3 comments

    OMG sooo good!! I am glad I cooked this :D My husband is Russian and he just LOVED it!! i am gonna make it for my in laws and see how they react to it :D!!!! THank you xxx

  22. DolPakSa Portland, Oregon joined 8/11 & has 2 comments

    I have made this now twice in the past two weeks and everyone who tries it loves it! It is the closest thing to An Nam chicken by Korea University in Seoul that I’ve had, I love it. Thank you for all these great recipes.

  23. Give Thanks Indonesia joined 8/11 & has 7 comments

    Hi Maangchi…
    This fried chic is easy to make & the important thing it’s tasty!
    Now it’s become my family fav, my kids even love it!

    I substitute the vinegar with red wine vinegar since only that I have in hand :)

    I posted the yangnyeom-tongdak here : http://elieslie.blogspot.com/2011/07/yangnyeom-tongdak-seasoned-fried.html

    Tq again for the recipe!;)

  24. Mesha31 Vriginia joined 7/11 & has 1 comment

    I made this today. I did not use alot of the hot pepper paste my mother does not like spicy food. It was so good I’m gonna be cooking more of your dishes!!

  25. deggkanan New York joined 7/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi, there! I’m making rice cake soup, tomorrow because I usually make my family spicy food, but they can’t really handle the Korean hot pepper paste. So, I was wondering! For someone that can handle about a mild-spice taste, would this be too spicy? They always complain my food comes out too spicy, but I love it that way D:

    Oh! And I would like to thank you very much for your website! I’ll be ordering all three of your cookbooks soon!

  26. Abijay United States joined 7/11 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi, I’m gonna try this tonight looks good. Can i use Ground fresh chili paste intead of hot pepper paste if not then i’m just gonna try to find hot pepper paste. ty

  27. IsabeLeeta Flushing, NY joined 3/10 & has 1 comment

    Hi, I love that you posted this recipe. Kyochon chicken is one of my faves, and your recipe sounds like it comes very close to theirs. Now, I was wondering is the rice flour very necessary? Can I just use 1/2 of regular all purpose flour instead? Or perhaps bread flour? Thanks!

  28. Hi Maangchi,

    Thank you for this recipe! My sister and I made it for dinner and it was delicious! Definitely will make this again in the future :)!!

    Whole chicken was on sale for 65 cents a pound and we bought a pretty decent size one and chopped it up. We used 1.5x the recipe amount and it had the perfect amount of sauce. We didn’t have rice syrup or apple vinegar so we used corn syrup and regular vinegar and it turned out fine. Next time I’ll use a big big pot to make the sauce cause the mountain of chicken was trying to jump out of the pan x(!

    My sister says no more KFC haha.

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      awesome. It sounds like you made really delicious chicken! I’m making this for July 4th party on Monday! : )

      • Dir en grey joined 2/11 & has 9 comments

        Nice! We still have left overs since we used a whole chicken to make this recipe. I ate some this morning without microwaving it and believe it or not the chicken still made the crispy crunchy noise haha!

        They had frozen chicken wings/drums at the supermarket today buy one get one free and we bought 2 bags >:D… guess what we are going to use them for :D! Yangnyeom tongdak!

  29. EdTait Loreto, Mexico joined 6/11 & has 1 comment

    We live in Mexico, where many things we are used to being able to access, is not always available…..May I substitute corn starch for potato starch and….might I substitute normal wheat flour for rice flour…? And….what might I substitute for rice syrup…?

    I’d love to make your chicken with the ingredients you suggest be used….some things are just not available here on Baja….



  30. Ikkin-bot edmonton joined 9/10 & has 27 comments

    I made this tonight. I really is the best fried chicken I’ve ever had!


  31. wiydiy Indonesia joined 5/11 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi, i often read your blog but i just joined this site. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this recipe. i am from Indonesia, i usually eat this yangnyeom chicken from a korean restaurant near my place. but they’re overpriced.

    i really want to try this recipe. what is sweet rice flour? is it the same with glutinous rice flour? and can i replace the corn syrup with honey? or just the simple syrup?

    sorry for asking too much, Maangchi! :)

  32. miso manchester, england joined 3/11 & has 1 comment

    hi Maangchi!
    first time posting on your site though i’ve been watching your cooking show for a while :)
    im just excited because i made a vegetarian version of yangnyeom tongdak using Quorn, a soy-protein product we have in England (which interestingly looks and feels like real chicken!).. Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead of corn syrup, and some chili powder and soy sauce because i didn’t have gochujang…. and it still turned out well! your recipe is fantastic, the coating is so crispy and lovely! it brought me back to when i used to eat Pelicana chicken in Korea when visiting my grandmother (when i wasn’t vegetarian) :)
    thanks for all your recipes, i’m really enjoying learning each recipe… these are such a great resource and you make me laugh!

    • Maangchi New York City joined 8/08 & has 12,045 comments

      Quorn, yes, I heard about it from one of my readers! Vegetarian yangnyeom tondak (seasoned fried chicken)! How is it possible! lol! But I know what you mean. Someone makes vegetarian fish sauce! I’m very impressed by my readers’ creativity! Please upload the photo if you make it again later.
      I can refer it to vegetarians who love to taste yangnyeom tongdak. : ) Cheers!

  33. Neny Lily Lao Philippines joined 5/11 & has 12 comments

    Wow! This recipe has to be included on my menu. Seemed so very different from my other chicken recipes. Surely, this will be a great surprise to my son as he loves chicken very much


  34. 1443sejong& has 2 comments

    Just made this, so good!!!! I’m excited to make it for my family when i go home :) thanks Maangchi!!!!

  35. Maangchi, I know this is complete sacrilege, so please pretend this doesnt offend your gourmet instinct, but can i bake this chicken instead of frying it? My friends and I are aging but we love our crispy chicken. Any suggestions with the baking?

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