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. scrapintogo1 United States joined 3/14 & has 1 comment

    i need to make 100 chicken wings with your recipe for korean night at my granddaughters school. can i cook during the day and serve cold that night? worried the chicken won’t be crisp.

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

      You are preparing chicken wings for your granddaughter’s school event? What an awesome grandmother! Yes, the chicken will keep being crunchy up to several hours at room temperature. You deserve to a shoulder massage from your granddaughter on the night the chicken is served. : )

  2. joyoon joined 8/10 & has 9 comments

    You guys MUST try this recipe. Truly the best fried chicken I’ve ever had (great when served with sweet Dongchimi). I made this for dinner and my Chinese husband was like, “*Gasp* ! What is this?!” I said, “Maangchi’s Korean chicken recipe!” Honestly delicious. The only thing I did different is that I mixed the dry ingredients (flours, etc.) and mixed it with the chicken. I also deep fried it for only 6 to 7 minutes depending on what I thought was good “enough” since my chicken chunks were drumsticks and different than Maangchi’s chicken sizes.

  3. thaibahts.org Thailand joined 2/14 & has 1 comment

    Hey maangchi,

    I absolutely love all your videos and recipes, thank you for all the amazing and easy recipes,I’m in love with the Korean food now. I enjoy watching you as I belong to an Asian family and i find your behavior very familiar, you are so cute and adorable

  4. SKim94 Flushing, NY joined 1/14 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi. I finally made your recipe for Yangnyeom Tongdak for the first time. It came out delicious, crunchy, and appetizing like you promised. However, I had a few problems while I was preparing the dish mainly due to my inexperience.

    I think I used really large drumsticks + wings, and struggled to check if it was fully cooked inside. in the future how long should I cook the meat if it’s too big or too small?

    While preparing the chicken before I started frying it. I noticed that the texture covering the chicken (the mixed flours, egg, etc), was a little runny compared to yours in the video. I used exact measurements so I believe it was the size of the egg I was using. Which sized eggs should I use? Jumbo? Medium? Or does it not matter that its runny?

    Lastly I heard that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been cautioning against washing poultry. What do you suggest?

  5. gomu ohio usa joined 1/14 & has 1 comment

    Best recipe I have ever tried. I skipped frying chicken and used frozen Tyson chicken strips. I blew my guests away.

    I love your site and videos. My kids are adopted from Korea and I am just a dad trying to keep them interested in Korean culture. Along the way, I fell in love with Korean food. Thanks for the awesome site!

  6. kpopmam Pittsburg, KS joined 12/13 & has 1 comment

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit. Not too spicy for my 2 year old son to have but with just enough kick that my spicy food loving boyfriend liked it too. I can’t wait to make it again!!! I will keep looking here for yummy recipes to make for my family :)

  7. SUMIRA LOVE TO EAT malaysia joined 9/13 & has 9 comments

    is there other types of sauce other than this…???? teach me…..kikikikikiki

  8. SUMIRA LOVE TO EAT malaysia joined 9/13 & has 9 comments

    hi maangchi,
    i just want to know whether the sauce can be added with other things??? tom yam paste maybe, since my family love tom yam…is it harmful?, i’m afraid that the combination can be dangerous or poisonous,…

  9. chibi88 Melbourne joined 7/13 & has 5 comments

    Hi Maangchi… I’m gonna try this recipe soon.. can i replace the rice syrup with corn syrup?? because i dont hv the rice one.. and can i use tapioca starch instead of potato starch?? if yes whats the ratio?
    Thanks alot Maangchi…

  10. gladys Davao City, Philippines joined 9/13 & has 4 comments

    weeew ! so excited to cook your recipe (yangnyeom tongdak) .. im in the grocery store right now , buying the ingredients .. hehehe’ maybe i’LL cook this for dinner .. *mouth-watering* ;)

  11. gladys Davao City, Philippines joined 9/13 & has 4 comments

    hello ms. maangchi !! :)
    i am a fiLipina particuLarLy from davao, hope you know the pLace ;)
    it’s hard for me to find a rice syrup and sweet rice flour ..
    so , what can i use instead ? :)
    PLEASE ………
    i’m dying to cook your recipe ……
    Thanks ms. Maangchi :)
    GodbLess :))

  12. rnbrat41 USA joined 9/13 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi, thank you so much! I’m absolutely addicted to yangnyeom tongdak. I think I make this every week. Luv it! Luv it!

  13. michaelmwu Mountain View, CA joined 8/13 & has 1 comment

    I made this for my family and my Korean roommate and they loved it! My roommate even said he liked it better than 본촌 치킨

  14. Pink Washington, DC joined 6/13 & has 2 comments

    I made this recipe this weekend & my family & I loved it. Thank you for sharing!!!!

  15. garydeuslutes Canada joined 6/13 & has 1 comment

    is there anything that i can use instead of the hot pepper paste? not good with hot spice.. BTW i tried your Japchae and it is great! :) thanks for ur vids!

  16. mutiara illinois joined 5/13 & has 1 comment

    Just tried this recipe… hello… best thing ever! I saw someone asked if he could bake the chicken instead. YES! Instead of frying the chicken, I baked mine. I set the temp to 450 for 30 mins, then flip the chicken and cook for another 15 minutes. They turn out great :) thanks alot!
    I also made the sweet pancakes, they taste like cinammon rolls. Yum!

  17. irwin.s Boston joined 4/13 & has 3 comments

    Hi Maangchi!
    I made this recipe last year for a barbeque and everyone loved it! My only problem was, what do I do with the leftover oil??? I ended up putting it in empty milk cartons and throwing it away. What should I have done with it?

    Anyway, thank you so much for always posting such delicious recipes. I love watching your videos even if I don’t want to make one you’re showing, because you’re so cute all the time! :3

  18. Kitty VA joined 4/13 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi!
    If I don’t have rice syrup, what else can I use? Can I use honey? Btw, i tried your kimchi, it was superrrrr delicious!!! Thanks for sharing so many wonderful recipes!

  19. irisvo Virginia joined 2/13 & has 4 comments

    Hi Maangchi,
    I living in small city so I can’t find rice syrup. Can I use white sugar instead ?? If it work , how many cups I need ??? And I can’t find potato starch, too. If don’t have it, does it still ok ???
    Thank you !!! And I love all your recipes

  20. Hi Maangchi!

    Just tried making this yesterday and it turned it super well. My family and friends loved it!
    Thank you again for another successful recipe.
    With heartfelt thanks! ^___^

  21. Mattuuggi Little Rock, AR joined 1/13 & has 3 comments

    I am curious how this sauce would taste with fried chicken gizzards. I grew up in the South and loved those when I was a kid, and was really happy when I went to Korea and could have them there as well.

  22. aileen3376 Iloilo, Philippines joined 2/13 & has 2 comments

    Hi Maangchi. We tried this recipe last Sunday. We made half of the recipe. Well, it was easy until we came to the part that we had to add an egg. How do you cut an egg in half? So we decided to beat it a little and use just half the beaten egg. The batter became crumbly though, and it did not stick to the chicken. Why is that so? Did the beaten egg make it that way?

  23. HaruPanda Nebraska joined 11/11 & has 2 comments

    This recipe is AMAZING!!! I made this on Sunday for my sister’s baby shower…and everyone loved them!! :D I made 20 lbs of wings and they were ALL gone :) Thank you for sharing your recipes with us all….can’t wait to try other recipes ^.^

  24. K-Foodie Auckland joined 2/13 & has 1 comment

    I was wanting to make korean fried dishes, especially Yangnyeom tongdak and Tangsuyuk.

    I noticed that the fry batters you use for dakgangjeong, yangnyeom tongdak, and tangsuyuk are different:

    1/2 cup potato starch powder, 1/4 cup all-purpose flour,
    1/4 cup sweet rice flour, and 1 egg.

    1/2 cup of starch powder, 1/2 cup of flour, and 2 eggs

    1 cup plus another 1/4 cup of potato starch, and 1 egg white

    I was hoping you could answer a few questions since the different batters has created some confusion:

    1. Are the different batters an “evolution” of philosophy on fry batters? Or were they from different sources?

    2. Do you have a favorite batter?

    Thanks so much,

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

      My recipes are always changeable and I have constantly been developing better recipes. Follow the each recipe it will turn out delicious because this is the best recipe I have developed so far. Someday if I develop better ratio of batter, I will post it on my website. Happy cooking!

  25. mwitulski Denver, CO joined 8/10 & has 1 comment

    We made this tonight and it was so delicious. I agree with others – the sauce is so good that you can use it on just about anything! My sauce got a little thick so I thinned it out with some Sprite. Thank you for the wonderful recipe and video!

  26. antoniasd CA, USA joined 12/12 & has 2 comments

    Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, made this tonight for my family. My husband said it was a meal to remember! I made one chicken, cut up, and made twice the sauce. Crispy, and chewy at the same time, thanks.

  27. iamrhart Namhae, South Korea joined 10/12 & has 12 comments

    Thank you for this. I made it twice now. The second time, i didn’t need all the Sauce. So i saved it, and you know, it makes a great replacement for other sauces, like if you want a Spicy Pizza, or you want a little “kick” to a burger. Also, a little ‘side’ comment, i took a couple chicken-breasts, and cubed them (about 1inch cubes), for a ‘boneless’ version. Still A+. thanks for helping put this Korean-Fast-Food dish into a recipe. :-)
    P.S. Greetings from SK

  28. JaeSeven Brunei joined 8/12 & has 3 comments

    hi,would it be okie if i just use plain flour instead of sweet rice flour?and can we just use any vinegar instead of apple vinegar?and must we use potato starch powder and baking soda?

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

    Would you recomend using a deep fryer rather than a wok?

  30. brookes20 California USA joined 7/12 & has 1 comment

    I have tried another recipe of this fried chicken,totally different from yours.I will defenitely try this.Thank you and I am now addicted to your site!

  31. JoyceWu Taiwan joined 7/12 & has 6 comments

    hello Maangchi,
    Love your recipe I try make this before.
    All my friend like this^^
    May I know if I wanna make 시리즈 the method is same like this one just dont need mix
    with sause?

  32. stormyp Liberty Township, Ohio joined 7/12 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi,
    I love all of your recipes, my husband and I were stationed in Seoul for 4 years and I really miss the food. Your recipes really help me out, I have a question for you where did you get the indoor grill you used to make the LA galbi can you get one of those here in the states?
    Thank you!!

  33. mrs.cam Guam joined 6/12 & has 1 comment

    Maangchi, thank you for this recipe! I made this tonight and it looked and tasted so good, I forgot to take a picture before the kids and I ate it all up! I will make this again for the hubby when he gets back from training. I’ll remember to take a pic then! lol. Fan for life, Mrs. Cam

  34. chubchiii ._. joined 6/12 & has 1 comment

    Hello!:) Amazing recipe! I just tried out this recipe today and it was awesome:D Just curious, i was looking at the dakgangjeong recipe and I realise that the batter for the chicken is different (for that recipe you used 2 eggs and didn’t use sweet rice flour and baking soda). How will it affect the outcome of the fried chicken?

  35. eco@est Winnipeg Mb joined 4/12 & has 1 comment

    Thank you for the recipe, I cook it last saturday and it taste good, it seems I’m in Korea again , this is one of the food I miss and also kimchi, I will try to make it next week, I want to visit Korea someday

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