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 53280 votes

Be the first to rate this.


  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 12,047 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!

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 5 6 7 8 9 11

Leave a Reply

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