Kkanpunggi (깐풍기). It’s a delicious fusion dish served at Chinese restaurants in Korea. People don’t it eat as much as they want because (1) it’s pricey and (2) it’s only served in large quantities. But when you can get at least 3+ people to a Chinese restaurant, it’s Kkanpunggi time! Most of the shops will serve chicken Kkanpunggi. But I think the shrimp version is irresistibly good.
It’s all about that glaze. As you bite into the shrimp, you’ll first taste the salt from the soy sauce and fragrance from the garlic. Then, you’ll be hit with a tangy and sweet note. This is why I love Kkanpungi so much. It’s all of these dynamic flavors layered on top of one another.
When making this dish, it’s important to get a firm crispy skin on the shrimp. That way, when you coat it in that hot glaze, it doesn’t turn mushy. To get shrimp extra crispy, you’ll want to batter them in starch powder (as opposed to flour & breadcrumbs) AND double-fry them.
Kkanpunggi tastes great on top a bed of white rice (perhaps some Kimchi on the side). Or serve it as a big communal platter with some delicious Jajangmyeon. Whatever you choose, expect big smiles and people asking about the recipe!
Note: You can swap out the shrimp with chicken thighs (600 grams), tofu pieces, or Shiitake mushrooms. All of them taste great!
Shrimp Kkampungi - Irresistible Shrimp Dish
Butterfly'd shrimp tossed in a tangy, sweet and salty glaze.
- Fresh shrimp - 25
- Cheongyang pepper - 2 peppers (or 1 Jalapeno)
- Red chili pepper - 1 pepper (use mild pepper, mainly for color)
- Garlic - 4 cloves
- Onion - 1/4 whole
- Spring onion - 1 stalk (forearm piece)
- Chili oil - 3 Tablespoons
- Vegetable oil - 1 Tablespoon
- Starch powder - 4 Tablespoons
- Water - any amount (reference video)
- Egg white - 1
- Soy sauce - 3 Tablespoons
- Oyster sauce - 2 Tablespoons
- Sugar - 2 Tablespoons
- Honey - 1 Tablespoon
- Vinegar - 2 Tablespoons
- Black pepper - few shakes
- Water - 3 Tablespoons
- Take out a mixing bowl. Place in starch powder (4T) and mix with some water. Then set it aside for at least 15 minutes - so the water can separate from the paste.
- Clean shrimp: Take heads off. Peel and de-vein shrimp. Pinch of the pointy tail piece off each shrimp. Then butterfly shrimp. (see video for reference)
- Salt and pepper the shrimp.
- Prep aromatics: Cut garlic cloves, red & green chili peppers and spring onion into thin slices. Cut onion into small cubes
- Next, make the Kkanpunggi sauce by mixing all of the listed ingredients under 'glaze sauce'
- Now, back to the starch powder: The water should have separated from the starch. Throw out the water that's left on top. Then crack one egg and place in only the egg white. Use a whisk and then thoroughly mix the two together (may be tough to mix at the start).
- Then coat all of the shrimp into the starch paste.
Fry & Glaze
- Place cooking oil into a pot. When the oil is hot, carefully place each shrimp in. (Note: They may stick to one another or to the bottom of the pot. Gently use your chopsticks to pull them off). Once they turn orange, take them out.
- Then fry them once more: Raise the heat of the oil. Place shrimp back into hot oil. Place them in for only about 5-10 seconds. The shrimp will turn golden-brown and extra crispy on the outside. (Note: Be careful with the oil!)
- Next, take out a large frying pan. Place on medium heat. Then put in chili oil (3T) and vegetable oil (1T). Mix the two together. Once the oil turns hot, throw in the sliced spring onion pieces. And once the spring onion starts to sizzle, place in the onion, garlic and both the green and red chili pepper slices.
- Stir-fry around for 1 minute to release all the flavor. Once they all start to sizzle in the oil, place in the glaze sauce.
- Let the sauce boil and reduce away until it starts to develop very large bubbles (est: 3-5 minutes). Make sure to stir as it reduces away.
- Once it has reduced into a glaze, throw in your fried shrimp. Mix it around in the glaze. Plate-it-up and season with a few shakes of sesame seeds. Bon Appetit!
- You can replace shrimp with chicken, mushrooms or tofu
- Be careful when frying (!)
- See video below for more details