Dakgangjeong. Here it is – our own Dakgangjeong Fried Chicken Recipe! Dakgangjeong is crunchy, crispy fried chicken that is glazed in a sticky, sweet sauce. It’s one of the most sought-after chicken dishes in Korea. Now, I am not much of a sauce guy – typically order original fried chicken. But this dish is an exception! The street vendors in Seoul are famous for their dakgangjeong and offer two versions: Soy Garlic & Spicy Yangnyeom. Today, I’ll show you how to make the BEST versions of both – so you can replicate that street-style flavor. Can I get a woot-woot? 🙃🙌
For dakgangjeong, its important to get a crispy coating that can withstand the glazing process (and not become soggy). That’s why we’ll mix the batter with starch powder.
If you look at the ingredients list, you’ll see a new ingredient called Oligodang Syrup (aka Oligosaccharide Syrup). It’s very commonly used by Korean homecooks as a substitute for honey (the syrup is cheaper and has a cleaner taste). It doesn’t have a floral after-taste like honey. Futhermore, Oligodang Syrup is a natural extract that’s made from fruits and vegetables.
Important: In most Korean recipes, Honey and Oligodang Syrup work fine as a substitute. But in this specific recipe, honey doesn’t work well. That’s because we need 1/3 cup of the syrup – which is alot. The honey will completely overpower the other ingredients in the sauce and make it tastes terrible – we tried!
If you can’t find Oligodang Syrup, you can also use Korean Rice Syrup (which is known as Mulyeot or Ssalyeot). If you don’t have a Korean mart nearby, you can find it at Gochujar as well.
Finally, we will also double-fry. This process also helps crisp up the exterior. During the first fry, we’ll take it out after 3-5 minutes (even if it looks white on the outside). Then raise the heat and fry it at higher temperature until it turns a light golden brown color.
Since it is deep-frying, always be careful! Make sure you don’t accidentally drop-in sprinkles of water after washing your hands or anything like that.
Note: If you want to make both version at once, use 800 grams of chicken breast. Otherwise, stick with the 400 grams for one type.
That’s it – I’m so excited for you to give it a try! You got to let me know what you think of the recipe 😉
Daniel out 🕺
Dakgangjeong Chicken Recipe
- 400 grams Chicken Breast
- 5 pinches Salt
- 5 cracks of Black Pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon (!) Minced Ginger
- 1 Tablespoon Mirim
Sauce 1: Soy-Garlic Glaze
- 1.5 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 0.5 Tablespoon Oyster Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon (!) Minced Garlic
- 1/3 Cup Oligodang Syrup (Or Rice Syrup)
Sauce 2: Spicy Yangnyeom Glaze
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Tablespoon Gochujang
- 2 Tablespoons Ketchup
- 1.5 Tablespoons Sugar
- 1/2 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Water
- 1 pinch Cinnamon
- 1/3 Cup Oligodang Syrup (Or Rice Syrup)
- 1/2 whole Sliced Mild Chili Pepper (Optional)
- 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil (FOR FRYING) (Add right before frying)
- 1/2 Tablespoon Gochugaru (FOR FRYING) (Add right before frying)
- 3/4 Cup Water
- 2 Tablespoons Potato Starch Powder (or Corn Starch Powder)
- 3/4 Cup Korean Frying Mix (or Tempura Mix or All-Purpose Flour)
- 1/2 Cup Potato Starch Powder (or Corn Starch Powder)
- Cut up 400 grams of chicken breast into 3-4 cm pieces and place them into a large mixing bowl. Season with Salt (5 shakes), Black Pepper (5 shakes), Minced Ginger (1/2 teaspoon!) and Mirim (1 Tablespoon). Use your hands and mix it around together. Let the pieces marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Select a marinade to make - either Soy Garlic or Spicy Yangnyeom. Then mix all of the stated ingredients under either marinade. (Note: For the Spicy Yangnyeom, add-in everything EXCEPT for the last two ingredients - vegetable oil & gochugaru. We'll use those two later in the process)
Prep & Batter Chicken
- Back to the marinating chicken. After 1 hour of marinating, empty out any residual liquid (if any) that's pooled at the bottom of the bowl. Then add in 3/4 cup of water into the bowl. Followed by 2 Tablespoons of potato starch powder. Give it all a good mix with your hand. Set it aside.
- Take out another mixing bowl and now let's make the dry batter: Place-in Frying Mix (3/4 cup) and Potato Starch Powder (1/2 cup). Mix it together with a whisk.
- Now take out a plastic bag. Open it up. Use your hands and carefully scoop-out the wet chicken pieces and place them into the plastic bag. Then add-in the dry batter mix (from the step above). Twist the bag a few times and give it a very good shake. Open the beg and check that each of the pieces are well coated. Now we're ready to fry!
Double-Fry Chicken Pieces
- Place in a good amount of vegetable oil into a large pot or wok. Place the pot on a medium-heat and wait until the oil gets hot. Place a wooden chopstick into the oil to check if bubbles rise (reference video). If it does, carefully place each of the battered chicken into the oil. Fry the pieces for 3-4 minutes. After 4 minutes, scoop-out the chicken. The chicken will still be white on the outside (that's ok). We're going to fry once more. Repeat this steps until all of the chicken pieces are fried.
- Now scoop-out any loose batter from the oil. Raise the heat slightly - we want the oil to get hotter. Check to see the temperature by dropping in one of the chicken pieces and seeing if it sizzles alot. If it does, this means its good to go! Carefully, add in the chicken pieces and let them fry until the exterior turns a light golden brown (reference video). Then scoop them out onto a rack or paper-towel lined bowl.
- Take out a separate pot. Place it on medium heat. Once the pot is hot, give your Soy-Garlic Sauce a good stir and add it into the pot. Stir-it around for about 20 seconds - or until the sauce begins to bubble up. Once it does, add in the fried chicken pieces. Stir it around in the sauce until the sauce reduces into a glaze. Turn off the heat - plate and enjoy!!
Spicy Yangnyeom Glaze
- Take out a separate pot. Place on low heat. Once the pot is hot, add in 1 Tablespoon of vegetable oil. Then add-in 1/2 Tablespoon of Gochugaru. Once the gochugaru starts to bubble-up and dissolve into the oil, add in the Spicy Yangnyeom Sauce. Stir-it around for about 20 seconds - or until the sauce begins to bubble up. Once it does, add in the fried chicken pieces. Stir it around in the sauce until the sauce reduces into a glaze. Turn off the heat - plate and enjoy!!