Korean fried chicken

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Korean fried chicken
Iksan City 48 Korean Style Fried chicken.jpg
ganjang chikin (coated with soy sauce), huradideu chikin (regular fried chicken), and yangnyeom chikin (coated with spicy sauce) with a glass of beer
Hangul 치킨
Revised Romanization chikin
McCune–Reischauer ch'ik'in
IPA [tɕʰi.kʰin]

Korean fried chicken or KFC,[1][2][3] usually called chikin (치킨, from English "chicken") in Korea, refers to a variety of fried chicken dishes from South Korea, including the basic huraideu chikin (후라이드 치킨, from English "fried chicken") and spicy yangnyeom chikin (양념 치킨, "seasoned chicken").[4] In South Korea, fried chicken is consumed as a meal, appetizer, anju (food served and eaten with drinks), or as an after-meal snack.[5]

Korean fried chicken differs from typical American fried chicken because it is fried twice, so the skin is crunchier and less greasy. Furthermore, Korean-style chicken is not characterized by the crags and crusty nubs associated with American fried chicken, but is described by Julia Moskin of The New York Times as a "thin, crackly and almost transparent crust".[5] The chicken is usually seasoned with spices, sugar, and salt, prior to and after being fried. Korean fried chicken restaurants commonly use small- or medium-sized chickens; these younger chickens result in more tender meat. Afterwards, the chicken is usually hand painted with a brush to evenly coat the chicken with a thin layer of sauce. Pickled radishes, beer, and soju are often served with Korean fried chicken.


The word chikin (치킨) refers to fried chicken (and occasionally also roasted chicken), while the name for the domesticated fowl is dak () in Korean. It is because the word is shortened from peuraideu chikin (프라이드 치킨), which is borrowed from the English word "fried chicken".[6] According to the National Institute of Korean Language, the word chikin (치킨) refers to "a dish made by coating chopped chicken with flour, and frying or baking it".[7][8] Fried chickens that are not chopped before frying are called tongdak (통닭, "whole chicken"). Both chikin and tongdak are occasionally referred to as dak twigim (닭튀김, "chicken fritter").[9]

The unshortened form peuraideu chikin, despite being the "correct" transliteration,[10] is not as popular in Korea. The more commonly used form, huraideu chikin (후라이드 치킨), was perhaps adopted in Korean with the residual influence from the Japanese convention that persisted in Korea in the 1970s (as the Japanese forced occupation ended only in 1945). The word huraideu chikin is often shortened as huraideu (후라이드) and refers to the fried chicken dish without post-fry seasonings. It often contrasts with yangnyeom chikin (양념 치킨, "seasoned chicken"). National Institute of Korean Language does not recognize huraideu chikin as the conventional name, but insists to transliterate (and transvocalize) it as peuraideu chikin, which again it insists should be "purified" into dakgogi twigim (닭고기 튀김, "chicken meat fritter").[10]


There are competing claims for the origin of Korean fried chicken by two restaurant chains, Pelicana Chicken and Mexicana Chicken. Although Pelicana Chicken's Yangnyeom Tongdak was released before Mexicana Chicken, both are considered as originating the dish by South Koreans.[citation needed] Both use Gochujang and Strawberry Jam as the seasoning.


By seasoning[edit]

delivered banban chicken
  • Huraideu chikin (후라이드 치킨, "fried chicken") – often simply referred to as huraideu (후라이드), it is the basic fried chicken.
  • Yangnyeom chikin (양념 치킨, "seasoned chicken") – in the West also known as yangnyeom tongdak (양념 통닭, "seasoned whole chicken") despite not being tongdak,[11] and also sometimes used as a synonym of "Korean fried chicken" by Western media,[12] it is a fried chicken coated in gochujang-based sweet and spicy sauce.[4]
  • Banban (반반, "half-half") – shortened from yangnyeom ban, huraideu ban (양념 반, 후라이드 반, "half yangnyeom, half huraideu") is often used to refer to a chicken served half seasoned and half plain.[13]
  • Ganjang chikin (간장 치킨, "soy sauce chicken") – a fried chicken coated in ganjang-based sweet and savoury sauce, which is often also garlicky.[14]
  • Padak (파닭, "scallion chicken") – a fried chicken topped with or smothered in a lot of thinly shredded scallions.[4][15]

By style[edit]

  • Tongdak (통닭, "whole chicken") – also called yennal tongdak (옛날통닭, "old-time whole chicken"),[16] it is a 1970s-style whole chicken deep fried in oil.[4]
  • Sunsal chikin (순살 치킨, "pure flesh chicken") – boneless chicken.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erskine, Gizzi (2015-11-11). "My Guilty Pleasure: Gizzi Erskine's 'KFC' (Korean fried chicken)". The Irish Times. Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  2. ^ Reinhart, Brian (2016-08-22). "Six Essential Korean Fried Chicken Spots in Dallas, Ranked". Dallas Observer. Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  3. ^ Chamberlain, Chris (2016-02-01). "Finally, Nashville is Getting the Best Kind of KFC: Korean Fried Chicken". Nashville Scene. Retrieved 2017-02-15. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Kim, Violet (2015-06-22). "Watch your wing, KFC! Korean fried chicken (and beer) is here". CNN. Retrieved 2017-02-10. 
  5. ^ a b Moskin, Julia (February 7, 2007). "Koreans Share Their Secret for Chicken With a Crunch". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  6. ^ (Korean) 전, 경하 (2017-02-06). "[우리 식생활 바꾼 음식 이야기] 기름·닭·소스 388가지 맛 '치킨 공화국' …20년간 외식 메뉴 1위". Seoul Shinmun. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  7. ^ (Korean) "치킨 (chicken)". Standard Korean Language Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  8. ^ "치킨 (chicken)". Basic Korean Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  9. ^ (Korean) "닭-튀김". Standard Korean Language Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  10. ^ a b "프라이드치킨 (fried chicken)". National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  11. ^ Ozersky, Josh (2013-08-30). "Why We Can't Get Enough Fried Chicken". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  12. ^ Trinh, Jean (2016-06-13). "Here's Your New Go-To Spot for Crispy Korean Chicken Wings". Los Angeles Magazine. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  13. ^ Berning, Dale (2017-01-07). "Reiko Hashimoto: 'I never buy anything ready-made – not even sandwiches'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  14. ^ "Seven Singapore places to get your fried chicken fix". Malay Mail. 2016-04-09. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  15. ^ Garcia, Joseph L. (2016-12-08). "The many flavors of Korean fried chicken". BusinessWorld. Retrieved 2017-02-11. 
  16. ^ (Korean) 김, 오희 (2016-08-25). "[스마트 리빙] 추억의 그 맛, '옛날 통닭' 外". MBC News Today. Retrieved 2017-02-10.