Korean fried chicken is so good they fry it twice – and that makes it taste twice as nice. It's what separates it from the famous American southern fried chicken, too. Korean fried chicken is double deep-fried, which makes the skin crunchier – so you've got all the flavour but not so much mess.
When you've got the crispy fried chicken craving, you want to hit up somewhere that specialises in one thing and one thing only. So OPPA Chicken, who've nailed street food-style succulent chicken recipes with their signature spices, are the only way to go.
Sweet, sticky or spicy
While our American friends tend to use dipping sauces to play with chicken's flavour, Korean fried chicken uses the meat itself as a canvas for exciting and aromatic herbs and spices. OPPA Chicken's bestseller is their Honey Garlic Chicken. It's the perfect balance of sweet and savoury, with chicken lightly sautéed in chopped garlic, and caramelised with a sticky honey glaze. The Soy Garlic Chicken follows suit, but with a bit more of a salty edge.
Yangnyum Chicken is probably Korea's most famous fried chicken recipe. It literally translates to mean 'seasoned chicken', but that's an understatement for this feisty dish. The main ingredients are garlic, ginger, chilli, soy, hot sauce, honey and sesame oil – and you'll usually see sesame seeds sprinkled over the top afterwards too.
Korean chicken's origin story
In this chapter of chicken's narrative, Korean locals created this dish to cater to the whims of US soldiers stationed there in the 50s. After they left, the dish kept evolving, getting crunchier and crunchier.
Just-cooked chicken was tossed in seedless chilli powder and gochugaru – a fiery chilli paste – before frying. Then, you paint the sauce on with a brush to make sure there's even flavour coverage. Today, recipes are subtly varied, but it's still defined by its thin, crackly and almost transparent crust. OPPA Chicken still make their chicken by hand every day, and you can taste it in every crispy bite.
However, you don't need to eat your chicken solo style. OPPA has a huge menu of colourful and creative chicken meals to choose from. The Crispy Set takes its signature house chicken and serves it up with seaweed fries and a refreshing radish and carrot salad.
Or you could choose to have your chicken with a vibrant tomato and garlicky pasta, or a rich traditional Italian carbonara sauce. Perhaps you'd like it with fried vegetable rice, or traditional japchae noodles – or maybe stirred into a bright and fragrant ramen broth.
If you're feeling particularly fierce, you could take its original Yangnyum Chicken up a notch to the Flaming Yangnyum Chicken. But make sure you love your spice and you're not just being a show-off, as this dish has the potential to blow your head off – if you can handle the hot stuff, you'll look damn cool.