Korean Popcorn Chicken

I don’t think I’d ever made fried chicken before, and I certainly hadn’t made double fried chicken, but I’m glad I finally did because this was a very, very good dinner.

When I made this, we used way more rice cakes than chicken, because I didn’t bother measuring at all, but I’m going to give the original measurements because realistically more chicken than rice cake probably is the proper proportion. We still were really into this, though, and all the leftovers disappeared very quickly.

Ingredients:

  • 18 ounces chicken breast, rinsed under cold water and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 5.3 ounces fresh Korean rice cakes, cut in half (if using frozen, put them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes, drain, and pat dry on paper towels)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup potato starch or corn starch (we used corn)
  • cooking oil for deep frying (we used peanut)
  • sesame seeds or finely chopped green onion for garnish (optional)

Sauce:

  • 5 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons gochujang (you can find it gluten-free on Amazon if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Drying the huge amount of rice cakes.

Combine the chicken, rice wine, ginger powder, salt, and ground black pepper in a large bowl or large ziplock and mix well. Cover/seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.

While the chicken marinates, stir together all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat the cooking oil in a deep saucepan/wok to about 350 degrees. Line 2 plates with paper towel, and have more paper towels nearby.

Because of the excessive amount of rice cakes, we actually ended up doubling the sauce last minute, but this is the original amount.

Pour the potato/corn starch in a dish and coat the refrigerated chicken, working in batches to ensure each piece is fully coated.

Once the oil is hot, deep fry the rice cakes in batches, cooking until the outer layer turns crispy (about 30 seconds). The change isn’t visible while they’re in the oil, but when you strain them out if you poke them carefully, they will be crisp. Place the fried rice cakes on a paper towel-lined plate.

Once all the rice cakes are fried, give the oil a moment to heat again, in case the cool rice cakes lowered its temperature, and then begin frying the chicken in batches, cooking 2-3 minutes until lightly browned, and setting the drained chicken on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. For this step, it’s possible to do it alone, but significantly easier if you have one person to have gross chicken-hands dropping the starch-coated chicken into the hot oil, and a second person with clean hands fishing them back out with a large strainer-spoon.

Once all the chicken has been fried once, fry a second time, again 2-3 minutes, until a deeper golden brown. At the end of each 2-3 minute period the chicken begin bubbling more frantically, which is a good sign they’re ready to come out. Set aside the cooked chicken.

Heat a large skillet, then add the prepared sauce, boiling 1-2 minutes while stirring constantly. Add the chicken and rice cakes, stirring to coat.

If you actually follow the ingredient list, rather than winging it, you’ll have a more reasonable (chicken-heavy) proportion of chicken to rice cakes, but either way it’s going to taste fantastic!

Top with any seeds or green onions as desired, and serve.

No seeds for me, please!

Korean Popcorn Chicken

From My Korean Kitchen.

  • 18 ounces chicken breast, rinsed under cold water and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 5.3 ounces fresh Korean rice cakes, cut in half (if using frozen, put them in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes, drain, and pat dry on paper towels)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup potato starch or corn starch
  • cooking oil for deep frying
  • sesame seeds or finely chopped green onion for garnish (optional)

Sauce:

  • 5 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

Combine the chicken, rice wine, ginger powder, salt, and ground black pepper in a large bowl or large ziplock and mix well. Cover/seal and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.

While the chicken marinates, stir together all the sauce ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Heat the cooking oil in a deep saucepan/wok to about 350 degrees. Line 2 plates with paper towel, and have more paper towels nearby.

Pour the potato/corn starch in a dish and coat the refrigerated chicken, working in batches to ensure each piece is fully coated.

Once the oil is hot, deep fry the rice cakes in batches, cooking until the outer layer turns crispy (about 30 seconds). Place the fried rice cakes on a paper towel-lined plate.

Once all the rice cakes are fried, give the oil a moment to heat again, in case the cool rice cakes lowered its temperature, and then begin frying the chicken in batches, cooking 2-3 minutes until lightly browned, and setting the drained chicken on a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once all the chicken has been fried once, fry a second time, again 2-3 minutes, until a deeper golden brown.

Heat a large skillet, then add the prepared sauce, boiling 1-2 minutes while stirring constantly. Add the chicken and rice cakes, stirring to coat. Top with any seeds or green onions as desired, and serve.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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