This insanely tasty spicy Korean chicken sandwich combines spicy deep-fried chicken breasts, seasoned flour, a pickled slaw, and a unique sweet & spicy Korean chili sauce. This sandwich is always a hit! And don’t be afraid of using lard for the frying. It’s not the same without it!
If you don’t have a deep fryer, a dutch oven does the job just as well. I use this Lodge dutch oven. Just be sure to use a deep-fry (or candy) thermometer to ensure the breaded chicken is cooked at the optimum temperature, between 350 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. If the oil is too hot, the chicken may burn. If the oil is too cool, the chicken absorbs more of the oil, loses flavor and texture and becomes soggy. We definitely want a crispy chicken sandwich here.
The slaw is best when marinated overnight, but a few hours works in a pinch. Bean sprouts are optional for the slaw if your local grocer carries them. If you go to a Korean market for your ingredients you’ll have a much larger selection of Gochujang. Gochujang is a chili paste and the main ingredient for creating the spicy chile sauce. Gochujang comes in varying heat levels, from extra hot to mild. Pick the spice level that best suits you. I actually couldn’t believe how many different varieties of Gochujang were at my local Korean market (below). My local grocery store carries only one option.
It looks like a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that deter you, it’s mostly all spices, and trust me, this sandwich is SO worth the effort.
- 6 large chicken breasts, butterflied and cut entirely in half
- 12 Kaiser or Brioche buns, toasted (or buns of your choice)
- 1LB Lard (I prefer Premium Farmer John)
- 2-3 scallions (green onions) sliced
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- Pinch of salt
- 3 cups flour
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 head napa cabbage, sliced into thin strips
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 red bell pepper, julienned
- 1/2 cup diakon radish, julienned
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts (optional)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1/2 tablespoon celery seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 3 bay leaves
- 5 dried Chile de Arbol pods
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup water
- 3/4 cup Gochujang paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon black & white sesame seeds
Once julienned & chopped, combine all your slaw ingredients into a large glass bowl, preferably one with a lid, since it will need to marinate in the fridge overnight (or at least 4 hours).
In a pot combine the Slaw Pickling Liquid ingredients.
Bring to a boil.
Lower heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
Once the sugar is dissolved, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.
Strain the liquid through a sieve onto the slaw.
Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 4 hours).
Combine 1 cup sugar and 1 cup water in a pot.
Bring to a boil.
Once the sugar dissolves, lower the heat and add in all the remaining sauce ingredients.
Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
After 15 minutes, turn off heat but leave your pot on the burner. You will be coating the cooked chicken pieces with the sauce in this pot.
Place the lard in your dutch oven.
You can fry on your stove top, or outside on the side burner of your grill (outside is less mess).
Bring the lard up to between 350 and 400 degrees.
Butterfly the chicken breasts and cut them entirely in half.
Combine 1 cup flour, 1 teaspoon corn starch and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl.
Slowly add 1 cup water and beat until batter is smooth.
Combine all Seasoned Flour ingredients into a separate bowl.
Dip chicken into the wet batter, allow excess to drip off.
Dredge in the the dry seasoned flour.
Drop 2-3 chicken pieces into the heated oil.
Don't overload the oil with too many pieces. This will drop the temperature too much.
Let the chicken fry for approximately six to eight minutes, depending on size.
Before removing the chicken, use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature is at least 165° Fahrenheit (75° Celsius).
Once the chicken is done, toss them into the sweet & spicy sauce. Give them a good coating.
Mayo both top and bottom bun.
Place some of the pickled veggies on the bottom of your toasted bun.
Place your fried & coated chicken on top of that.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds and slicked green onions.
Pop the top on and enjoy!