And let’s not forget spicy.
I’ve become slightly addicted to finding great recipes on YouTube with charming, charismatic hosts that can walk me through all of the things I’ve always wanted to try. This week, we discovered Maangchi, a fantastic instructor in the art of Korean food. And I tried my hand at her “Crispy and Crunchy Fried Chicken” (a.k.a. Dakgangjeong). Because of certain limitations with what’s available in our immediate grocery stores, I had to modify the recipe slightly with certain substitutions recommended in the original recipe.
Here is Maangchi’s written recipe for the easy version, and embedded below is the video of her making this deliciousness:
The result was phenomenal, a bit like a very crunchy, spicy General Tso’s.
My substitutions were as follows:
- Instead of rice syrup, I used light corn syrup. Specifically Karo (which, by the way, I had no idea all light corn syrups had vanilla in them… which made me really self-conscious about putting it into this recipe. But it turned out fine! A bit like that time I put vanilla yogurt into a curry instead of greek yogurt.) I have yet to see rice syrup in our local stores, but I may check out our ethnic grocers next time I stock up on spices.
- Instead of potato starch, I used corn starch. Mostly because I had it on hand, but potato starch was available at Wegmans. Since it’s just being used as a coating for the chicken, I assumed it wasn’t too much of a difference. But maybe potato starch offers a lighter breading?
- Instead of 3-4 large dried chili peppers, I used a handful of small dried chilis and de-seeded and chopped them. The result? Well, it was rich and very spicy, but delicious. Think in terms of szechuan in terms of spicy… It was perfect for me, but my partner suggested we leave out a few next time.
- Instead of a tablespoon of prepared mustard, I used a little less than a tablespoon of dry mustard.
- Instead of grapeseed oil, I substituted vegetable oil.
- The wings that I bought were also a bit smaller than the ones in the instructional video, so I found that I didn’t have to fry each batch for 12 minutes at time. Use your best judgement, but we only did about 7 minutes per fry. So I fried the 3.5 lbs of wings in three parts, then let them cool and then fried them all again for extra crispyness. I imagine that if you fry them all at once, you will probably need that whole 12 minutes per fry.
- And I also did quickly fry about a cup of peanuts and throw them in while tossing the final sauce with the chicken wings. For me, the peanuts really balanced the whole dish, helping to give a nice reprieve from the spicy chili glaze.
I will definitely be making this again, and definitely trying more Korean recipes via Maangchi. Thanks, Maangchi, for a great dinner!!!