If you love fried chicken but are looking for a new twist, then you’ll definitely want to try Korean Fried Chicken without Gochujang.
This recipe takes the classic Korean fried chicken and ditches the spicy gochujang paste while still preserving the fantastic, crave-worthy flavor!
The chicken is delightfully crispy on the outside while remaining tender and juicy on the inside. Then, it’s coated in a delicious, sweet, and savory sauce that will have you licking your fingers!
A combination of simple pantry ingredients makes the saucy coating. It’s a mouthwatering blend of ketchup, chili sauce, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and more. It creates a fantastic balance of sweet, tangy, and just a hint of heat.
What makes this recipe even better is that it’s super quick and easy to make. Whether it’s for a weeknight dinner or as a party appetizer, it’s always a crowd-pleaser!
Korean Fried Chicken without Gochujang
You may have come across different variations of Korean fried chicken, and this one is an absolute must-try. It is:
- Crispy, juicy, and tender. Double coating the chicken in cornstarch and flour gives that lovely crispy texture, while the meat remains juicy.
- Deliciously seasoned. Although it lacks the typical gochujang heat, the chicken still has a flavorful, well-seasoned coating due to the salt and black pepper.
- Smothered in a lip-smacking sauce. The sweet, savory sauce with a touch of spiciness gives the chicken an incredible and addictive taste.
- More versatile. This version of Korean fried chicken is perfect for those who prefer milder dishes or are sensitive to spicy food. You can also adjust the sweetness or heat in the sauce according to your preference.
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the Chicken
- Chicken breasts. Skinless chicken is the best option, and boneless provides convenience. Cut them into 1-inch chunks for easy eating.
- Batter. The batter combo of cornstarch, flour, eggs, salt, and black pepper helps achieve that crave-worthy, crunchy coating.
- Canola oil. For frying the chicken to golden perfection.
For the Sauce
- Ketchup. It adds a rich, slightly tangy base to the sauce.
- Chili sauce. This adds a mild heat and extra depth of flavor.
- Honey and brown sugar. These sweet ingredients balance out the spice and tang.
- Soy sauce. It adds a savory, umami flavor to the sauce.
- Garlic and red pepper flakes. These provide a background of subtle spiciness and an aromatic kick.
- Cornstarch. This helps thicken the sauce slightly.
- Sesame oil. For a hint of nutty flavor.
How to Make Korean Fried Chicken Without Gochujang
- Prepare the chicken. In a bowl, mix the cornstarch, flour, salt, and black pepper. Dip each chicken piece in beaten eggs and then coat it with the flour mixture.
- Fry the chicken. Heat the canola oil in a deep pan or deep fryer. Fry the chicken in batches for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- Make the sauce. In a separate saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch and sesame oil. Whisk well and bring to a simmer. In another small bowl, make a slurry with the cornstarch and a little water.
- Thicken the sauce and add the finishing touch. Gradually pour the cornstarch slurry into the simmering sauce while stirring constantly. Let it cook for another minute or so until the sauce thickens. Finally, stir in the sesame oil.
- Coat the chicken in the sauce. Once the chicken is fried, toss it in the sauce until it’s well coated.
- Serve and enjoy! Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions, if desired. Serve immediately, and delight in the flavor-packed Korean fried chicken!
Note: For the complete list of ingredients and directions, see the recipe card below.
Tips for the Best Results
- Cut chicken into uniform size. Ensuring the chicken pieces are the same size ensures that they cook evenly.
- Double coat for extra crispness. For an extra crispy and crunchy coating, you can do a double coating. After the initial coating of batter, dip the chicken back into the beaten egg and coat it again in the flour mixture.
- Adjust the sauce to taste. Taste the sauce as you go and adjust the quantities of honey, chili sauce, or other ingredients according to your preference for sweetness or spiciness.
- Adjust the thickness of the sauce. If you want a thinner consistency, add a bit more water. If you prefer a thicker sauce, increase the amount of cornstarch slurry.
- Make it spicy. If you prefer a spicy version, you can add red pepper powder or cayenne pepper to the flour mixture for the chicken, or increase the amount of red pepper flakes in the sauce.
- Make it sweeter. You can increase the quantity of honey and brown sugar for a sweeter profile.
- Make it tangier. Add a splash of rice vinegar to the sauce for a tangy note.
- Make it nutty. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds over the chicken for an extra nutty flavor.
What to Serve With Korean Fried Chicken
Korean fried chicken is delicious on its own, but it’s also great when paired with some side dishes as part of a meal. Here are some ideas:
- Steamed rice and kimchi
- Pickled radishes
- A fresh green salad
- Cucumber kimchi (Oi Muchim)
- Korean sweet potato fries
Of course, you can also enjoy it as an appetizer or a party snack with a cooling dip, like a creamy garlic aioli.
Korean fried chicken is best enjoyed immediately after making it. However, if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To reheat, place the chicken in an oven preheated to 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes until heated through. Alternatively, you can use an air fryer for crispier results.
It’s not recommended to freeze the cooked chicken as the texture may change after thawing and reheating.
Korean Fried Chicken without Gochujang
For The Chicken
- 2 pounds chicken breast cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp round black pepper
- 2 eggs beaten
- Canola oil for frying
For The Sauce
- 1/4 cup ketchup
- 3 tbsp chili sauce
- 1/4 cup honey
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- In a bowl, mix the cornstarch, flour, salt, and black pepper.
- Dip each chicken piece in beaten eggs and then coat it with the flour mixture.
- Heat the canola oil in a deep pan or deep fryer.
- Fry the chicken in batches for about 5-7 minutes until golden brown and crispy.
- In a separate saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch and sesame oil. Whisk well and bring to a simmer.
- In a small bowl, make a slurry with the cornstarch and a little water.
- Gradually pour the cornstarch slurry into the simmering sauce while stirring constantly.
- Let it cook for another minute or so until the sauce thickens.
- Finally, stir in the sesame oil.
- Once the chicken is fried, toss it in the sauce until it's well coated.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped green onions, if desired.
- Serve immediately and enjoy your delicious Korean Fried Chicken!