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Korean Fried Chicken’s Answer To Nashville Hot Is Here

 

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If you were dropped into Los Angeles’ culinary scene with no prior knowledge, you would think that the concept of spicy chicken is something reserved solely for Nashville hot chicken spots. When it comes to spicy fried chicken, most restaurants have ridden the wave of this particular brand of hot bird. Enter Michin Dak, a local Korean fried chicken spot that’s doing hot chicken their own way.

The shop uses a special spice mix that largely remains top secret, though it’s a fact that some of the included spices have to be imported from Korea. This chicken comes in five different spice levels, the last of which is aptly named “Michin Spicy” and described on the menu simply as “Spicy AF.” 

And boy does it live up to its name. To give a frame of reference, the menu warns patrons that they won’t be offered a refund if they come to think the chicken is too spicy.

While there are a couple of methods to eat this fiery chicken, the Korean Fried Sando is the star of the show. The sandwich comes with a fried chicken thigh, house made Korean pickles, a Greek yogurt-based cabbage slaw, and thousand island dressing, all of which sit in between a fresh, split Brioche bun. It’s sure to give any chicken sandwich a run for its money. 

This unique take on hot chicken can be found at Michin Dak’s sole location on 6th St., in Los Angeles, CA. Check it out and find out exactly what a “Spicy AF” sandwich entails.


Created in partnership with 6th Avenue Restaurant Group. 

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Korean Fried Chicken Is Ready For the Mainstream

What’s all the hoopla over KFC? No, not that KFC, I’m talking about Korean fried chicken, which is letting it be known it’s not just a substitute for American fried chicken, but is its own thing entirely. Spots like Momofuku Ko, Bonchon Chicken, The Gangjung and OG KFC franchise, Pelicana Chicken, are only a few that have made a name on the food scene. They’re waving the banner high for other established joints like The Prince and Kyochon, who have held it down in Los Angeles’ Koreatown neighborhood for years. Ever heard of quadruple fried chicken? I hadn’t either. But before we dive into South Korea’s take on fried chicken, let me give ya’ll a little background.

Established in 1977 in the basement of Seoul’s Shinsegae Department Store, the first modern-day Korean fried chicken joint was called “Lims Chicken.” As the first fried chicken franchise in South Korea, Lims became extremely popular amongst locals who were used to eating chicken boiled with rice and ginseng. The restaurant employed a cooking method that involves frying the chicken twice, thus creating a version of fried chicken that was thinner and crispier than its American counterpart. As the demand for fried chicken in Korea grew, it was the arrival of Pelicana Chicken in 1982 that really changed the game. 

Photo by: National Institute of Korean Language on WikiCommons, CC BY-SA 2.0 KR

Pelicana created what we know today as Korean fried chicken by being the first to drench it in sweet and spicy sauce. This approach is popularly referred to as “yangnyeom (seasoned) chicken,” and was a driving stimulus behind future innovations on the KFC scene.

Evolving as the years progressed, today there are four flavors and three styles of Korean fried chicken available for chicken lovers. “Dankganjeong” is the most traditional flavor of KFC, and is considered by some to be the Korean version of orange chicken. It’s fried twice using potato or corn starch mixed with seasoning, and glazed with a sweet garlic soy sauce. One LA-based restaurant that’s fittingly named and known for their dankganjeong is The Gangjung. They offer an array of flavors from garlic to barbeque. Out east in New York, modern Korean soul food gastropub, Windrose, provides an upscale presentation using a cloche as a makeshift smoker that when removed reveals glistening dankganjeong.

Another flavor is “padak,” which means “green onion-chicken.” It’s plain fried chicken smothered with slivers of fresh green onions. Palisades Park, NJ hot spot MaMa Chicken features generous portions of padak on their menu along with a range of options to keep your taste satisfied.

For the humble palate there’s plain ol’ fried chicken, which is named “huraideu.” David Chang’s famous Monofuku Ko has what is called “Fried Chicken But Cold,” which is exactly what you think. The prestige lies in the quadruple fried skin which maintains its crispiness even after refrigeration.

The other two KFC styles are “sunsal,” meaning “boneless” and “tongdak,” which means “whole chicken.” Lims Chicken originally popularized tongdak in the 1970s. It’s made by submerging a whole chicken into a fryer until it’s extra crispy, and is then served rotisserie style. 

Photo by: happy o’ne on WikiCommons, CC By 2.0 KR

As you can see, there’s a KFC style for every mood. Fried chicken will always be a comfort food staple and as Korean fried chicken continues to gain mainstream popularity, you can expect more unique approaches.

Next time you’re trying to decide how to appease your munchies after a night of partying, be sure to type “Korean fried chicken near me,” into your search engine.

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There’s a Restaurant Serving KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN TACOS Now

Korean fried chicken is special for a number of reasons: its batter is lighter than your typical American buttermilk-based fried chicken, it’s generally not as greasy, and most importantly, it’s fried twice. This Korean fried chicken, from Michin Dak in Los Angeles, CA, is special for another reason: it’s in a taco and seasoned with ranch.

Based in Koreatown, Michin Dak will be turning out a spicy ranch Korean fried chicken taco in honor of the FOODBEAST Coast 2 Coast Ranch tour, presented by Hidden Valley ® Ranch

This cultural fusion starts with the star ingredient, with chicken strips dredged in flour and batter.

What’s unique about this chicken is that it is double fried, which is responsible for the unbeatable crunch that Korean fried chicken is cherished for. This technique works by using a lower temperature than one would normally fry chicken at, ensuring that it slow cooks and renders the fat out of the skin, turning it thin and crispy.

Once ready, the strips are slathered in a sweet honey orange sauce and generously dusted with Hidden Valley Original Ranch Seasoning. Then they’re tossed and then placed in a tortilla, where some house-made yogurt slaw, dill pickles, and a drizzle of homemade habanero sauce joins the flavor combination.

The habanero sauce works hand in hand with the Hidden Valley ranch seasoning and coleslaw to give the chicken some heat, while not letting it get out of hand. But, in case it’s too much, the taco is served with a generous portion of Hidden Valley Restaurant Style Ranch, a cool and creamy dipping sauce to help beat the heat.

The Korean Fried Chicken Taco will be available for all ranch fanatics throughout September. And, because this is just one of the ways you can use ranch seasoning to make a delicious meal, head on over to foodbeast.com/ranch to learn where the other stops of the Coast 2 Coast Ranch Tour, presented by Hidden Valley Ranch are located.


Created in partnership with Hidden Valley Ranch. 

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The Curious Supersititon That Kept Koreans From Eating Chicken Wings

Southern. Chinese. Korean. Nashville. There are more kinds of fried chicken on this Earth than one mere human could ever hope to try in one proper sitting.

“Korean chicken wings are some of the best,” The Katchup co-host Elie Ayrouth remarked to fellow co-host Geoffrey Kutnick and guest Lawrence Longo on the most recent episode of the podcast.

It’s hard to argue with him, too. Famous for their ultra crispy double fried breading and juicy meat, Korean chicken wings are indeed some of the world’s best.

That’s why it’s that much more surprising to find out that there’s a superstition in the Korean culture that warns people against eating these double fried delicacies. 

According to Longo, “The Korean culture, 500 years ago, didn’t let their husbands eat the chicken wing.” 

Turns out, it’s true. 

Korea.net confirms that in the Korean culture, there’s a superstition that says a wife should not feed her husband chicken wings because then he will “fly away” and cheat on her. One site, KoreanClass101, suggests that this could be because the Korean word for wind is “바람” which, funny enough, is also Korean for “affair.” 

So if a chicken can be gone with the wind, apparently so could this fictional husband when he’s done eating said chicken. Or maybe it’s a coincidence?

Either way, find out more about this tidbit (gristle, if you will), L.A’s first Wing Fest, and everything else chicken wing by listening to the latest version of The Katchup, right here