Home » Chicken » Korean Style Popcorn Chicken

Korean Style Popcorn Chicken

Are you ready to indulge yourself in this crunchy and sticky Korean style popcorn chicken? 

Korean popcorn chicken (Dakgangjeong, 닭강정) is a popular Korean street snack in Korea. The boneless chicken nugget is deep fried and coated with Korea’s special sticky, spicy, tangy and sweet sauce.

crunchy and sticky Korean style popcorn chicken | MyKoreanKitchen.com

I know it was a bit mouthful to describe but because of these reasons, I think it’s totally worth making it! 😉 It’s crunchy and moreish and perfect as a party appetiser.

I used to eat it a lot after school on my way home. The street vendor I used to go to served it in a paper cup and they gave me a toothpick to eat it with, so it was very easy and convenient to eat while walking home.

I don’t know who invented this Korean style popcorn chicken and when, but I want to say to whoever you are, it’s BRILLIANT!

Korean style popcorn chicken . It's crunchy and sticky deliciousness! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Popcorn Chicken (Dakgangjeong, 닭강정) vs. Korean Fried Chicken (Yangnyeom Tongdak, 양념통닭)

You might be wondering what’s the difference between Korean popcorn chicken and Korean fried chicken? Frankly, I don’t think there’s much difference. In fact, some Koreans use these two names interchangeably.

However, as the name suggests, the popcorn chicken is bite-sized fried chicken and is typically made with boneless chicken fillets. (I prefer thigh over breast as it’s more moist.)

On the other hand, Korean fried chicken is typically made with larger chunks of  any chicken cuts. It usually includes bone-in chicken but you can also make them with boneless chicken as well.

Also, I find that Korean popcorn chicken are more tender and sweeter, less spicy and less garlicky.

Korean style popcorn chicken. It's a crunchy and sticky bite-sized chicken coated with delicious Korean sauce! | MyKoreanKitchen.com

However, all these facts will be dependent on the cook’s choice in ingredients.  Therefore, these two may result in the same outcome depending on who’s cooking it and how. 😉

I personally prefer Korean popcorn chicken over typical Korean fried chicken because it’s easier and more neat to eat.

Anyway, I hope you show some Korean popcorn chicken love this weekend! I’m sure your family and friends will appreciate this!

P.S. Here’s my Korean Fried Chicken recipe if you’d like to try it as well!

Korean style popcorn chicken | MyKoreanKitchen.com
Ingredients for Korean Popcorn Chicken (2 to 3 servings)

Main

  • 500g/ 18 ounces chicken thigh fillets (or breast fillets), rinsed under cold water, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 150g/ 5.3 ounces fresh Korean rice cake, cut in half (if you’re not using fresh rice cakes, separate and soak them in warm water for 10 mins before cutting. Pat dry with some kitchen paper.)
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup potato starch or corn starch
  • Some cooking oil for deep frying (I used rice bran oil)

Sauce (mix these in a bowl)

  • 5 Tbsp tomato sauce/ketchup
  • 1 & 1/2 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

Optional – to garnish

  • Crushed nuts or seeds (e.g. walnut, peanut, pistachio, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, etc.)
  • Finely chopped green onion – if you want the nice colour contrast

*1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml

**If you want to learn more about Korean ingredients, check my essential Korean cooking ingredients!

How to Make Korean Popcorn Chicken

1. Place chicken pieces into a large mixing bowl. Add the rice wine, ginger powder, salt, and ground black pepper and mix them well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate the chicken for 30 mins in the fridge.

Korean style popcorn chicken - getting ready chicken

 

2. Coat each chicken piece with the starch powder thoroughly. (It’s best doing this in 4 to 5 batches so that they are well covered with the starch powder.)

Korean style popcorn chicken battered

3. Pour some cooking oil into a deep saucepan/wok and heat until it reaches 175 C/ 347 F (or boiling).

Deep fry the rice cakes in batches until the outer layer turns crispy (under 30 seconds to avoid possible rice cake explosion). Take them out and set aside onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Repeat this with the remaining rice cakes.

Deep fry the battered chicken pieces in batches until golden and cooked through (2 to 3 mins). Take them out and set aside onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Repeat this with the remaining chicken. (Don’t put too much chicken in one go as it can lower the oil temperature too much.) To make the chicken extra crunchy, double fry them one more time. Set aside.

Korean style popcorn chicken deep frying

4. Pour the sauce into a heated skillet. Bring it to boil on medium heat until the sauce thickens a little bit (1 to 2 mins). Stir constantly. Add the fried chicken and rice cakes then coat with the sauce quickly and thoroughly. Garnish with your choice of toppings (e.g. crushed nuts, seeds and green onion). Serve.

Korean style popcorn chicken mixing with the sauce

Korean style popcorn chicken garnished with sesame seeds and green onions

Tips

  • If you can’t find the Korean rice cakes, it’s OK to leave these out. I included them here because that’s how a Korean street food stall or a restaurant serves these popcorn chicken. If you’re leaving these rice cakes out, maybe add more chicken to match up with the sauce quantity.
  • It tastes best when served immediately after cooking. (The crunchiness of chicken is at its peak then.) However, it can be served cold as well. Any leftover meat can be refrigerated in an airtight container for the next day. It might not be as crispy as the first day but it still tastes really good!
  • For a little bit of variety, you can set aside some un-sauced double fried popcorn chicken and serve them like that. As the chicken is marinated with ginger powder, salt and black pepper during the initial process, it has a really nice taste on its own. People who can’t eat spicy food really appreciate this!


Love Korean food? Browse my other easy Korean recipes from this recipe index. And subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on FacebookPinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.

crunchy and sticky Korean style popcorn chicken | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Style Popcorn Chicken

Korean style popcorn chicken recipe. It's a type of Korean fried chicken! It's crunchy and coated with sticky, sweet, tangy and spicy sauce! A perfect crowd pleaser!
4.88 from 31 votes
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: korean popcorn chicken
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 758kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

MAIN

  • 500 g chicken thigh fillets (18 ounces), rinsed under cold water, cut into bite sized pieces, or breast fillets
  • 150 g fresh Korean rice cake (5.3 ounces), cut in half (if you’re not using fresh rice cakes, separate and soak them in warm water for 10 mins before cutting. Pat dry with some kitchen paper.)
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine
  • 2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 cup potato starch or corn starch
  • Some cooking oil , I used rice bran oil

SAUCE (MIX THESE IN A BOWL)

  • 5 Tbsp tomato sauce (ketchup)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp gochujang (Korean chilli paste)
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic

OPTIONAL – TO GARNISH

  • crushed nuts or seeds (e.g. walnut, peanut, pistachio, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds, etc.)
  • finely chopped green onion – if you want the nice colour contrast

Instructions

  • Place chicken pieces into a large mixing bowl. Add the rice wine, ginger powder, salt, and ground black pepper and mix them well. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate the chicken for 30 mins in the fridge.
  • Coat each chicken piece with the starch powder thoroughly. (It’s best doing this in 4 to 5 batches so that they are well covered with the starch powder.)
  • - Pour some cooking oil into a deep saucepan/wok and heat until it reaches 175 C/ 347 F (or boiling).
    - Deep fry the rice cakes in batches until the outer layer turns crispy (under 30 seconds to avoid possible rice cake explosion). Take them out and set aside onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Repeat this with the remaining rice cakes.
    - Deep fry the battered chicken pieces in batches until golden and cooked through (2 to 3 mins). Take them out and set aside onto kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil. Repeat this with the remaining chicken. (Don’t put too much chicken in one go as it can lower the oil temperature down.) To make the chicken extra crunchy, double fry them one more time. Set aside.
  • Pour the sauce into a heated skillet. Bring it to boil on medium heat until the sauce thickens a little bit (1 to 2 mins). Stir constantly. Add the fried chicken and rice cakes then coat with the sauce quickly and thoroughly. Garnish with your choice of toppings (e.g. crushed nuts, seeds and green onion). Serve.

Notes

1 Tbsp = 15 ml, 1 Cup = 250 ml

Nutrition Info (per serving)

Calories: 758kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 1063mg | Potassium: 1018mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 255IU | Vitamin C: 5.1mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2.6mg

The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Tried this recipe?I love hearing how you went with my recipes! Rate this recipe with a comment below and tag me on Instagram @MyKoreanKitchen.

Written by: Sue

Last Updated:

Photo of author
Welcome to my Korean kitchen! I’m so happy that you're here. I am Sue, the creator behind My Korean Kitchen (since 2006). I love good food and simplifying recipes. Here you will find my best and family approved recipes. Thanks for stopping by!

NEVER MISS A NEW RECIPE

Join 20,000+ other Korean food lovers! Get the latest recipes from My Korean Kitchen delivered to your email inbox. It's free!

I will only send you emails related to My Korean Kitchen. Unsubscribe at any time.

Copyright: Unless otherwise noted, all photography and content on this site is the intellectual property of Sue Pressey of My Korean Kitchen. Please do not copy and/or paste full recipes and images to any social media channels or websites without my prior written consent. This is strictly prohibited. You may however, use a single image and a summary of my article in your own words, provided that proper attribution is given to myself and an appropriate link back to my original recipe. Thank you.

Disclosure: My Korean Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
Rate This Recipe With Your Comment




85 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

NEVER MISS A NEW RECIPE

Join 20,000+ other Korean food lovers!

Get the latest recipes from My Korean Kitchen delivered to your email inbox. It's free!

Connect

NEVER MISS A NEW RECIPE

Join 20,000+ other Korean food lovers! Get the latest recipes from

My Korean Kitchen delivered to your email inbox. It's free!