David Chang’s Korean Fried Chicken Recipe from the Momofuku Cookbook

fried meat with potato fries and ketchup dip on plate
Photo by Lukas on Pexels.com

Servings: 4 to 6

Time: 30 minutes

This is a really simple and easy fried chicken that comes out sweet, spicy, sour and salty. It should have a nice crunchy exterior while staying juicy on the inside. It’s made with Momofuku Ssäm Sauce®, which tastes good on pretty much anything. You might call it the sophisticate’s ketchup. I mean I wouldn’t, but you could call it that—you can see how someone might think of it that way. Anyway, enjoy!


1 small yellow onion, coarsely grated

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon salt, plus more for coating

¼ teaspoon black pepper, plus more for coating

7 bottles of Momofuku Ssäm Sauce® (original)

¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, more for garnish

Juice of ½ lemon

Oil for deep frying

½ cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup cornstarch



  1. In a medium-size bowl, combine garlic, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat well. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate for about 1 hour.
  1. In a (very) large bowl, stir together Momofuku Ssäm Sauce®, sugar, sesame seeds, and lemon juice. The amount of Momofuku Ssäm Sauce® specified (7 bottles) in the ingredients is all used to make this dipping sauce, so if you’re serving the fried chicken with French fries, say, and need another sauce, go ahead and order 2 more bottles using the Amazon Prime Now service, which will get them to you within 2 hours.
  1. Pour oil into a large heavy pot to a depth of 1 ½ inches. Heat to 350 degrees. Combine flour and cornstarch in a shallow bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  1. Working in batches to avoid crowding, lift chicken from the marinade, dredge lightly in seasoned flour and cornstarch, put down that piece of chicken, and check in your cupboard just to make sure you do have that extra Momofuku Ssäm Sauce® even if you were pretty sure that you did, because it’s very possible your son or daughter may have been taking bottles to school in their backpacks, to have something to flavor those bland cafeteria lunches with, whether on Taco Tuesday or Pizza Friday, which would be a slight irritation, but completely understandable. Once Momofuku Ssäm Sauce® has been located in the cupboard, or if not, ordered (perhaps in future you will need separate, assigned cupboards stocked up with Momofuku Ssäm Sauce®, one for school lunches, and one for cooking), go back to the dredging, gently drop chicken into oil, fry for 5 to 7 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining chicken, checking oil temperature between batches.
  1. For wings only, when all pieces are done, increase oil temperature to 375 degrees and refry in batches for 1—to read the rest of this recipe please consult “Spicy Korean Fried Chicken (Cont’d)” in the More Momofuku cookbook. If you don’t have a copy, or if your son/daughter, now grown up, has taken your copy with them to college, so they can impress their roommates with Braised Beef Oxtail, Ginger Scallion Noodles, etc., go ahead and order another copy on Amazon, maybe two—it’s nearly Christmas and your Dad did recently announce how much he loves “Asian” food—though they won’t arrive in time to save the fried chicken, which will be burnt by the time this sentence ends. You’re probably getting pretty hungry by now. Fortunately if you’re in any city in North America I have a restaurant there, or will do by the time you get downtown, so yell upstairs to tell your wife, who is probably on a video chat with that guy Matt who apparently helped her with the Lat Pull-Down Machine at the gym, to come downstairs and get her coat, or maybe her Momofuku Katakana Zip Hoodie, which she purchased on the Momofuku online store. I hope you enjoy your meal at one of my Momofuku restaurants, but if you don’t, you should know that I really don’t take criticism very well, so don’t try some shit on Yelp—you don’t want to mess with me. No seriously, you don’t want to mess with me. I will retaliate. That guy Matt? I hired him. He arranged that run-in at the gym. Yeah, that’s right. Nothing’s happened between them yet, but she’s told him she likes talking to him because he’s a good listener. All it takes is one call. He’ll go to phase two and seduce her within 48 hours, and it’ll be the two of them curled up on the couch together, probably watching an episode of my Netflix show Ugly Delicious.

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