Jose Mendin of Miami's Pubbelly brings Korean flavor to the classic fried chicken. He adds gochujang, a spicy Korean chile paste, to his buttermilk brine, then fries the chicken until it's crisp and golden brown. Drink Mike's Hard Lemonade as a refreshing break between bites of this spicy dish.
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Korean Fried Chicken
Recipe adapted from Jose Mendin, Pubbelly, Miami
Yield: 10 pieces
Prep Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours and 15 minutes
For the Gochujang Mustard Miso:
½ cup red miso paste
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons gochujang
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons water
For the Korean Fried Chicken:
1 whole 3½-pound chicken (cut into 10 pieces)
4 cups buttermilk
1 tablespoon gochujang paste (Korean chile paste)
1 teaspoon chile powder, plus 2 tablespoons extra for flour mixture
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon schichimi (Japanese seven spice)
1 small head bibb lettuce, leaves separated
1. Make the gochujang mustard miso: In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the miso paste, garlic, brown sugar, sesame oil and rice vinegar. Cook it until the miso dissolves and becomes fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat and fold in the gochujang, mustard and water using a rubber spatula. Set the miso mixture aside; makes about 1 cup.
2. Make the Korean fried chicken: Combine the buttermilk, gochujang paste and 1 teaspoon of the chile powder. Add the chicken to the buttermilk brine and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight.
3. Remove the chicken from the brine and transfer to a wire rack placed over a parchment-lined, rimmed sheet tray. Allow the chicken to sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes to allow the salt to redistribute.
4. Pour enough oil in a 6-quart Dutch oven to reach a depth of 2 inches. Heat the oil until a deep-fry thermometer reads 375°. While the oil is heating, combine the 2 additional tablespoons of chile powder, flour, cornstarch, paprika, garlic powder and schichimi together in a large bowl.
5. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture, making sure that every piece is evenly coated.
6. Fry the chicken in 2 batches, cooking the larger pieces first, until golden brown and crisp, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 155°, about 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a wire rack placed over a paper towel-lined sheet tray. Season it with salt while still hot, and serve it with the gochujang mustard miso and lettuce cups.
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