Crazy Good One Pan Korean Fried Chicken with Garlic and Ginger

September 7, 2016

Just a few ingredients are all you need to make this crazy good one pan fried chicken recipe. Garlic, ginger, a spicy chile paste known as sambal oelek, a bit of soy sauce and sugar, and some rice vinegar and sesame oil make up the spicy, finger lickin' good sauce. This delicious and easy recipe is from Cast-Iron Cooking, a wonderful cookbook by author Rachael Narins. Her new cookbook offers delicious recipes and handy tips for getting the most out of your cast-iron cookware. I love this recipe as it's easy to whip up any night of the week (under 30 minutes!) and everyone loves it; plus, the leftovers are fabulous for lunch the next day. If you're making it for kids, simply omit the sambal oelek or add just enough for flavor but not burn, and serve it on the side for those who like it hot.

Korean Fried Chicken with Garlic and Ginger
Excerpted from Cast-Iron Cooking © 2016 by Rachael Narins. Photography by © Keller + Keller Photography. Used with permission by Storey Publishing.
Serves 4

"Korean Fried Chicken, or, as it’s usually called, KFC, is magically delicious. You can play around with the amounts of garlic and ginger to make it perfect for your taste." ~Rachael Narins, author.


8–10 chicken thighs

2 teaspoons salt

5 garlic cloves, minced

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced

¼ cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon sugar

⅓ cup sambal oelek, or to taste
2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Peanut oil for frying

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

⅔ cup cold water
*Note: Sambal oelek (Asian chili paste) can be found in the Asian section of most markets.


1. Toss the chicken thighs with the salt and let rest for 30 minutes.

2. To make the sauce, whisk together the minced garlic and ginger, soy sauce, sugar, sambal oelek, vinegar, and sesame oil in a medium bowl. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, pour peanut oil into a 12-inch cast-iron pan, to 2 inches deep. Heat slowly over medium heat until it reaches 355°F/180°C. Arrange a wire rack on top of a baking sheet.

4. To make the batter, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, and cold water in a deep bowl.

5. Working in three batches, dip the chicken thighs in the batter, let the excess drip off, and add to the hot oil. Fry, using tongs to turn the chicken as needed, until the chicken is golden, 6 to 8 minutes total. When done, place on the wire rack to cool.

6. When all the chicken is fried, toss in the sauce and serve.