Korean-style fried chicken is one of the most popular global feast staples among many diners worldwide, just like other Korean dishes such as bulgogi and kimchi. But Korean-style fried chicken seems to have this unique likeability within numerous circles, and you can’t help but wonder how it started and became famous around the world.
This article will talk you through the humble beginnings of Korean-style fried chicken and what gave it its rise to worldwide popularity. Take this as an opportunity to get to know more about Korean cuisine and how it became easily loved by diverse cultures.
Korean Fried Chicken (a.k.a KFC): American-inspired, Korean-elevated
Let’s first get our facts straight. It’s a known fact that Korea wasn’t the first inventor of fried chicken. That should be credited to the Americans in 1970, thanks to the country’s economic growth and industrialization, which gave rise to modern chicken raising and cooking oil.
But how then did Korean-style fried chicken start to hit the deep fryers in South Korea? It was all thanks to the American classic, Kentucky Fried Chicken, which became highly popular around 1984, enticing diners with its crispy yet juicy chicken and its signature blend of eleven herbs and spices. It gave way for a healthy fried chicken competition in South Korea and enabled Lim’s Chicken to pioneer the Korean fried chicken.
The famous Korean department store Shinsegae operated Lim’s Chicken, which began in 1982 but became prominent two years later. It inspired other Korean chicken joints to experiment with the Korean fried chicken, just like Pelicana, who coated it in a sweet-and-spicy sauce and called it the Yangnyeom-seasoned chicken.
Now, Korean fried chicken joints are worldwide, and even a few communities know KFC refers to Korean fried chicken. It highlights the popularity of the dish and its cult-like following among adventurous diners.
The Korean Wave: New wings, new heights
We cannot talk about Korean-style fried chicken without mentioning the infamous Korean Wave or Hallyu. It started in China as a diplomatic move to bring in Korean entertainment, like different T.V. shows and music such as popular K-dramas and K-pop.
The Korean Wave refers to the global phenomenon of popular Korean cultural staples, like music, entertainment, and cuisine, growing in different countries. This was the gust of wind that the humble Korean-style fried chicken needed to take flight and become a widely-loved meal. Korean entertainers and artists also love the dish and talk about it with their millions of worldwide fans.
The Korean Wave also came through what is known as the Korean diaspora, which refers to Koreans who migrate to other countries. It has inspired many businesses to serve Korean food as a taste of home, such as in Canada, where Koreans are known as one of the largest non-European ethnic groups.
The Korean Wave is also why there are so many Korean-style fried chicken dishes that have also become popular, like the Korean Gangnam Chicken Bowl, Korean Gangnam Chicken Appetizer and Korean Fried Chicken Wings. Now, you can enjoy authentic Korean-style fried chicken anywhere in the world.
Korean fried chicken is truly an enjoyable chicken dish worth riding the Hallyu Wave. Its signature crispy and savoury taste has made history in South Korea and around the world. Jump into the K-food craze and enjoy the best Korean food today!
Do you want to treat yourself to yummy Korean-style chicken in Edmonton? Get your fresh-food-made-fast fix with us at Rice Bowl Deluxe. We can offer your authentic Korean fried chicken, just like the ones you read about in this article. We also provide other heartwarming Asian favourites, such as spring rolls and pad thai. Join the Hallyu Wave today and indulge in excellent K-food today!