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Korean Fried Chicken: The True Story of the Other KFC

Over the past few years, Korean culture has been making waves worldwide and will continue to rise in the next few years. Aside from the popularity of K-pop, K-dramas, and movies, many people are starting to love and crave Korean food as well, particularly Korean fried chicken. 


Korean fried chicken is crunchy, crispy, and covered in various sauces of your choosing. Some flavours are spicy, while others are covered in delicious umami sesame and soy sauce flavours, and some in a sweet sauce. Whatever the sauce you choose, Korea fried chicken is best paired with a cold and refreshing beer.


Because this dish is popular in Korea, locals call this favourite pairing Chimaek. Chimaek is a marriage of two words: “Chi” is for chicken or “chikin,” while “Maek” is short for “maekju,” which is beer in Korean. Some Asian restaurants also offer rice bowls, like Gangnam Chicken, for a quick and delicious Korean fried chicken fix. 


You’re probably more curious about what Korean fried chicken is, its story, and how it is its own culture. If you’re interested in finding out, stick around because we’ll share the story of Korean fried chicken with you. 


Korean fried chicken and the war

Dishes like spam musubi and ramen were born during the war, and Korean fried chicken is no exception. The concept of fried chicken was first introduced to Korea when the American military set foot and stationed on Korean soil during the Korean War in the late 1940s. 


The US troops that were stationed in Korea during Thanksgiving only had chicken instead of turkey to celebrate. Because of this, they collectively decided to fry the chicken and share it with their Korean comrades, most of which never had fried chicken before. 


Traditionally, Koreans ate chicken steamed or boiled and then placed in broths or hot soup, usually called Samgyetang or ginseng soup. Because Koreans were used to eating chicken this way, fried chicken was a whole new concept.


Birth of Korean fried chicken

In the 60s and 70s, fried chicken was meant for special occasions, but the Korean fried chicken concept became popular in the 90s. This was when most Korean families lived in apartment complexes, and food can be easily delivered and enjoyed as an affordable meal or snack. 


At present, Korean fried chicken is becoming more and more widespread in various countries, especially because it was popularized by Korean dramas, TV shows, and Kpop idols sharing their love for the dish. 


The great thing about Korean fried chicken is that you can enjoy it in several ways, such as a rice bowl, like Gangnam Chicken, or on its own, which can be eaten as a meal or snack with pickled radish and iced cold beer or soju. 


Unlike traditional American fried chicken, Korean fried chicken is double-fried to make it even crunchier. Besides that, frying it twice also makes the chicken less greasy. 



Now that you know the quick history of the famous Korean fried chicken, you probably have a new found love for this type of fried chicken dish. If your mouth was watering and your tummy was grumbling the whole time, it’s time to head to your closest Asian restaurant and order a Korean fried chicken bowl. One fried chicken bowl worth trying is the Gangnam chicken from Rice Bowl Deluxe to satisfy your Korean fried chicken cravings. 


If you’re looking for places to eat in Edmonton, come visit Rice Bowl Deluxe. We serve made-to-order healthy and delicious Asian rice bowls that will help satisfy your Asian food cravings. Check out our menu!

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