Secret Recipe: Namu Gaji's Korean Fried Chicken

By

Dennis Lee may be the new Colonel Sanders. The Namu Gaji chef’s Korean Fried Chicken (KFC), available on the restaurant’s brunch menu, is twice fried and then slathered with a sweet and tangy glaze that looks almost nuclear, thanks to a helping of gochujang, a kicky Korean condiment made from red chiles, rice, fermented soybeans, and salt.


Korean Fried Chicken

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:

3 quarts water

1/3 cup salt

1/3 cup soy sauce

Whole chicken, split into 8 pieces (2 of each: wing with breast, breast, thigh, and drumstick)

1 cup plus 2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons potato starch

1 tablespoon sea salt

2 tablespoons black pepper

5 cups cold sparkling water

5 quarts frying oil (rice bran, 
canola, or peanut oil) or pork lard

Special equipment: 
candy thermometer

KFC glaze (see below)

1. Combine water, salt, and soy sauce in large pot. Place chicken in this brine, and soak for 3 to 4 hours in refrigerator.

2. Remove from solution and pat dry.

3. Lightly coat chicken in 1 cup of flour.

4. Whisk the 2 cups of flour, potato starch, sea salt, and black pepper together in large bowl.

5. Add sparkling water and mix until smooth.

6. Coat chicken in batter.

7. Heat frying oil to 320 degrees in 8- to 10-quart heavy-bottomed pot. Submerge chicken in oil for 8 minutes, maintaining temperature between 300 and 320 degrees.*

8. Remove chicken and allow to rest on a drying rack for 6 minutes.

9. Heat oil to 375 degrees.

10. Submerge chicken again and maintain temperature between 350 and 375 degrees.* Batter will appear golden brown and very crispy when done.

11. Coat chicken in warm KFC glaze. Plate the chicken.

12. Serve with daikon pickles, spicy slaw, and dashi gravy for dipping. See recipes online at 7x7.com/KFC.

*Chef’s note: The temperature of the oil will drop when you place all of the chicken in. Increase or decrease heat to maintain proper temperature for the duration of cooking.

KFC Glaze

1/2 cup gochujang
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup sugar
8 ounces unsaltedbutter
1 tablespoon potato starch mixed with 2 tablespoons water
1. Combine all ingredients except potato starch slurry in small (4-quart) pot.
2. Bring to a simmer and add potato starch slurry, whisking vigorously.
3. Turn the heat down to very low to keep warm.
4. Take the mixture off the heat, and whisk for a minute just before glazing the chicken.
 
Daikon Pickles
Serves 4 to 6
2 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 cups white vinegar
2 to 3 pounds medium-size Japanese daikon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1. Combine water, sugar, salt, and vinegar, and whisk until uniform.
2. Add radish and let sit, covered, for 24 hours. Then refrigerate until ready to eat.
3. These will easily keep for 6 to 8 weeks in the refrigerator.
 
Spicy Slaw
Serves 4 to 6
1/2 green cabbage
1 cup mayo
2 tablespoons sriracha ,Tabasco, or your favorite hot sauce (more if you like it hotter)
1. Thinly slice the cabbage.
2. Mix together with mayo and hot sauce until evenly coated.
Chef’s note: I think this slaw is best served right away, when you can taste the raw cabbage, but it’s also good the next day, served after being refrigerated.
 
Dashi Gravy
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup heaping bonito flakes
1 piece kelp, 4 by 4 inches
4 quarts chicken stock
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
6 ounces unsaltedbutter
6 ounces flour
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Black pepper to taste (approximately 1 teaspoon)
1. Place bonito and kelp in chicken stock in medium (6-quart) pot. Bring to a simmer and remove from heat.
2. Strain the liquid, discarding solids, and return to pot.
3. Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and mirin to the stock.
4. In a separate 10-inch sauté pan, melt butter on low.
5. Work the flour in until there are no lumps and the flour is fully incorporated (the mix will become a relatively solid mass).
6. Heat stock to a simmer, and add the butter-and-flour combination in small pieces, whisking them in.
7. Add cheese and black pepper.
8. Whisk for 4 minutes as the mixture bubbles and thickens.
9. Serve hot.

This article was published in 7x7's October 2014 issue. Click here to subscribe.

DON'T MISS A BAY AREA BEAT! SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER.