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Spicy Korean Fried Chicken with Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Preparation Time30 mins
Cook Time15 mins


1kg skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into large dice
2 tbs light soy sauce
2 tbs sake
280g (2 cups) corn flour
canola oil, for deep frying
black and white sesame seeds, sour cream, limes & sliced spring onions, to serve

Pickled Cucumbers
250g baby cucumbers, halved lengthways
¼ tsp fine salt
2 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tsp sesame oil
1 small clove garlic, finely grated
pinch sugar
3 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped

Spicy Korean Sauce
2 tbs sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, finely grated
2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
100g (3 tbs) gochujang
3 tbs brown sugar
3 tbs honey
3 tbs rice wine vinegar
2 tbs light soy sauce


Place chicken in a large non-metallic bowl with soy and sake. Mix to coat, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Place the cucumbers in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Set aside for 15 minutes then drain off liquid and discard. Add vinegar, oil, garlic, sugar and coriander and toss to combine. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve.

To make the sauce, heat oil in a wok or large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Add gochujang and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir through the sugar, honey, vinegar and soy sauce. Bring to a simmer for 2 minutes until smooth and combined. Remove from heat.

Place corn flour in a medium bowl. Lift a piece of chicken out of the marinade, allowing excess to drip off, then toss in the flour to coat, shaking off excess. Transfer to tray and repeat with remaining chicken.

Heat enough canola oil to fill a large saucepan 10cm up the sides to 180°C. Working in batches, cook chicken for 6-7 minutes until golden and cooked through. Transfer to paper towel to drain. Repeat until all the chicken is cooked.

Reheat the sauce and add the chicken, tossing to coat in the spicy sauce. Serve chicken sprinkled with sesame seeds, sour cream for dipping, lime wedges, spring onions on top and pickled cucumbers on the side.

Recipe, Food Styling and Photography by Karen McFarlane, foodlove.com.au