Southern Fried Korean Buttermilk Chicken and Sticky Chilli Sauce

Weirdly the first time I had Korean style chicken was in Berlin at a street food market near Kreuzberg. However as soon as I ate it I was hooked, it took a while for Gochujang sauce (which gives the sauce it’s tasty kick) to appear in the UK. Now you can get it quite easily and even get the genuine Korean brand tubs in supermarkets.

If you love fried crispy chicken this dish is great, especially for sharing with friends and served with coleslaw, chips (or rice and kimchi  if you prefer to be more authentic). I’ve served it almost like burgers in rolls, and also in BAO Buns so there’s a fair few options you can have.

I also use the sauce on barbecued chicken thighs and wings in the summer as it tastes great when the barbecue chars the sauce on plain chicken.

Top tip – Use some of the chilli sauce stirred through mayo. It makes a fantastic spicy mayo.


Serves 4 –

Chicken Thigh fillets – 600 grams

500ml Sunflower or vegetable oil for frying.

Chicken Marinade –

Buttermilk – 250-300ml

Salt  – pinch

White pepper – pinch

Paprika – ½ teaspoon.

Chicken crumb –

Plain flour – 200 grams

Baking Powder – 1 Teaspoon

Salt – pinch

Black Pepper – pinch

Onion granules – ½ Teaspoon

Garlic Granules – ½ Teaspoon

Ground ginger – ¼ Teaspoon

Chilli flakes – 1 teaspoon

Paprika – ½ Teaspoon

Dried thyme – 1 teaspoon.

Chilli Sauce –

Gochujang Paste – 2 Tablespoons

Light Soya Sauce – 1 tablespoon

Rice Vinegar – 2 Teaspoons

Sesame oil – 1 Tablespoon

1 large clove of Garlic – crushed

Chopped fresh ginger – 1 teaspoon

Sesame Seeds – 2 Tablespoons

Ground Onion – 1/ Teaspoon

Honey – 2 tablespoons

Sugar – 2 tablespoons

Chilli flakes – 1 Teaspoon

Boiling water  – 100 ml

Corn flour – 1 Teaspoon

Method –

  1. – Mix together all the Marinade ingredients in a bowl.
  2. – Cut the chicken thigh fillets up into large chunks.
  3. – Add the chicken to the marinade then chill in the fridge for a few hours if possible.
  4. Mix up the crumb ingredients in another bowl, making sure they’re all mixed in nicely together.
  5. Next add all the chilli sauce ingredients except the water and cornflour into a saucepan and lightly heat it, stirring until the sauce has become quite thick and sticky looking.
  6. Taste test the sauce. If too salty for your taste add the boiling water, bring the sauce to the boil, then in a small bowl mix the cornflour well with some cold water so there is a very thin paste. Then whisk into the boiling sauce. This should thicken quite quickly.
  7. Set sauce aside.
  8. Heat the oil up in a deep frying pan (alternatively use a deep fat fryer if you have one).
  9. In batches, take the chicken from the marinade and dip and cover in the crumb mixture so there’s a good coating then drop into the hot oil (I normally cook about 5 or 6 pieces of chicken at a time then keep the cooked chicken warm in a kitchen towel lined bowl in the oven).
  10. Cook the chicken until the crumb is nice and golden and slightly crispy.
  11. Optional. Reheat the chilli sauce so you can drizzle it hot over the chicken. I tend to heat it and put it in a pot for everyone to dip, I also usually use some of the chilli sauce and mix it with Mayo to make a lovely sticky spicy mayo to dip the chicken and (chips if you’re having them )into.

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