Food & Beverage

Popular Korean Fried Chicken Brands Loved by Locals

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Korean fried chicken is a popular choice of food among Koreans. Korea boasts fried chicken brands that rival the globally recognized Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). Korean fried chicken has won the hearts of many with its flavorful inside, crispy skin, juicy flesh, and distinctive aromas. Various companies in Korea have advanced the skill of frying chicken. 

The 21st century saw Korean pop culture, from K-pop to K-dramas, explode in popularity worldwide. Along with this “Korean Wave” came a growing interest in Korean cuisine. Korean fried chicken restaurants began popping up in major cities worldwide, and the dish quickly became a favorite among food enthusiasts.

The rise of Korean fried chicken is a testament to the universal appeal of delicious food. It’s a dish that transcends borders, bringing a taste of Korea to tables worldwide. As its popularity continues to soar, one thing is clear: Korean fried chicken is here to stay.

The Rise of Korean Fried Chicken

In recent years, the global culinary scene has witnessed the meteoric rise of a dish that, while deeply rooted in Korean culture, has taken on a life of its own worldwide: Korean Fried Chicken (KFC). This isn’t the KFC many Westerners are familiar with; instead, it’s a crispy, often spicy, and utterly addictive treat that has captivated taste buds from Seoul to New York.

Korean fried chicken’s history is relatively young, tracing back to the American presence in South Korea during the 1950s and 60s. The American style of frying chicken was combined with Korean flavors and cooking techniques, resulting in a unique dish that’s both familiar and novel.

Unlike its American counterpart, which is typically heavy and greasy, Korean fried chicken is known for its incredibly thin, crackly crust and its juicy, tender meat. The chicken is often double-fried, ensuring maximum crispiness, and then coated in various sauces, from sweet soy garlic to fiery hot.

What Sets it Apart?

Literally, the sauces are a significant part of what makes Korean fried chicken so beloved. Whether you’re a fan of the spicy, tangy Yangnyeom style or the sweet, garlicky, soy-based glaze, there’s a flavor profile for every palate. Moreover, including unique ingredients like gochujang (Korean chili paste) gives the chicken its distinctive taste.

In Korea, fried chicken is often enjoyed with beer, a pairing lovingly referred to as “chimaek” – a portmanteau of “chicken” and “maekju,” the Korean word for beer. This combination has become a staple of Korean nightlife and has been embraced by many international dish fans.

Top 5 Korean Fried Chicken Brands in Korea

Korean Fried Chicken outlets are among Korea’s most frequently visited food franchises. This in itself shows how big fried chicken is in Korea. Check the top contenders of Korean fried chicken brands. 

Byeol Hana Chicken

Established in 1997, Byeol Hana Chicken (BHC) is a well-known Korean fried chicken company. Two years after its inception, the business rebranded as BHC, short for Byeol Hana Chicken. Its reputation was further enhanced when Citi Group purchased it in 2013.

BHC has a distinctive menu of fried chicken meals and other exquisite food. Their diverse menu includes flavors like Curry Queen, Matcho King, and the popular Bburinkle Chicken. The secret sauce, seasoning, and hot pepper that give BHC’s fried chicken its distinctive and enticing flavor are well renowned. BHC also regularly rolls out new menu items to keep its clients interested and returning for more.

Kyochon

Another well-known Korean fried chicken brand is Kyochon, which was founded in Gumi-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, in 1991. The soy sauce chicken that Kyochon is famous for is what sets it apart from other restaurants’ menus. The Soy Sauce Chicken Original stands out because of its crispy texture and sweet and savory flavor. In addition, Kyochon offers Honey Original, the honey-glazed fried chicken, which was their initial topping and is still a foodie favorite today.

NENE Chicken

Established in 1995, NENE Chicken has become well-known for its amazing packaging and succulent fried chicken. Customers love their takeaway boxes because they carefully organize the chicken, red cabbage and a drink in one box, making it practical and aesthetically pleasing. Additionally, well-known for its inexpensive prices, NENE Chicken is a popular option for many. The Oriental Padak, one of their most well-liked menu items, is a client favorite thanks to its distinctive flavor combination.

BBQ Chicken

For many Koreans, the term “BBQ” immediately brings to mind BBQ Chicken, a prominent fried chicken brand in the nation. The most well-known brand of Korean fried chicken in Korea today is BBQ Chicken, which was founded in 1995. BBQ Chicken stands out for its distinctive approach to fried chicken made in the United States. Their chicken is prepared and spiced in a way that Korean palates would like. The Golden Olive Chicken, which the business touts as a healthier option, is one of their distinctive offers. BBQ Chicken has perfected the technique for creating excellent, filling fried chicken.

Goobne Chicken

Unlike traditional Korean fried chicken establishments, Goobne Chicken uniquely grills its chicken instead of deep-frying. Additionally, this firm sells roasted chicken, giving individuals who want to indulge in Korean chicken recipes a healthy choice. When Girls’ Generation, a well-known K-pop group, promoted Goobne Chicken, it attracted a lot of attention. Goobne Chicken’s distinctive flavor appeals to health-conscious consumers thanks to its distinctive grilling method.

Conclusion

These top five Korean fried chicken brands have cemented their status as national favorites among Koreans, and Korean fried chicken has become a culinary phenomenon. Each brand offers a distinctive experience that draws customers in and keeps them coming back for more, whether it’s the fiery flavors of BHC, the distinctive flavor of Kyochon’s soy sauce chicken, the delightful packaging of NENE Chicken, the Korean twist on American-style fried chicken by BBQ Chicken, or the grilled and roasted chicken options from Goobne Chicken. These companies have significantly contributed to the development of the Korean fried chicken culture, and the popularity of Korean fried chicken is only growing.

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About Anyaa M

Anyaa is a versatile writer passionate about capturing the diverse facets of Korean lifestyle, beauty, fashion, tech, and everything in between. As a wordsmith, she possesses the unique ability to delve into the intricacies of the Korean lifestyle, sharing valuable insights and personal experiences that resonate with readers. Whether it's exploring the vibrant streets of Seoul, uncovering the latest beauty trends, curating fashion inspiration, or delving into the world of cutting-edge technology, readers are always captivated and informed.

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