Food & Beverage

Discover Why Korean Fried Chicken is the Most Popular K-Food Globally!

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Who doesn’t love Korean Fried Chicken? Its crispy, flavorful skin with juicy, tender meat have been the ultimate favorite of almost all foodies around the world. In fact, recent research proved that Korean fried chicken turns out to be the most loved among global popular K-food. It even beats Kimchi, the very staple of Korean food itself. So, how was it possible and what makes it different from other regular fried chickens? Join us in a complete discussion below.

Fried Chicken is Now the Most Popular Korean Food Worldwide

Recent findings from a global survey have placed Korean-style fried chicken at the top of the list as the most loved popular K-food worldwide.

This exciting revelation comes from a comprehensive study involving 9,000 participants across major cities like New York, Toronto, Paris, Beijing, Dubai, and Tokyo. The survey, excluding individuals of Korean descent, brings to light the growing admiration for Korean cuisine globally.

From a recent study, 16.5% of respondents fascinatingly expressed a particular fondness for Korean-style chicken, a dish characterized by its unique preparation and flavorful sauces. It triumphed over other Korean favorites like instant ramen and Kimchi, which followed closely in the rankings.

Korean fried chicken. | Pinterest

Global foodies seem to prefer fried-based chicken cuisines rather than soups. In fact, the Samgyetang, a traditional Korean soup cuisine, only raked at #10 with only 2% responders.

Although Kimchi emerged as the most recognized Korean food, with 40.2% of respondents associating it immediately with Korean cuisine, it didn’t secure the top spot as the favorite. Instead, this title went to Korean fried chicken.

This study, conducted annually by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs as well as the Korean Food Promotion Institute, has consistently crowned this tasty cuisine as the #1 most popular K-food for 4 consecutive years.

Meanwhile, other dishes like bibimbap, bulgogi, and Korean barbecue still made outstanding appearances in the survey results. However, Korean fried chicken is still the most loved among this popular K-food.

What Makes It Different? Here’s the Secret!

So, what makes Korean fried chicken different from other regular chickens? How did this delicious cuisine managed to captivate the palate of worldwide foodies despite their origins?

Let’s dive into the all the secrets behind this amazing popular Korean cuisine!

Double Frying Technique

The first secret behind this Korean-style chicken cuisine is its double frying technique.

Korean fried chicken is renowned for its unbelievably crispy skin. And this was the result of a unique double-frying technique. It involves frying the chicken once, letting it rest for a short period, and then frying it again. This method not only renders the fat for a thinner crust but also ensures a less greasy experience.

Lighter Batter and Breading

The second secret lies in its batter composition.

The batter used in Korean fried chicken, often made from cornstarch or rice flour, is notably lighter and thinner. Therefore, it results in a crunchier, lighter bite texture that’s less heavy compared to its Western counterpart.

Diverse Flavor Profiles

Thirdly, the versatility in flavors is one of the hallmark secrets of Korean fried chicken.

From sweet and spicy to savory and garlicky, the chicken is often coated or tossed in a variety of sauces, with soy garlic and spicy gochujang being popular choices.

  1. Soy Garlic: A sweet and savory glaze made with soy sauce, garlic, and often a touch of honey or sugar.
  2. Spicy: A fiery sauce often made with Korean gochujang (red chili paste), garlic, and sugar, delivering a sweet, spicy, and slightly tangy flavor.

Smaller Pieces for Better Flavor

The next secret of this most popular Korean food lies in its cuts.

Contrary to the larger pieces in Western-style, Korean-style chicken is served in smaller cuts, allowing for more uniform cooking and a better balance of sauce and meat.

The Art of Serving

Last but not least, accompaniments like pickled radishes complement the rich taste of Korean fried chicken. Better yet, as Korean likes to savor this cuisine with a large glass of beer, they created one of the most popular Korean food combinations called “chimaek,” or “chicken and beer (maekju 맥주).

Dedicated Exposures from Korean Dramas

Not only that, but the role of Korean dramas also plays a massive part in bringing this “chimaek” culture globally.

For example, Kdramas like “My Roommate is a Gumiho” and “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” even dedicated a particular scene where they focused on this tasty Korean food. It was to either promote its most prominent brands or give extraordinary exposure to the cuisine.

These are the secrets of why Korean fried chicken remains the most popular food for 4 consecutive years. With its unique cooking techniques, diverse flavors, lighter batter, and dedicated exposure, these Korean-style chicken cuisine managed to stand tall in the global culinary scene.

So, what do you think? Which types of Korean fried chicken do you love the most? Or do you have better ideas for the most popular Korean food worldwide? Please share your thoughts with us.

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About Jong-in

Jong-in is a lifestyle writer and cultural connoisseur who celebrates the multifaceted aspects of Korean culture. With a passion for art, music, cuisine, and travel, Jong-in's writing is a hub for exploring the vibrant cultural scene in Korea.

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