Korean fried chicken with pickled cucumber

Youll need to source many of the ingredients for Judy Joos scrummy dish from a specialist Asian store definitely worth it!
Korean fried chicken with pickled cucumber
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes plus 1 hour chilling
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the cucumber salad and dipping sauce

  • 400 g cucumber, (about 1 large cucumber)
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp caster sugar, or more to taste
  • 125 ml vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2½ tbsp (gochujang) fermented chilli paste, or more to taste

For the chicken

  • 12 chicken thighs, and drumsticks, bone in
  • 2 litres olive oil
  • 80 g fine Matzo meal
  • 80 g self-raising flour
  • 3 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp ground paprika
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp togarashi, Japanese 7-spice powder
  • 2 tsp gochugaru, Korean dried red chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp gochujang, fermented chilli paste
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 500 ml approx ice-cold water

Method

1. For the cucumber salad: cut the cucumber in half lengthways and scrape the seeds out with a spoon. Slice into 5mm crescents and tip into a bowl. Cover and chill.

2. Whisk together the mirin, vinegar, sugar, oil and 2 tbsp of the sesame seeds in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3. Pour the vinaigrette onto the cucumber and return to the fridge for a further 30 minutes.

4. Drain through a fine sieve, reserving the dressing. Return the cucumber to the bowl, and stir in any sesame seeds that may have collected on the bottom of the sieve. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

5. For the dipping sauce: put the gochujang in a small bowl and whisk in the reserved dressing from the cucumber (there should be about 75ml). Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds. Taste and add more chilli paste or sugar if you like. Pour into small dishes.

6. For the chicken: wash the chicken under cold water and remove the skin and any excess fat. Pat dry with kitchen paper.

7. In a heavy-based pan, heat the olive oil to 185C, checking the temperature using a thermometer. Do not leave the hot oil unattended.

8. In a bowl, mix together the matzo meal, flour, salt, cayenne pepper, paprika, sesame seeds, togarashi, gochugaru, gochujang and onion powder. Stir in about 500ml of ice-cold water to make a loose, thin batter. Whisk well to remove any lumps.

9. Dip each piece of chicken in the batter and fry in batches in the oil for about 6-8 minutes, maintaining the temperature of 185C. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and leave to stand for a minute on a rack in a warm place.

10. Serve the fried chicken on plates with a small bowl of the dipping sauce and cucumber salad alongside.

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