The Korean Fried Chicken started off as a supper food, yasik, in the 1980s. For convenience, fried chicken was a popular home/office-delivery dish, just like how the original KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) had traditionally been marketed. Besides the chicken, the delivery would normally come with softdrinks and packed pickled radish too.
Over the years, the style of making fried chicken in Korea had started to change, incorporating very delicious local flavours such as sweet & spicy, sweet & sour or honey tastes. The popularity of Korean Fried Chicken has grew so much over the years and it is evidenced through the number of fried chicken restaurants across Korea.
(Note the pickled radish in the background)
The uniqueness in Korean Fried Chicken is also in the chicken parts used, usually mid-wings, drumlets, or small chunks of thigh meat. It is unlike KFC where drumsticks, breast meat and whole thigh part is used. Another unique point about the Korean fried chicken is the way that the dish is prepared. Small pieces of chicken chunks are used. This makes it easy as a take-out dish, as a street-food or even something to munch while watching sports. The texture of Korean fried chicken is also different. The crispiness of the fried chicken is a result of deep-frying the chicken first before they are pan-fried in different sauces.
Fried Chicken is also a common snack dish that goes with beer, especially when Koreans watch sports at the sports bar. Not pizza and beer or nachos and beer but fried chicken and beer (치맥). There is no special reasons, it was simply something delicious to eat. It has now become a part of Korean food culture.
(Note the container is provided for chicken bones)
In fact, the Korean fried chicken culture, similar to the K-pop culture is penetrating into many countries. Franchises are making their inroads globally, thanks to this delicious fried chicken dishes. It's uniqueness has given food lovers an alternative options to the western style KFC, Texas Chicken, Popeyes Chicken etc.
The Korean Fried Chicken presents a greater variety of options eg. fried, grilled, baked, popcorn chicken, chicken wings, spicy flavour, bulgogi flavour, sweet flavour etc. It offers a more refreshing taste.
It is said that Korean Fried Chicken is now the No. 6 most popular dish in Korea. I certainly hope that this delicious dish will become the No. 6 popular dish in the world one day!
Note: More postings on fried chicken can be found here.