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The Origin and Popularity of Korean Fried Chicken

Korean fried chicken, or KFC as it’s sometimes called, has taken the world by storm in recent years, and for good reason. Its crispy exterior and juicy interior, coupled with a range of delicious sauces, have won over the hearts and taste buds of people from all over the globe. But where did this beloved dish originate from, and how did it become so popular?

Origins of Korean Fried Chicken

While fried chicken has long been a staple in many cultures, Korean fried chicken has a unique twist that sets it apart. The dish is believed to have originated in the 1960s in Korea, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that it really started to take off. At that time, small fried chicken stalls started popping up around the country, and they quickly became popular among the working-class population. These stalls were known for their crispy, yet tender chicken, which was often served with a simple seasoning of salt and pepper.

Over time, the popularity of Korean fried chicken continued to grow, and more and more restaurants began adding it to their menus. It wasn’t until the 2000s, however, that the dish really started to gain international attention. In 2002, Korea co-hosted the FIFA World Cup with Japan, and millions of tourists from around the world flocked to the country. While there, they were introduced to Korean fried chicken, and it quickly became a hit.

What Sets Korean Fried Chicken Apart?

So, what makes Korean fried chicken so special? For starters, the chicken is typically double-fried, which gives it an incredibly crispy exterior while keeping the meat inside juicy and tender. The first fry is done at a lower temperature to cook the chicken all the way through, and the second fry is done at a higher temperature to crisp up the exterior.

Additionally, Korean fried chicken is often coated in a special batter made from a combination of flour, cornstarch, and sometimes even rice flour. This unique batter is what gives the chicken its signature crunch.

But what really sets Korean fried chicken apart is the sauces. In Korea, the most popular sauce is a sweet and spicy sauce made from gochujang, a fermented red chili paste. Other popular sauces include soy garlic, honey butter, and even cheese. These sauces are often drizzled over the chicken right before serving, adding an extra layer of flavor and making it hard to resist.

The Popularity of Korean Fried Chicken

Since its introduction to the world, Korean fried chicken has become a global phenomenon. It can now be found in cities around the world, from New York to London to Sydney. The dish’s popularity can be attributed to a number of factors, including its unique taste, the rise of social media, and its association with Korean culture.

In recent years, social media platforms like Instagram have played a big role in popularizing Korean fried chicken. Food bloggers and influencers have shared pictures and videos of the dish, making it more accessible to people who may not have otherwise known about it. As a result, more and more restaurants have started offering Korean fried chicken on their menus to keep up with the demand.

Korean culture has also played a role in the popularity of Korean fried chicken. K-pop and Korean dramas have gained a massive following around the world in recent years, and with that has come an interest in Korean food. Korean fried chicken is often featured in these dramas and is a favorite of many K-pop stars, further contributing to its popularity.


Korean fried chicken has come a long way since its humble beginnings in the 1960s. Its unique preparation, crispy batter, and delicious sauces have won over the hearts of people from all over the world. While its rise to fame can be attributed to a number of factors, including the rise of social media and its association with Korean culture, it’s clear that the dish’s popularity is well-deserved.

Today, Korean fried chicken is a staple in many restaurants around the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Its crispy exterior, juicy interior, and mouth-watering sauces make it a dish that’s hard to resist. Whether you’re a fan of sweet and spicy gochujang sauce or you prefer the savory flavor of soy garlic, there’s a sauce for everyone to enjoy.

In the end, the origin of Korean fried chicken may be a bit of a mystery, but its popularity is undeniable. From its humble beginnings as a street food in Korea to its status as a global phenomenon, Korean fried chicken has come a long way. So the next time you’re looking for a delicious and satisfying meal, consider giving Korean fried chicken a try. You won’t be disappointed.

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