who invented korean fried chicken?

Korean fried chicken, also known as KFC, is a beloved dish that has taken the world by storm in recent years. Its crispy exterior, juicy meat, and flavorful sauces have made it a favorite among foodies everywhere. But who is responsible for inventing this mouthwatering dish? In this article, we’ll explore the history of Korean fried chicken and try to uncover the identity of its inventor.

Origins of Korean Fried Chicken

The origins of Korean fried chicken can be traced back to the 1950s and 1960s in South Korea. During this time, the country was recovering from the Korean War and was experiencing a period of rapid industrialization and urbanization. Street food vendors began selling fried chicken as a cheap and tasty way to satisfy hungry workers.

It’s unclear who first came up with the idea of frying chicken in South Korea, as it was likely a dish that was independently invented by multiple street vendors. However, one popular theory is that Korean fried chicken was inspired by American fried chicken, which was introduced to Korea during the Korean War by American soldiers.

Development of Korean Fried Chicken

As South Korea’s economy continued to grow and evolve, so did the food culture. In the 1970s and 1980s, Korean fried chicken began to be served in sit-down restaurants rather than just on the streets. These restaurants added their own twists to the dish, such as using cornstarch or potato starch to create an even crispier coating.

During this time, Korean fried chicken also began to be served with a wider variety of sauces and seasonings. One popular sauce was a spicy and sweet mixture made with gochujang, a fermented chili paste that is a staple in Korean cuisine. Other sauces included soy garlic, honey mustard, and teriyaki.

The Invention of Double-Frying

One of the key innovations that set Korean fried chicken apart from other types of fried chicken was the double-frying technique. It’s unclear who first came up with the idea of double-frying, but it’s likely that it was developed by a restaurant in South Korea in the 1980s or 1990s.

The double-frying technique involves frying the chicken twice to achieve an extra-crispy texture. After the chicken is coated in flour or starch and deep-fried, it is removed from the oil and allowed to rest for a few minutes. It is then fried again for a shorter period of time to achieve maximum crispiness.

The Rise of Korean Fried Chicken

In the 2000s, Korean fried chicken began to gain international popularity. Korean dramas and pop culture helped to popularize the dish, and Korean fried chicken restaurants began to open in cities around the world.

One of the most famous Korean fried chicken chains is Bonchon, which was founded in South Korea in 2002 and now has locations in the United States, Asia, and beyond. Bonchon is credited with popularizing the double-frying technique and bringing Korean fried chicken to a global audience.

The origins of Korean fried chicken are somewhat mysterious, but it’s clear that it was developed in South Korea in the post-war period. While we may never know who first came up with the idea of frying chicken in Korea, it’s likely that the dish was inspired by American fried chicken and was developed independently by multiple street vendors.

The invention of the double-frying technique is also shrouded in mystery, but it’s clear that it was a game-changer for Korean fried chicken and helped to set it apart from other types of fried chicken. Today, Korean fried chicken is a beloved dish around the world, and we have innovative street vendors, restaurateurs, and chefs from South Korea to thank for it.

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