Korean Fried Chicken Tenders

Crispy, sticky buttermilk fried Korean chicken that is 100x better than takeout! Ready in under 30 minutes, these mouthwatering tenders are coated in a sweet, savory + spicy glaze. Easy to cook at home. Amazingly flavorful. Serve with rice, noodles, salad, in a fluffy bun, or over your favorite veggies!

A few years ago, I set out on a mission to perfect fried chicken at home. There were some flops, spills and burns. To be honest, this trial-and-error process ended up in some disasters and a whole lot of delicious taste testing along the way. I don’t claim to be a pro, but I have learned so much fun during my fried chicken experimenting. And I sure do love sharing my finger-lickin-good findings along the way.

This new recipe for Korean Fried Chicken Tenders turned my dinner table totally silent. That is, everyone’s mouths were so full of sticky, crispy chicken that no one said a WORD!

It wasn’t until after mouthfuls of chicken and rice did I get the verdict: “This is the best chicken you’ve ever made.”

Yup, that’s a weeknight win if I’ve ever heard one.

Pack it in, folks. Time to call it quits on every fried chicken recipe you’ve ever known. This is THE ONE. Sticky, salty, sweet and oh-so crunchy, this mouthwatering chicken is so tender and 100x better than any takeout you could get in a box.

Let’s jump in!

Ready to make your own Korean Fried Chicken Tenders?

• In a medium bowl, combine chicken, buttermilk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 1 day ahead).

• In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, black pepper, chili flakes, thyme and garlic powder.

• Heat a large pot of oil over medium-high heat. After a few minutes, flick a bit of flour into the oil. If it begins to sizzle and fry golden brown, the oil is ready. Reduce heat to low before frying.

• Remove chicken tenders (one at a time) from buttermilk, shaking off excess liquid. Dip in flour mixture, pressing to coat evenly. Shake off excess flour from each chicken tender; set aside. Repeat with remaining pieces.

• Carefully drop 4-5 tenders at a time into the hot oil. Fry about 4-5 minutes, until golden brown and fully cooked.

• Use tongs to remove chicken from oil. Place on paper towel-lined, oven-safe plate to drain.

• Place plate in a 200-degree oven to keep warm, while you cook remaining chicken tenders.

• In a small saucepan, whisk brown sugar, soy sauce, gochujang, honey, vegetable oil, sesame oil, ginger, chili flakes, and minced garlic. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened.

• Once chicken is ready, brush sauce generously over each piece.

• Serve chicken over fluffy cooked rice. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Keep reading for full ingredient list + recipe, below

Looking for more “better than take-out” recipes? Try these!

Cold Sesame Cucumber Noodle Salad

Sweet ‘n Spicy Firecracker Chicken

Crispy Baked Honey Garlic Chicken

Simple Asian Soy-Peanut Noodles

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken

Slow Cooker Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders

Firecracker Chicken Meatballs

Easy Asian Dumplings with Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce

Seems a little involved, right? I thought the same. But, I guarantee you that every step is worth the end result.

This fried chicken is a fun weekend project, or for those who are feeling adventurous and want to put something new on the dinner table. Even the pickiest eaters’ taste buds will agree, this chicken is off the charts!

The flavors are sweet, salty, and rich, with a hint of spice. You can adjust the spice level to your preference by cutting down on the chili flakes.

I hope you enjoy the recipe. Please feel free to leave a comment and a star rating below, if you try it at home!

5 from 1 vote

Korean Fried Chicken Tenders

Servings 6 servings
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 4 chicken breasts, sliced into strips (or about 2 lbs. chicken tenderloins)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

For the flour coating + frying:

  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • About 4 cups vegetable oil for frying

For the sticky sauce:

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup gochujang paste found in most grocery Asian sections
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic minced

For serving (optional):

  • Fluffy cooked rice
  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions, sliced into thin strips

Instructions

For the marinade:

  • In a medium bowl, combine chicken, buttermilk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Toss to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (up to 1 day ahead).

For the flour coating + frying:

  • In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt, paprika, black pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme and garlic powder.
  • Heat a large pot of oil over medium-high heat. After a few minutes, flick a bit of flour into the oil. If it begins to sizzle and fry golden brown, the oil is ready. Reduce heat to low before frying.
  • Remove chicken tenders (one at a time) from buttermilk, shaking off excess liquid. Dip in flour mixture, pressing to coat evenly. Shake off excess flour from each chicken tender; set aside. Repeat with remaining pieces.
  • Carefully drop 4-5 tenders at a time into the hot oil. Fry about 4-5 minutes, until golden brown and fully cooked.
  • Use tongs to remove chicken from oil. Place on paper towel-lined, oven-safe plate to drain.
  • Place plate in a 200-degree oven to keep warm, while you cook remaining chicken tenders.

For the sticky sauce:

  • In a small saucepan, whisk brown sugar, soy sauce, gochujang, honey, vegetable oil, sesame oil, ginger, crushed red pepper flakes, and minced garlic. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, until thickened.
  • Once chicken is ready, brush sauce generously over each piece.

For serving (optional):

  • Serve chicken over fluffy cooked rice. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Find it in the Asian/Ethnic aisle of most grocery stores: Gochujang paste, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, chili flakes.
 
Adapted from Kitchen Sanctuary
Course: Main Course

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  1. 5 stars
    It was so delicious!!

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