This spicy fried chicken is served with sour pickles and a Korean-style relish
For the bread and butter pickles
1 cucumber, cut into ½cm rounds
115g/4oz Spanish onions, thinly sliced
50g/2oz sea salt
100ml/3½fl oz cider vinegar
110g/4oz soft brown sugar
pinch ground turmeric
pinch ground cloves
pinch mustard seeds
pinch fennel seeds
For the ssamjang relish
100g/3½oz ssamjang paste
50g/2oz gochujang paste
30g/1oz spring onions, finely chopped
80g/3oz red onions, finely chopped
½ tsp crushed garlic
4 tsp runny honey
20g/¾oz sesame seeds, toasted
For the ‘noodle crack’ spice mixture (makes 250g/9oz)
55g/2oz cayenne pepper
40g/1½oz Korean chilli flakes
30g/1oz caster sugar
30g/1oz sea salt
25g/1oz wakame, crumbled
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp citric acid
For the fried chicken
4 chicken thighs, skin on
sunflower oil, for deep-frying
4 tbsp plain flour
½ tbsp dried oregano, crumbled
½ tbsp dried thyme leaves, crumbled
½ tbsp dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground white pepper
½ tbsp sea salt flakes
50ml/2fl oz evaporated milk
1 free-range egg
25g/1oz beef dripping
2 tsp ‘noodle crack’ spice mixture (see above)
55g/2oz cucumber, cut into strips
½ baby Gem lettuce, leaves separated
25g/1oz spring onions, sliced
To make the bread and butter pickles, place the cucumber, onions and salt in a sieve set over a large bowl and cover with ice. Put some plates and other heavy items on top to weigh everything down and refrigerate for 3 hours. Drain off all of the liquid and rinse off all the salt in cold water. Drain again thoroughly.
Meanwhile, heat the vinegar, sugar, turmeric, cloves, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and 1 tablespoon of water in a small saucepan. Add the cucumber and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Leave to cool.
To make the ssamjang relish, place all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together until well combined. Set aside.
To make the ‘noodle crack’ spice mixture, add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse to a coarse powder.
To make the fried chicken, rinse the chicken pieces in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper. Preheat a deep-fat fryer to 180C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.)
Tip the flour, dried herbs, cayenne pepper, white pepper and salt into a large polythene bag. Shake until well combined.
In a bowl, beat the evaporated milk and eggs together until well combined.
Dip a chicken thigh into the milk mixture until completely coated, then place it in the polythene bag. Twist the bag closed and shake vigorously until the thigh is completely coated. Remove the thigh from the bag and set aside on a plate. Repeat with the remaining thighs.
Carefully lower the chicken thighs into the hot oil, one at a time, using tongs. Cook for 15–20 minutes, turning regularly, until crisp and deep golden-brown. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper. Check that the chicken is cooked through and has no traces of pink at the thickest part of the thigh.
Drizzle the beef dripping over the cooked thighs then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the “noodle crack” spice mixture all over them (the remaining mixture can be stored in an airtight jar). Transfer the chicken thighs to a serving platter and arrange the cucumber strips, lettuce leaves, kimchi, spring onion, bread and butter pickles and the bowl of ssamjang relish around the chicken. Serve immediately.
Source: BBC FOODS