This Spicy Korean Chicken with Crispy Rice is a delicious weeknight meal, with crispy, spicy chicken served on a crispy rice pancake. Great use for leftover cooked rice!
It was just a long weekend here in Canada – Victoria Day – the unofficial start of Summer. I spent part of my weekend sorting through my cache of recipes that were cooked through the long Winter months, but never yet shared. Rather than leave them behind, I hope you’ll indulge me a week or so of sharing a few, before I move on to Summer fare :)
I have mentioned before my love of Korean food, especially anything that involves deliciously spicy Gochujang. I’ve shared some recipes with Gochujang several times before, in this Korean Fire Chicken Cheese Fries and this Sesame Chicken Bibimbap.
This Spicy Korean Chicken with Crispy Rice brings together my love of Korean with my love of chicken dishes. Beyond the delicious chicken, is the crispy rice pancake that it’s served with. It’s a great change of pace from the usual and goes perfectly with the spicy chicken.
Cook’s Notes for Spicy Korean Chicken with Crispy Rice
I am a big fan of crispy chicken skin, so that’s how I usually cook up this dish. If you are more of a braising lover, you can adapt how you could this dish to braise your chicken thighs instead. Simply increase the amount of broth to about 1 1/2 cups and instead of removing chicken to a hot oven, partially cover your skillet and simmer for 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Note that this recipe calls for short-grain rice. The extra starch that from short grain rice helps to hold the rice together for the crispy rice pancake. Look for sushi rice, CalRose or any rice labeled short grain.
This is a great dish to use up left-over, cooked rice. It will save you the time of making/cooling the rice before starting this dish, as it will already be cooked and cooled.
You can cook/cool the rice for this dish ahead. Once cooled, just cover (so it doesn’t dry out too much) and leave it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook.
Spicy Korean Chicken with Crispy Rice
- 4 bone-in/skin-on chicken thighs
For the Sauce:
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic inely chopped
- 1/2-inch slice fresh ginger peeled, finely grated
- 2 Tbsp gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste)
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp mirin
- 1 1/2 tsp toasted or regular sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the Crispy Rice:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked short-grain rice Sushi, CalRose etc.
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp mustard powder
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 3/4 - 1 cup chicken broth
- 3 green onions white and pale-green parts only, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- Start rice cooking, unless you already have cooled, cooked rice on hand. Once cooked, add to a medium bowl and gently stir in the cumin, garlic powder, and mustard powder. Spread rice out on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet and chill until cold, about 1 hour.
- Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, stir together the onion, garlic, ginger, gochujang, soy sauce, sugar, mirin, sesame oil, and pepper. Set aside.
- When ready to start chicken, preheat oven to 375 F. and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up).
- Season chicken with salt. Heat butter and vegetable oil in a medium heavy pot over medium heat. Add chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken to prepared baking sheet and place in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, discard fat from skillet. Add the sauce mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook until sauce appears to thin out, about 3 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add 1/2 of the green onion to the sauce and simmer 3-5 minutes, or until green onion is tender. Taste sauce and season with salt and pepper, as needed. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until chicken is ready, thinning with a splash more broth if sauce gets too thick.
- While sauce is simmering/chicken is in the oven, prepare the crispy rice by heating a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add cooled rice mixture and press in to a round pancake with a spatula. Cook rice cakes, turning halfway through, until crisp, puffed, and golden, about 5 minutes per side or 10 minutes total.
- Transfer rice pancake to a large serving plate or dish. Top crispy rice pancake with cooked chicken pieces from oven, then spoon plenty of warm sauce over-top. Garnish with remaining chopped green onion.