Melissa Elsmo

Make some room on your pantry shelf for spicy fermented Gochujang. This robust red condiment, crafted from glutinous rice, soy beans and chilies, is a key ingredient in the Korean pantry and certain to be used in a myriad of spicy culinary applications in your home kitchen. Gochujang can be found at Asian markets and in the international aisles of finer supermarkets.

National Fried Chicken Day is July 6th and these Korean-inspired fried chicken sandwiches are sure to put a sweet and spicy spin on this indulgent food holiday! Use boneless-skinless chicken thighs for the best flavor and look for crispy panko to bring an extra crispy crunch to these sandwiches. Panko is a light and airy dried Japanese breadcrumb and can be found near the breadcrumbs in most grocery stores or in the Asian section of international markets.

Gochujang Fried Chicken Sandwiches with Asian Slaw and Ginger Mayo

(Makes four hearty sandwiches)

For the Asian Slaw:

  • 4 Cups shredded savoy cabbage (about 1 small head)
  • 2 Cups shredded carrots
  • 1 Cup julienne cut snow peas
  • 3 Scallions sliced ½ C Seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
  • Dash of salt
  • For the Ginger Mayo:
  • ½ Cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • ½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • ¼ teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 scallion sliced

For the Chicken:

  • ¼ Cup plus 1 Tablespoon Gochujang
  • ¼ Cup Honey
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • Up to 1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Cup flour seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 ½ Cups panko seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 4 Boneless-skinless chicken thighs pounded to ½” thickness
  • Canola Oil for frying
  • 4 Brioche buns, toasted

For the Slaw: Toss the veggies together in a large bowl. Whisk the vinegar, soy, sesame oil and black pepper in a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the veggies and toss to combine. Set the slaw aside at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the sandwich. Be sure to toss it occasionally.

For the Ginger Mayo: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Set aside while you prepare the chicken. The mayo can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated until ready to use.

For the Chicken:  Combine ¼ Cup of the gochujang, the honey, and sesame seeds in a bowl. Thin the mixture with up to 1 Tablespoon of water; the glaze should just cling to the back of a spoon.  

Set up a 3 step breading station: Place the seasoned flour in a shallow bowl. Beat the eggs in a second shallow bowl and whisk in the remaining tablespoon of gochujang. Place the seasoned panko in a third shallow dish.  

Pour oil into a pan to a depth of 2” and heat over medium high-heat to 375 degrees or until a bread cube sizzles on contact. Meanwhile dredge a chicken thigh through the flour, dip it in the egg wash and coat it with the panko. Repeat with the remaining thighs. Slip the coated thighs into the hot oil and allow them to fry gently, reducing heat if necessary, until golden brown and cooked through-about 10 minutes. Remove the thighs from the oil and drain briefly on paper towels. Remove chicken to a plate and baste generously with the gochujang-honey mixture on both sides.

To Serve: Slather the bottom of a toasted brioche roll with some ginger mayo and top with a glazed chicken thigh. Top the chicken with a portion of the slaw and cover with the top of the bun. Repeat with the remaining chicken and buns. Serve sandwiches at once.

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