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Saturday, December 2, 2023

11 Greatest Korean Hen Joints 2022 (And Some To Keep away from)

Hen and beer have grow to be severe establishments in South Korea. Korean type fried hen began exhibiting up round 1970, when cooking oil turned extra inexpensive. Within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties, hen “hofs” that served deep fried hen and beer popped up in every single place. This was possible resulting from early compelled retirement for mid-level managers in Korea Inc.’s chaebol conglomerates. Hen hofs had been offered as turnkey enterprise options. Since so many opened on each nook, Koreans began going to them as a result of they had been there. As of late, there are extra hen franchise places in Korea than there are McDonald’s in the complete world.

The hen hof has gone via phases. I’m a private fan of the Nineties type. Small free vary birds with papery breading and powerful Asian fragrant flavors. Or as one chef I shared hen with stated, smelled like a cinnamon doughnut. The extra trendy type is nearer to American fried hen, dipped in a flour breading with all of the nooks and crannies. There are just a few franchises I like from this vein as properly.

To sauce or to not sauce?

Individuals debate whether or not Korean fried hen wants sauce. I like to simply get plain fried with some Yangnyeom Sauce on the aspect. “Yangnyeom” simply means “seasoned” or “flavored.” Within the Korean hen realm it’s a candy, garlicky, sticky, barely spicy sauce.

Different standard flavors are soy sauce, buldalk “hearth hen,” and my different favourite, garlic hen. This was invented in 1997 within the blue collar neighborhood close to Daerim Station. Chopped garlic is stewed all day. After frying the hen it’s baptized on this garlic combination. Pure heaven!

The way to know if it’s good

My rule of thumb is that this. To inform a very good hen place, take a look at the individuals inside. If it’s full of gorgeous younger ladies taking selfies, possible isn’t good hen. If it’s filled with middle-aged males who seem like life has kicked them within the enamel–GREAT CHICKEN!

Listed below are some constantly good hen franchises and spots. Add your favorites within the feedback.

The Genuine Korean Hen & Beer Expertise


Two-Two Fried Hen 둘둘치킨

Model: Traditional

Everybody is aware of my love for Two-Two. It’s one of many oldest franchises and the primary style I had of Korean fried hen. The birds they use are bony, however which means they aren’t manufacturing unit raised. They really have taste. The crust is skinny, delicate, and has that Chinese language 5 spice and cinnamon scent that I at all times affiliate with Korean hen hofs. This hen screams for beer.

The Genuine Hen & Beer Expertise features a cease at a novel mom-and-pop Two-Two on the finish. The proprietor often makes us particular off-the-menu dishes. Test it out right here.


Model: Trendy

Huge Hit Hen. Really, they hold altering what the acronym stands for. That is the previous standby and the standard family-style hen joint.

Acronym for a reputation?

Okay-pop group as spokespeople?

It’s dependable, predictable, however satisfying.


Model: Battered

That is the one most Individuals consider when speaking about Korean fried hen. The factor is, Kyochon is the one franchise I do know of that does it this manner–batter dipped reasonably than rolled in flour or starch. The batter is garlicky with a slight sweetness. The crust shatters and stays crispy a very long time. For those who order it “yangnyeom” type, they meticulously paint the sauce on each bit individually. Warning–the breading actually seals the contents inside. Count on a sizzling geyser of hen juice to burst out in your first chew.


Credit score: Formalin81 on Flickr (cc)

Model: Trendy

Pronounced Bee-bee-kyoo. It’s the king of hen franchises in Korea. They observe the American type of frying, however their taste is exclusive. Claiming to fry their hen in olive oil, they clearly really feel like they need to chase KFC. They boast over 20 herbs and spices. BBQ’s taste is exclusive and hasn’t been copied. You may scent a BBQ a block away.

Hen Baengi 치킨뱅이

Model: Traditional

They specialise in traditional type, however in addition they make a imply pa dalk, boneless fried hen thighs served in a sweetish peanut sauce and shredded leeks. The opposite half of their title refers to golbaengi, sea snails. For some motive they assume that chilled spicy sea snail noodle salad goes properly with fried hen.

It sorta does, TBH. Jogs my memory of journeys to the seaside in my earlier occasions in Korea.

It’s been going via a re-branding to enchantment to a youthful crowd (be aware the 2 logos).

Gyerimwon 계림원 **NEW ADDITION 2021**

I’ve been so enthusiastic about this. It’s been my new favourite, and I can’t get sufficient of it.

Chickens are spit roasted over wooden. Then they’re served on a scorching platter of crispy rice. Normally it’s served with this candy sizzling mustard and radish stem kimchi. Each time I take anybody to certainly one of these locations, the hen is gone like velociraptors entered the constructing.

This type of hen is known as nureungji tongdalk 누릉지통닭, actually “scorched rice fried hen.” It comes from Gangwon Province and has been rising within the Seoul Metro space. Gyerimwon is however one chain. Most all of the locations that serve this that I’ve been to have been excellent. You’ll comprehend it by the rotisserie chickens within the window, the ream of oak logs out entrance, and this heavenly smoked hen scent.

At all times begin off with the unique nureungji tongdalk. Then play with different variations, often smothered in cheese, curry, or another sauce. This might be your new favourite hen and beer pairing.

Hanchoo 한추

Model: Batter

Not likely a franchise. It’s a well-liked spot in Gangnam. It’s standard for being standard, but it surely has its followers. They serve fried chili peppers with their hen, which is their schtick. I’m placing it right here as a result of individuals I respect prefer it. I personally had dangerous ju-ju with the house owners once we had been arranging a TV present to shoot there. One among them stated they didn’t need extra foreigners of their restaurant. I do know the place I’m not welcome.

Goobne Hen 굽네치킨

Model: Oven

Going into oven hen territory, Goobne (GOOB-nay) has been getting standard currently. And it’s good. Although Korea’s gone via many “well-being” meals fads, for some motive hen hasn’t registered. A Korean co-worker of a pal of mine stated that for the reason that fried hen she was consuming was Korean, it was wholesome.

Goobne has promoted itself as a wholesome different to fried. All I do know currently is that once we order it, it’s stripped to the bone like these Winged Devourers did on “Beastmaster.”

Vons 본스

Model: Oven

Much like Goobne, Vons hen itself is roasted/baked. Its edge is that it comes with quite a lot of sauces for no matter matches your character. Sort of like a Okay-Pop mega-group.

Hoo-La-La 훌랄라

Model: Barbecue

Hoo-La-La holds a particular place in my coronary heart. They had been large round 2007 after which evaporated round 2010. They headed up the smoked barbecued hen craze of that point. It’s arduous to seek out this type of hen anymore.  If you will discover a Hoo-La-La, go for it. It’s darkish. It’s cozy. And the hen comes out scorching on an iron plate, smothered in what we name “crack sauce.” As a result of it’s addictive.

Dishonorable Mentions

Simply to shake up the anthill, there are a pair fried hen chains I’m not too keen on.


Credit score: Clockwork Boo on Flickr (cc)

Model: Traditional

One of many early BBQ copycats that simply didn’t get it. It’s simply bland. They do nothing that makes them stand out. I’d put ToreOre on this column, too.

The Frypan

Credit score: StudioEgo on Flickr (cc)

Model: Trendy

Man, was I excited when one opened in my space. They give the impression of being so good–boneless fried hen with housemade potato chips! Hat Dave and I may barely end our order from the grease overload. They provide salads to stability the grease, I assume. This was the place I began growing my hen hof rule of thumb. We seen we had been surrounded by fairly younger co-eds consuming salad.

Saenghwal Maekju (Each day Beer) 생활맥주

saenghwal maekju building

Model: Trendy

The fashionable type of Korean fried hen simply has no taste, no soul. It’s not a lot totally different than bland variations of American type fried hen. The one factor that makes it Korean is that you could get it tossed in sauce.

beer in pyrex

Primary rule: keep away from hen locations with gimmicks. Miniature tongs, finger condoms, beer served in Pyrex measuring cups.

saenghwal maekju

Saenghwal Maekju seems as one of many newer chains capitalizing on the recognition of craft beer. Don’t anticipate a lot from the craft beer itself. It’s mediocre. The hen is even worse. The opposite menu objects–worser worser worser!

gelato nachos

Significantly. Gelato on stale tortilla chips. I ordered this considering, “If they’ve it on the menu, perhaps they’re on to one thing. You recognize, like dipping salty fries right into a Wendy’s Frosty.”

Nnnnope. It’s as if a five-year-old took over as menu advisor.



Model: WTF

They really thought hen flavored with banana, strawberry, and melon was what the world wanted.



BUT I’M WRONG…What are your favourite and least favourite Korean hen eating places?


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