“Let’s go have some Korean fried chicken!”
Chicken is undoubtedly Korean’s soul food. When asked what Korean food you like best to foreigners who visit Korea, the most commonly returned answer is also Korean Fried chicken. For example, I have a friend who lived in Japan all his life and came to work in Korea months ago. It was his first time living outside Japan, and first time visiting(living in actually) Korea. The question he seriously asked me after staying in Korea for the first two weeks was that “Why on Earth do Koreans eat so much chicken? They eat at least two times a week!” Chicken is a must for Koreans, to the extent that even Japanese and Chinese people who share a similar culture can’t understand the Korean people’s love for chicken.
Chicken-related neologisms such as “Chi-maek” and “Chi-bob” are also widely used in Korea. “Chimaek” is a popular word even for foreigners, a combination of chicken and Maekju(Korean word meaning beer). Even looking at this word gives me a feeling that my cholesterol level goes high. LOL. For sure, the combination of chicken and beer is bad for health, but who cares! It’s just the most perfect combination that can exist in the world. (Apparently, many Koreans have the same idea for Chimaek as mine hahaha) It is used so much in everyday life. After work or school, Korean people often say, “Chi-maek today?”
“Chi-bob” is a word that is quite recent rather than “Chi-maek”, which means that you eat Chicken with the spicy sauce or soy sauce with rice. “Bob” means rice in Korean. Usually, after eating seasoned chicken, Korean people mix the leftover sauce and a bit of chicken with rice. You can see the Korean people’s love for chicken made us come up with the idea not to together with chicken such as spicy chicken, spicy sauce, and soy sauce. Or, after eating seasoned chicken, you can mix it with rice by taking off the leftover sauce and putting in the leftover chicken. Korean people often say that “Chicken is always right, Chicken is the answer.” LOL. Anyhow, because of? thanks to? the love for chicken, there are too many options of chicken you can choose when you visit Korea. Here is the recommended list of chicken I love! This is a totally subjective list of my taste, so just take a look 🙂
1. BHC Ppurinkle (Cheese) Chicken
If you have ever seen a Korean YouTuber’s Mukbang eating show, you must have seen the one of this chicken. The perfectly fried chicken with BHC’s own cheese powder on is called “Ppurinkle Chicken” Its name means that the cheese powder is sprinkled on it because “Ppurida” is a Korean word meaning sprinkle. This chicken has been one of the best-sellers since its first release. Especially, if you dip it in yogurt sauce that comes along, it’s the best. Of course, it is true that it is also delicious just to eat the chicken only. However, it costs 18,000 won per chicken, which is not cheap even these days Korean brand chicken got really expensive. There is “hot Ppurinkle” which is a spicy version of Ppurinkle, but in my personal opinion, if you haven’t eaten the original yet, please challenge the original one first! Many of BHC branches have places to eat in the store such as Jongno or Gangnam, so go to Google right now to find out BHC near you!
As “Ppurinkle chicken” is selling like hotcakes, the BHC developed some side menus with cheese powder. There is a famous side menu called “Cheese ball” at BHC. The popularity of Cheese ball is no less than that of Chicken. Cheese ball is a fried ball of thick flour with mozzarella cheese in it. Imagine put some cheese powder on something already so delicious. I don’t need to explain how great it tastes, right? LOL
In the picture, what you see on the left side is the original cheeseball, and what you see on the right is the cheeseball with cheese powder on it(Ppurin-cheese ball). They both taste different but both delicious LOL. Ppurinkle version of side menus are also really delicious when dipped in yogurt sauce. What is stuck in the skewers in the middle of the picture is a menu called “Sodduk Sodduk”, which is a food that is eaten by putting sausage and rice cake one by one. They spread the sweet yet a bit spicy sauce on it. And if you order ppurinkle version of “Sodduk Sodduk”, they put cheese powder on top of it. The taste? No words needed.
2. Gcova Chicken(barbecue-style chicken)
It is not too much to say that this chicken brand “Gcova” was the birthplace of the word “Chi-bob.” This barbecue-style chicken restaurant called Gcova opened some branches(now quite a lot) after getting super famous in Busan, first. Gcova chicken is not the usual familiar Korean-style chicken that makes you imagine crispy fried shells of chicken, but you can feel the perfect harmony of soft chicken in a spicy yet sweet seasoning sauce, and even some smell of fire!! Also, you can enjoy “Chibob”, after enjoying the chicken for a while, putting some white rice into some leftover sauce and chicken. What a perfect way to enjoy the “Local Korean” style chicken.
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Gcova chicken basically focuses on delivery services. Not many of the branches have places to eat in. However, ordering via the delivery system might not be easy for tourists who can’t speak Korean or use the delivery app. For them, Gcova opened one branch with the space to eat in at Hongik University, one of Seoul’s hottest tourists’ destinations.
Gcova chicken has two options; one with the bones and the other boneless chicken. Boneless chicken is more popular for the reason that it’s much more convenient to make it into “Chibob” after enjoying chicken. Also, you get to choose either spicy seasoned chicken or just salted chicken. If you go for the spicy seasoned one, you get to choose the level of spiciness, so no worries even you are not that strong with the spicy food!
3. Kyochon Chicken(Half and half -Original, red)
I think Kyochon chicken is the most famous Korean chicken brand for foreign tourists for the reason that they have quite neat places to eat in around Seoul. In fact, the brand, which also has several branches all over the world, boasts a long history from 1991. Personally, Kyochon chicken is not my first choice for the reason that the pieces of Kyochon chicken are too small for me, but I can’t deny the fact that still, it’s delicious. The menu I would like to recommend at Kyochon Chicken is a half-half menu. The original, which has sweet soy sauce all over on it, and the very spicy (which is much spicier than you might imagine! People who are not familiar with spicy foods, please do not try for your tongue) boasts a quite good combination.
There are 4 options you can pick if you decide to try the half and half. One is “KYOCHON HALF&HALF ORIGINAL” which is a whole chicken cooked in two ways: Kyochon’s signature garlic&soy sauce, and Kyochon’s signature red pepper sauce. The second one is “KYOCHON HALF&HALF COMBO” which is a combination of wings and drumsticks cooked in two ways. The rest are “KYOCHON HALF&HALF STICK” (Only drumsticks), and “KYOCHON HALF&HALF WING” (Only wings).
And of course, it goes amazingly well with beer LOL. Writing this article around dinner time was really a bad choice. Kyochon chicken charges a delivery fee no matter what(2000 won, as far as I know), so it will be better just to visit the restaurant! If you have trouble ordering chicken to your hotel, or guest house, please let us help you! Find us on Facebook @HaB.Korea.