Fried Chicken > Does Korean fried chicken use peanut oil

Does Korean Fried Chicken Use Peanut Oil?

Korean fried chicken has become immensely popular around the world in recent years. The combo of crispy, juicy chicken coated in a sweet and spicy sauce is hard to resist. But for those with peanut allergies, a key question is: does Korean fried chicken use peanut oil?

Does Korean Fried Chicken Use Peanut Oil?

Traditionally, no – Korean fried chicken is not cooked with peanut oil. The typical oils used to fry Korean fried chicken are vegetable, soybean, or canola oil. Peanut oil is not commonly used in authentic Korean cuisine.

However, some modern Korean fried chicken restaurants, especially international chains, have started using peanut oil to fry their chicken. The high smoke point of peanut oil makes it suitable for frying at very high heats. Some chefs believe peanut oil leads to an extra crispy texture and slightly richer flavor.

So while peanut oil is not originally a traditional Korean ingredient, its popularity in frying chicken has led some Korean fried chicken establishments to cook with it. There is no definitive standard oil used across all restaurants.

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To be certain whether a particular Korean fried chicken meal contains peanut oil, it’s best to ask the staff directly if peanut oil is used in their frying process before ordering. Opting for authentic Korean-owned restaurants increases the chances they follow traditional peanut-free recipes. But with the growing trend of using peanut oil, it’s wise to always check if you have a peanut allergy.

The bottom line is that while not all Korean fried chicken contains peanut oil, some modern restaurants have adopted its use. Checking on the oil source allows those with peanut allergies or sensitivities to confidently enjoy the crispy deliciousness of Korean-style fried chicken without worry. Traditional vegetable and soybean oils are still prevalent in many establishments as well.

Traditional Korean Fried Chicken Cooking Methods

In Korea, fried chicken is traditionally cooked in vegetable, canola, or soybean oil. Peanut oil is not commonly used. The chicken is fried twice – first at a lower temperature to cook it through, then again at a higher heat to make it extra crispy.

The chicken is then tossed in a sticky, sweet and spicy sauce. The sauce is made with ingredients like soy sauce, sugar, garlic, ginger, and gochujang (Korean red chili paste). It gives the chicken its iconic fiery, glistening coating.

Some modern Korean fried chicken places use unconventional sauces like garlic, cheese, curry, or honey butter. But peanuts and peanut ingredients are not an integral part of the traditional Korean fried chicken flavor profile.

Use of Peanut Oil in Korean Fried Chicken Restaurants

As Korean fried chicken has expanded internationally, some restaurants have started using peanut oil to fry the chicken. Peanut oil has a high smoke point so it can get very hot without burning. This makes it a good choice for deep frying.

Some chefs feel peanut oil makes the chicken extra crispy and gives it a slightly nuttier, fuller flavor. Fried chicken connoisseurs may insist certain brands like Bonchon use peanut oil. However, many Korean fried chicken restaurants still cook with vegetable or soybean oil.

It depends on the preferences of the chef and what oil they have on hand. There is no single standard oil used across all Korean fried chicken eateries.

Are Peanuts Used in Other Korean Foods?

While peanuts are not a big part of traditional Korean fried chicken, they do make appearances in some other Korean dishes:

    • Kongbap: This rice bowl dish sometimes contains peanuts.
    • Jjajangmyeon: The sauce for this noodle dish can be made with a small amount of peanut butter.
    • Eomuk-bokkeum: Fish cakes stir fried with veggies and peanuts.
    • Peanut soup: A soup made with peanuts, beef brisket, vegetables and noodles.

So peanuts show up occasionally in Korean cuisine, but are by no means a primary ingredient. People with nut allergies can often find plenty of peanut-free options when eating Korean food.

The Bottom Line

Traditionally, Korean fried chicken is not cooked in peanut oil. But some modern restaurants have started using peanut oil to fry the chicken, while others stick with vegetable or soybean oil.

If you have a peanut allergy or sensitivity, it’s best to check with any Korean fried chicken restaurant before eating there, especially an international chain. Authentic Korean-owned eateries likely use peanut-free oils, but it’s still smart to ask.

This allows you to enjoy all the spectacle and spice of Korean fried chicken without worrying about peanuts sneaking in. With confirmation that your meal is cooked without peanut oil, you can dig in confidently to one of the world’s most lip-smacking chicken recipes.

FAQs
Does Korean fried chicken have peanut oil?

Traditionally, no. Authentic Korean fried chicken is fried in vegetable, soybean, or canola oil. Peanut oil is not used commonly in Korean cuisine. However, some modern Korean fried chicken restaurants have started using peanut oil to fry their chicken, believing it makes the chicken extra crispy.

But many places still use traditional peanut-free oils. So while some Korean chicken does contain peanut oil, not all do. Check with any restaurant if peanut allergies are a concern.

Does Korean food use nuts?

Nuts, including peanuts, are not a primary ingredient in Korean food. But peanuts do appear occasionally as an ingredient in some Korean dishes like noodle sauces, rice bowls, soups, and stir-fried fish cakes. People with nut allergies can often find plenty of nut-free options when eating traditional Korean food. But it’s still wise to ask about ingredients if you have an allergy.

What does Korean fried chicken contain?

Authentic Korean fried chicken contains chicken fried in vegetable, soybean or canola oil. It is then coated in a sweet, spicy sauce made from ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, sugar, ginger, and Korean chili paste.

Some modern restaurants use peanut oil for frying instead of traditional oils. And some unconventional sauces like honey butter or cheese are also sometimes used. Check with any restaurant for their specific ingredients if you have food sensitivities.

Do Koreans cook with peanuts?

Peanuts are not a commonly used ingredient in Korean cooking. Traditional Korean cuisine favors oils like vegetable, sesame, and soybean oil. Peanuts occasionally show up as an ingredient in dishes like soups, rice bowls, and noodle sauces.

But peanuts are not a staple ingredient in Korean food like soy sauce, garlic, and chili paste are. Koreans do not regularly cook with peanut oil or use peanuts in large quantities.

What oils are traditionally used to fry Korean fried chicken?
Authentic Korean fried chicken is fried in vegetable, canola, or soybean oil. Peanut oil is a more modern substitution in some restaurants, but not used universally.

How can I be sure Korean fried chicken is safe for my peanut allergy?

Ask the staff at any restaurant if peanut oil is used in cooking. Opt for authentic Korean-owned establishments, as they likely use traditional peanut-free oils. But always ask to be safe if you have an allergy.

 

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