This is my take on the classic Korean fried chicken sauce. I like to add lots of green onion and garlic, and not cook this quite as long. The result is a sauce with those ingredients a little more in the flavor profile's forefront. Try to find Korean chili flakes and/or paste if you can. I've used them before and the flavor is great (and obviously more authentic), but if you can't, any hot chili flakes or paste will work.

Recipe Summary

prep:
10 mins
cook:
5 mins
additional:
30 mins
total:
45 mins
Servings:
6
Yield:
6 servings
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Ingredients

6
Original recipe yields 6 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Whisk ketchup, green onion, garlic, lemon juice, honey, chile-garlic sauce, red pepper flakes, and black pepper together in a saucepan over medium-high heat; add enough water to reach desired sauce consistency. Bring sauce to a simmer; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until thick and flavors blend, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature and season with salt.

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Cook's Notes:

Everything in this recipe is to taste, so adjust until you think it's balanced between sweet, sour, and spicy.

Serve with Korean Fried Chicken.

Nutrition Facts

50 calories; protein 0.7g 1% DV; carbohydrates 13.1g 4% DV; fat 0.2g; cholesterolmg; sodium 356.5mg 14% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (35)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
01/10/2015
OMG tasty!! The Korean Fried Chicken Sauce is made to go with Chef John's Korean Fried Chicken - also listed on this site. This sauce is VERY hot and we love spicy, however, 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes is a nice amount of heat. If you don't tolerate heat at all I suggest you leave it out altogether, do a taste test and add a tiny amount if you feel it needs a little heat. I made a double batch and only used 1/4 tsp because my daughter doesn't tolerate spicy, and it still had a little bite to it but she said it was tolerable. You can always add more red pepper flakes to individual servings for those who do want more spice so others can enjoy a less spicy sauce. I use half sweet chili sauce and half Sambal Oelek chili sauce (which is spicier than sweet chili sauce) which can be found at your local Asian market. Sweet Chili Sauce can be found in most supermarkets in the Asian section. I also think it had too much lemon juice but he does say adjust to your taste. I had to add 2 tsp of sugar to offset the tartness, so next time I'll start with 1/2 juiced lemon and taste test. Like he said it needs to have a nice balance of sweet, sour and spicy. If you like fried chicken you have to try this recipe! We served it with some fried rice and stir-fry vegetables. Fabulous recipe! YOU WILL LOVE THIS SAUCE!! Read More
(6)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 1 stars
05/26/2018
Not anything like any of the Korean fried chicken sauces I've tried or made Read More
(1)
44 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 33
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
01/09/2015
OMG tasty!! The Korean Fried Chicken Sauce is made to go with Chef John's Korean Fried Chicken - also listed on this site. This sauce is VERY hot and we love spicy, however, 1 tsp. of red pepper flakes is a nice amount of heat. If you don't tolerate heat at all I suggest you leave it out altogether, do a taste test and add a tiny amount if you feel it needs a little heat. I made a double batch and only used 1/4 tsp because my daughter doesn't tolerate spicy, and it still had a little bite to it but she said it was tolerable. You can always add more red pepper flakes to individual servings for those who do want more spice so others can enjoy a less spicy sauce. I use half sweet chili sauce and half Sambal Oelek chili sauce (which is spicier than sweet chili sauce) which can be found at your local Asian market. Sweet Chili Sauce can be found in most supermarkets in the Asian section. I also think it had too much lemon juice but he does say adjust to your taste. I had to add 2 tsp of sugar to offset the tartness, so next time I'll start with 1/2 juiced lemon and taste test. Like he said it needs to have a nice balance of sweet, sour and spicy. If you like fried chicken you have to try this recipe! We served it with some fried rice and stir-fry vegetables. Fabulous recipe! YOU WILL LOVE THIS SAUCE!! Read More
(6)
Rating: 5 stars
09/05/2014
Made as is but with chili powder and more red pepper flakes. Great with Panko crusted baked chicken. Read More
(2)
Rating: 3 stars
05/25/2016
In the end it tasted too much like ketchup. However it is spicy and we ate it but will not be making it again. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/07/2018
Another winner from Chef John thank you. My only suggestions are as follows: if you know you like HOT HOT then the 1 tsp of red pepper flakes will be ok. We like hot and spicy and about 1/4 tsp is perfect. If you are not sure start with a small amount of red pepper flakes. Also if your garlic and green onions are diced very fine you will be happier I think with the end result and the melding of flavors. I have made this so frequently that I don t measure a thing. As Chef John says this recipe is all about your taste so adjust accordingly. If this tastes like ketchup you did something wrong - it is a perfect sauce for the Korean fried chicken. I also serve a cooler dressing that I make - a bit like ranch - that goes so well with the spicy red sauce. OMG this is so good. Again thank you for sharing. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
10/13/2015
Amazing sauce companion for Chef John's KFC! Had no honey so substituted maple syrup--yes I'm Canadian:P--and tweaked the flavor with a teaspoon of kurozu (black rice vinegar) and a teaspoon of mirin. Om nom nom... Read More
(1)
Rating: 2 stars
09/30/2017
Good but not great. My husband wouldn't eat it though so I guess I won't be making it again any time soon. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 4 stars
05/03/2015
very good with the Korean fried chicken. i thought it was going to be too spicy for the sensitive people at the table but it was well received by all. Read More
(1)
Rating: 1 stars
05/26/2018
Not anything like any of the Korean fried chicken sauces I've tried or made Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
09/04/2018
Hot hot hot! Loved the bite. Served it with the suggested chicken on top of mashed potatoes. I think the starch helped manage the heat a bit. This will be a repeat recipe for us but it s not for those who don t care for spicy. You d have to change it up quite a bit to lose the heat. Read More