Whether your tastes lean towards ladies’ figure skating, men’s snowboarding or the four-person bobsled, there’s one perfect food to be noshing on this month while you are glued to the television. Korean fried chicken--made with a double-frying method that renders super crispy skin on the outside and super juicy meat on the inside--is downright irresistible.
It’s typically available in either a soy garlic or hot and spicy glaze, and sometimes you can order a combo of both, which means they can pretty much please everyone. Don’t forget to add in a mouth-cooling cucumber salad, or if you are masochistic, some spicy kimchi to turn up the heat even more.
Good luck in PyeongChang, Team USA!
The modern Chinese and Korean restaurant near Eastern Market overseen by chefs Danny Lee and Scott Drewno offers double-fried chicken wings ($9). Available either in spicy soy glazed or dry-spiced versions, they are great paired with an order of Sichuan spicy cucumbers ($3).
The menu for the Arlington casual spot touts the appeal of the double-frying technique for Korean fried chicken. See for yourself with wings (6/$10, 10/$15 or 20/$25), available in soy glazed, honey glazed or spicy. Small orders come with a choice of one side, while medium and large come with two: select from pickled radish, coleslaw, kimchi coleslaw, kimchi or rice.
At the hip spot at the Hotel Monaco, chef Kyoo Eom’s fried chicken wings ($12) are available on both the dinner and late night menus. The signature shareable dish is inspired by Eom’s Korean heritage, and comes with peanuts, chili threads and gochujang sauce.
Listen to jazz while getting your fingers sticky with soy garlic or hot and spicy chicken at this industrial-inspired restaurant in Bethesda. A small order of 6 wings, 6 breasts or 3 drumsticks costs $7.99, a medium order of 10 wings, 10 breasts or 5 drumsticks is $12.99, a large order of 20 wings, 20 breasts or 10 drumsticks is $21.99 and an extra large order of 30 wings, 30 breasts or 15 drumsticks is $29.99.
One of the best options out in the Virginia burbs (they have locations in Chantilly and Annandale), Chi Mc is named for the Korean compound word "chimaek," , which combines the words for chicken and beer--an obsession in the country. They offer orders of wings in soy garlic, spicy or half and half. Twelve wings, seven drumsticks or a combo costs $14.95, while 20 wings, 11 drumsticks or a combo costs $21.95. And they’ve got a great daily lunch special for $8.95, which includes 8 wings, 4 drumsticks or a combo, along with pickled radish, cabbage salad or white rice, and a soda.
Head to Florida Avenue for soy garlic, honey spicy or hot honey spicy Korean fried chicken served with a side of pickled radish. Wings or strips range from $6.69 for an order or 5 or 3, respectively, up to $45.99 for an extra-large order of 45 wings. (You can also do a combo.) While you are there, grab a few orders of Korean dumplings ($2.99 for 2).
The most well-known chain for Korean wings and strips has several locations in the DMV. Order them in soy garlic, spicy or half and half, served with a side of pickled radish. A small order of 10 of each costs $12.95, 20 is $23.95 and 30 is $33.95. Round it out with a side potstickers or pork buns ($10.95 each).
What to drink with Korean Fried Chicken:
Wine: Bubbles and fried chicken are always a winning combination. And since the Winter Olympics only happen every four years, why not pop a bottle of the good stuff? Moet & Chandon Imperial Brut has palate-scrubbing acidity and aromas and flavors of green apple, lemon and brioche, along with a pleasing finish that makes you want to dig back into a few more drummies.
Beer: “Chimaek”, or “chicken and beer,” is a Korean obsession. If you want to be authentic, buy cans or bottles of HiteJinro Lager or Oriental Brewery Golden Lager, from Korea which are light and will foil the heat in the spiciest of wings. For a local option, Port City Brewing Company Monumental IPA has just enough hoppiness to offset wings with sweet soy garlic sauces.
Spirit: Soju is a clear spirit distilled in Korea with barley, rice or wheat. You can use it in place or vodka or gin in simple cocktails like a Soju and Soda or Soju and Tonic; garnish them with lemon, lime or yuzu wedges.