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Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich + Kimchi Mayo

Level up your cooking game with a crispy, crackly Korean Fried Chicken Sandwich! Kimchi Juice + Buttermilk brine, Gochukaru + Black Sesame dredge, and a generous helping of Kimchi Mayo make it truly special.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Marinating Time8 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Fusion Food, Korean
Keyword: Korean Fried Chicken, Sandwich
Servings: 6
Author: The Subversive Table | Lis Lam



  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup kimchi juice (preferably from old, well fermented kimchi)
  • 6 6-8 ounce boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1lb total)


  • 2 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup Gochukaru (Korean chili flakes)
  • 1/4 cup black sesame seeds
  • 2 tsps salt

Kimchi Mayo:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup kimchi, chopped (drained of juice)
  • 1 Tbsp sriracha (or less, if you like things less spicy)

Additional Sandwich Ingredients:

  • 4 brioche buns
  • 4 sandwich pickles (the flat sliced kind)
  • 8 butter or gem lettuce leaves (2 for each sandwich)


Marinate Chicken:

  • Combine buttermilk and kimchi juice in glass food container. Add chicken thighs and mix until well combined. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

Fry Chicken:

  • Set up a deep frying station: Place a cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet, for transferring fried chicken. Clip a candy thermometer to a cast iron enameled Dutch oven. Fill with 3 inches of oil (peanut or vegetable oil). Heat on medium high heat until 350F.
    cast iron dutch oven with candy thermometer attached
  • While the oil heats, add dredge ingredients to a medium bowl and whisk with a fork. To create craggy chunks of dredge, add 1-2 Tbsp of the buttermilk brine to the flour mixture first and gently mix with your hands. The flour will take on a chunkier texture this way. Remove chicken thighs from brine. Dredge both sides with flour mixture. Gently add dredged chicken to hot oil (when it reaches 350F), making sure not to overcrowd the pan.
  • Fry chicken thighs in batches, until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes total. Flip the chicken about halfway through. When finished, they should be golden and crispy looking. Remove from the hot oil and transfer to the cooling rack.
    fried chicken pieces on cooling rack

Kimchi Mayo:

  • Mix ingredients in a bowl and set aside. This can be made ahead of time, up to 1 day in advance.
    kimchi mayo on bun

Assemble Sandwiches:

  • Toast brioche buns and add kimchi mayo to both top and bottom buns. Assemble sandwich, starting from the bottom: brioche bun with kimchi mayo, pickle, fried chicken, lettuce, top bun with kimchi mayo. Serve with additional kimchi mayo on the side.
    korean fried chicken sandwiches spread out on cutting board


*Chicken breast can be substituted for this recipe.? Simply pound down 6 ounce chicken breasts evenly before marinating.??