If it's not already apparent, I'm fairly proud of being Korean American. E sometimes teases me and calls me more "white" then she is. Mainly because I was adopted by a white family and well my name is certainly not Korean sounding at all. There were times when I was growing up and I hated being so different from everyone else in my family. I didn't grow up around many Koreans or many Asians for that matter. And well, as a result all of the things I know about Korean American culture or Korean culture I've had to find it on my own. But there are many things about me that I've been told are very "Korean" without me having to search for it. My fiery temper and fierce sense of pride and loyalty are things I've always been kinda proud of; I've been told often that those very traits are unbelievably Korean. I'm sure that if you look for a connection to any culture you'll find it and so my traits aren't necessarily all that "Korean" but hey, growing up apart from Korean culture means I'll take any connection I can get!
So besides my inherit (good looks, kidding) Korean qualities, I wanted to connect a bit more. My forays into speaking Korean were squash long ago. Korean is hard to learn, dudes! But one of the first things I connect with is food and finding my "roots" via Korean food was a good place to start. It was thru Korean food that I discovered that my love, scratch that, obsession with anything pickled, pungent, spicy and salty was fine, normal even. And so it was that I discovered a new sense of pride in being Korean. Many Koreans love intensely flavored food and as a result many Korean dishes are a big wallop of spice and flavor. No meek wallflower dishes here! I'm so proud to be a part of any culture/race where kimchee is involved. No seriously, I really am!
Another huge source of pride for me is Korean's love of fried chicken. When I started reading about Koreans absolutely loving fried chicken wings and eating them as bar food in Korea as well as places in LA or NYC, I pumped my little fists again in pride, "my peeps rock!".
I LOVE FRIED CHICKEN and I love my friend chicken fried HARD! Usually that means a thick batter but lately I've calmed that need down (especially after learning that triple batter isn't always the answer). But I like a very crisp skin or batter on my chicken. One that shatters or crackles when you bite into it. It's not always the easiest to achieve or find so when I learned that Bon Chon Chicken was coming to Boston, I did a little jig of happy.
Part of my reading included Bon Chon Chicken and how, despite the savory wing glaze that the chicken is coated in, the skin is very crisp and crunchy. I remember thinking, "but how?". Most chicken wings are fried and then coated in wing sauce but what happens is the skin completely softens up. It's still tasty and good but no crackle or crunch. According to the article I read, it's not that Bon Chon double fries their chicken wings rather they fry them at such a low temperature that the fat in the skin is rendered out. So the result is a skin that seems like it's been battered in something but isn't and also retains its crunch. The other fantastic thing about Korean chicken wings is that they are usually served with a side of pickled turnips. YUM! So let me get this straight? I get fried chicken and pickles all at the same time?!? Oh hell, yes!!!
In Boston, if you want Bon Chon Chicken, you have to go to this nightclub called Privus. They're only open for dinner and you can do take out too. It's sorta this amusing set up. I mean, one night we went and had dinner only to leave as the girls in trashy club dresses sauntered pass. The club techno music in full effect. I know, it sounds really odd, but trust me, it's worth the visit!
This Bon Chon franchise has only two flavors for sauce: spicy or soy garlic. The spicy is really, really, really spicy! So be careful. I can usually only eat 1 or 2 pieces of the spicy comfortably and then have to switch to soy garlic. The pickled turnip helps to cut the spice but not a lot. So again, be careful. But also be careful because this chicken is super addictive too. I swear to God, you will be thinking about it constantly. Wonder when you get go and get your next chicken fix. And if you have to get take out or have leftovers, you can throw them in the fridge and not worry about them getting soggy overnight! I've had Bon Chon chicken leftovers cold for lunch the next day and the chicken is still crunchy on the outside! It's like freaking magic or crack, I'm not entirely sure which one yet.
Bon Chon Chicken might just be my favorite fried chicken, ever! I can't help but gush when people asked about it. I wonder if part of my gushing is Korean Pride, who really knows. All I know is that Bon Chon is seriously yummy!