Korean Fried Popcorn Turkey

  • Author: Joyce
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 3-4 Servings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer, Snack
  • Cuisine: Korean


A simple and easy recipe for crispy bite-sized popcorn turkey tossed in a spicy, sweet and sticky gochujang sauce! Great as a snack or appetizer.



  • 1 lb turkey (500g), cut into 1/2-inch bite-sized pieces – see notes below about turkey

Marinade Ingredients

  • 23 cloves garlic (grated, or blended in food processor)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger (grated, or blended in food processor)
  • 1/2 small onion (approx. 1/3 cup, grated or blended in food processor)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce


  • 1/2 cup potato starch (added into marinade mix)
  • 3/4 cup potato starch (used to dredge to coat the turkey)

Sweet & Spicy Sauce Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons gochujang
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon gojugaru (Korean Chili Flakes, Optional to make it spicier)


Marinating the Turkey

  1. Remove the skin from the turkey and cut the turkey into 1/2-inch sized pieces and place it in a bowl.
  2. Cut the ginger into slices, peel the garlic and onions and blitz it in a food processor with the soy sauce. If you don’t have a food processor, you can grate it manually. Pour the marinate into the bowl with the turkey.
  3. Mix the turkey with the marinate together well and place it in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour, while you start making the sauce.

Making the Sweet & Spicy Korean Sauce

  1. Set a frying pan over the stove and set the heat to medium low and add a bit of oil in.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add in the garlic and brown it until it is golden in colour (approximately 1-2 mins)
  3. Adjust the stove to low heat and add the rest of the sauce ingredients in and simmer it for 5 minutes.
  4. Once the sauce is done, set it aside.

Battering & Deep Frying

  1. Once the turkey has finished marinating, mix 1/2 cup of potato starch into the bowl and mix everything together well until the marinade has combined with the starch and everything is sticky.
  2. Add 3/4 cup of potato starch onto a plate. Dunk each piece of turkey individually one by one into the potato starch until it is well coated and white. Shake of excess potato starch and set aside.
  3. In a deep fryer, set the temperature to 350F (180C). If you are using a pot, add at least 1 inch of oil and set the stove to medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350F (180C). To test if the oil is hot, you can stick a wooden chopstick in to see if it bubbles or throw in a grain of rice to see if it sizzles.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add the turkey pieces in one by one, but do not over crowd the pot. (You might need to fry these in batches.) Fry for 2 minutes and set aside on a rack or paper bag to absorb the oil.
  5. Once all the turkey has been fried, we are ready to do a second fry with it which will make it crispier. Add all the turkey back into the oil and fry it for 2-3 minutes.

Putting It Together

  1. Stir the sweet and spicy Korean sauce. If it is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to it and mix again.
  2. If the sauce is cold, re-heat the sauce.
  3. Toss the freshly fried turkey with the sweet and spicy Korean sauce and enjoy!


  • You can use dark meat or white meat for this recipe, both work well. I like to remove the skin because I find it helps the batter stick better to the meat during the batter steps. If you are using bone-in turkey, debone it first and cut the pieces into 1/2 inch bite-sized pieces.
  • To increase the spiciness of the sauce, I use gochugaru (Korean chili pepper). If you can’t find this you can use cayenne pepper but make sure you start off with putting half the amount first. Cayenne pepper is a lot spicier than gochugaru.
  • For the crispiest batter, use potato starch. If you can’t find potato starch, you can use corn starch.

Keywords: fried turkey recipe, popcorn turkey recipe

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