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
- 2–3 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
- Remove the skin from the turkey and cut the turkey into 1/2-inch sized pieces and place it in a bowl.
- 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.
- 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
- Set a frying pan over the stove and set the heat to medium low and add a bit of oil in.
- Once the oil is shimmering, add in the garlic and brown it until it is golden in colour (approximately 1-2 mins)
- Adjust the stove to low heat and add the rest of the sauce ingredients in and simmer it for 5 minutes.
- Once the sauce is done, set it aside.
Battering & Deep Frying
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Stir the sweet and spicy Korean sauce. If it is too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of water to it and mix again.
- If the sauce is cold, re-heat the sauce.
- 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