Ask anyone who has spent time in the Korea or in Korean communities around the country, and they will tell you the real KFC is Korean Fried Chicken. Super crispy and coated in a sauce packed full of sweet heat, Korean style fried chicken is good stuff.
That same cooking style transfers over to rabbit as well (or squirrel, quail, pheasant, grouse, you get the picture). The crispy coating comes from dredging the rabbit in cornstarch and flour. The cornstarch fries up extra crispy and gives the coating that satisfying crunch when you bite through.
The sauce features Korean style chili paste known as gochujang. You can find it in most Asian markets, large groceries, or on line. The paste gets mixed with a bit of honey and other ingredients to make a sticky sweet coating that gets drizzled over the fried rabbit while it is still piping hot from the pan.
To lend the finished dish even more of a crunchy bite, toasted sesame seeds get sprinkled over the rabbit just before serving.
2-3 rabbits, sectioned into back, front and hind leg portions
Peanut oil for frying
1 cup corn starch
1 cup flour seasoned with 2 teaspoons salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper and 1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup gochujang
½ cup honey
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic (3-4 cloves)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Rub the rabbit with the garlic and ginger. Season with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
Mix the sauce ingredients and refrigerate. This can be done up to a day or two in advance if you like. Remove the sauce from the refrigerator when you begin the cooking process to allow it to come to room temperature.
Mix the seasoned flour with the corn starch. Dredge each piece of rabbit to coat well then place on wire rack to rest for five to 10 minutes to allow the coating to stick to the meat.
Toast two to three tablespoons of sesame seeds in a dry pan over medium heat just until you begin to smell a nutty aroma. Be careful not to burn the seeds. Remove the seeds from the heat and reserve.
Heat an inch or two of peanut oil in a heavy cast-iron pot over medium-high heat. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees, slowly add a few pieces of rabbit, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pieces are just cooked through. I usually start with the hind leg and back portions, then finish with the smaller front legs. As each batch finishes, move it to a warm platter and cover loosely with foil to hold in the heat.
Once all of the rabbit has finished frying, drizzle with the room temperature sauce. Top with toasted sesame seeds and garnish with chopped green onions if desired.
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