What makes Korean fried chicken so darn delicious?
The popular fast-food style dish is known for its super crunchy, crackly coating that offers the ideal surface for sauce application. Typically those sauces straddle the line between salty, sweet, and spicy, sometimes landing on each of those flavour touchpoints.
While Korean fried chicken - the other KFC, as some call it - has been a staple around the globe for well over 30 years now, the dish has grown increasingly popular in and around Vancouver in recent years, with numerous casual restaurants cropping up across the city.
One major player has proven to be Pelicana, which has opened over 3,000 locations since the chain first debuted in 1982. Most Pelicana locations are in South Korea, but the company has expanded into the U.S., as well as mainland China and Malaysia, plus a few other countries. In 2020, Pelicana landed in Metro Vancouver, with a debut in Burnaby along a stretch of road known for its Korean restaurants.
In B.C., Pelicana has expanded its footprint to include franchises in Surrey, Port Coquitlam, and Victoria, and last fall opened up its first location in Vancouver proper, at 382 Robson St.
The company touts “Korea’s unique chicken flavours” and the “signature yang nyum chicken” – a sweet and spicy sauce developed by Pelicana. Their fried chicken can come unadorned, or with sauces like garlic, soy, or sweet chili, as well as in hotter versions, or covered in "snowing cheese," as in a blanket of grated cheese that comes down like snowfall on your chicken pieces.
Available bone-in or boneless, Pelicana's chicken pieces can be ordered up as combos (with rice or fries and their creamy coleslaw dotted with corn kernels) or a la carte. Other options on the menu are fried mozzarella sticks, rice bowls, or tteokbokki - chewy tubular Korean rice cakes that come swimming in a fiery sauce with fish cake.
With a giant mural touting that Pelicana is Korea's number one choice for fried chicken, we gave their eats a try. Have a look at what we tried and how it was.
Watch: Trying Korea's top fried chicken chain in Vancouver
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