Chicken Mayo (치킨마요): A Perfect Menu for a Spring Outing

Hi! Today I shall be showing you how to make chicken mayo, a very popular dish in Korea that is often sold in doshirak 도시락 shops. Doshirak is basically the Japanese bento equivalent, and literally means “lunchbox.” Especially when the flowers start blooming and the weather gets warmer, people flock outside to enjoy the view while eating doshiraks. Literally anything can be made into a doshirak, but today I will be showing you a simple meal that can be put into one bowl- fuss free.
Chicken mayo is basically deep fried chicken on top of rice, eaten mixed with a nice squirt of mayo and soy sauce. The chicken batter is very special, making the meat salty, savory, and crispy. It’s fulfilling, and also very easy to make. I think it would be nice to make when friends are coming over as well.

Let us begin! Serves two greedy people, three normal people.
First you will need two medium-sized chicken breasts, and garlic.

Mince three cloves of garlic. If you aren’t a fan of garlic, use two, but I highly recommend using three. The garlic cooks out in the hot oil and mellows out, leaving a wonderful aroma and flavor.

Add one tablespoon of grain syrup, in my case ballonflower flavored, which is actually not made from the flower itself but the root. It has a nice, earthy, sweet taste. If you can’t get a hold of grain syrup, you can use honey as well.

Add the syrup, garlic, and a pinch of pepper. Also add one tablespoon of cheong-ha, a weaker, sweeter version of soju (Korean liquor). You can also use sake if it’s easier to find. Also add one tablespoon of mirim (or mirin) which helps tenderize the meat. Then add two tablespoons of soy sauce. Then! Mix in half a cup of flour. Imagine I have taken pictures of these steps…

Mix and leave for about 20-30 minutes. Because I was hungry. If you have more time, you could leave it for 1-2 hours.

While waiting for the chicken to marinate and tenderize, let’s make a special sauce to put on the rice to make everything taste 100 times better.

DSC_0157All you will be needing is the white part of a long green onion, half a cup of soy sauce, one tablespoon each of cheong-ha and mirim, and one tablespoon of grain syrup.

DSC_0158Slice thinly. Try not to use the leafy green bits. Use the stalks.

DSC_0159Stir-fry the green onion stalk bits in a bit of oil until they become translucent

(8). DSC_0160I used a different grain syrup for the sauce- injin mugwort syrup, which is made from a mugwort that is known in the injin area of Korea. Mugwort sounds like something that belongs in a book of spells in Harry Potter, but it’s actually a very common ingredient used in Korean cooking and has a flavor that is similar to green tea, but earthier.

DSC_0161Again, if you don’t have grain syrup you could use honey or for the sauce, even something like orange marmalade.

After cooking out the green onion, add the other ingredients and simmer down. Taste to adjust the saltiness- add more soy sauce if you would like to at this point. The sauce should be just the right mix of salty and sweet.

Reserve the sauce. Now for the chicken!

DSC_0168Take out your chicken and as a final touch to really crispify the meat, add two tablespoons of potato starch.

Prepare a pan by pouring in enough oil so that the surface is covered. No need for the chicken to be completely immersed in oil, just add enough so that the pan is coated liberally. We are not deep-frying, but shallow-frying. Test the temperature of the oil by adding a bit of batter and seeing if it bubbles up right away.

DSC_0169Add the chicken bits and fry away.

DSC_0170Fry until golden brown.

Because of the soy sauce and other ingredients in the batter, they will become a lovely golden brown.

Now to assemble our chicken mayo!

DSC_0174Put freshly steamed rice in a bowl.

DSC_0175Pour some of the reserved sweet soy sauce onto the rice.

DSC_0176Add a bit of veg to balance things out.

(18)DSC_0177Arrange the chicken in the bowl.

DSC_0179Top with mayo and sprinkle with strips of seaweed and toasted white sesame seeds.

DSC_0182Ta-dah! The finished product. Hot crispy chicken with the richness of the mayo and the soy sauce cutting through, all on a bed of white fluffy rice- what’s there not to like?

Enjoy! Until next time! 🙂


9 responses to “Chicken Mayo (치킨마요): A Perfect Menu for a Spring Outing

  1. It’s sounds amazing!! Can’t wait to try it in my new, little Korean kitchen! Amos for your recent “like” on my new blog! I am excited to try more of your recipes and expand my adventure in my home in SK! 🙂 Carry on!

  2. What’s the difference between Cheongju and Mirim? Can I substitute the latter for the former? I’m having trouble finding it. Thank you!!

    • Mirin has a higher sugar content to alcohol and is used only for cooking. Cheongju on the other hand is completely drinkable on its own and is used in cooking similar to say, a dry white wine.
      Mirin is much sweeter compared to Cheongju or sake, so I would recommend substituting the Cheongju for sake and if you can’t find any sake, a dry white wine.
      I think using both mirin and a dry alcohol makes the dish much more flavorful. If you pass by any Korean groceries, look for a Cheongju called Cheongha 청하. It’s great for cooking as well as drinking! I hope this comment was helpful and thank you for showing interest in my recipe! 🙂

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