Marcella Lee grew up watching cooking shows, and would often destroy her mom's kitchen trying out the recipes she’d seen. Now, she channels her love of food into her cooking blog, Broad Appetite, which was the Reader’s Choice - Best New Blog winner in the 2014 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards. Marcella can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
The Korean chicken and waffle sandwich is a savory mash-up of Asian and African American food cultures. These cuisines couldn’t be any more different, but this dish works seamlessly nonetheless. Maybe it’s because both Korean wings and chicken and waffles were born out of a need to soak up alcohol after a night of drinking. Or maybe it’s because all the tastiest dishes are inspired by flavors from around the world. Either way, this sandwich is delicious.
The waffle is buttery and crisp with little square wells that capture all the fried, saucy goodness that’s contained within this unconventional bun. After a quick dip in batter, the chicken gets two loving sessions in the deep fryer to guarantee an insane crunch. This ultra crisp coating holds up beautifully when doused in the spicy Korean sauce that makes this dish so special.
The usual garlic, ginger, and soy are present, but it’s the gochujang that makes the sauce uniquely Korean. Gochujang is a fermented paste that’s made with red peppers, glutinous rice, and soybeans and is ubiquitous in Korean cooking. It gives the dish that sought-after umami that is so irresistible. No self-respecting Korean dish would be complete without an egg on top, and this sandwich is no exception.
As cooks get more comfortable with Asian ingredients and cooking techniques, the quality of fusion dishes continues to improve. Long gone are the days of pale green wasabi mash potatoes and overcooked teriyaki salmon. This is an era of culinary creativity and innovation, and the word “fusion” has now redeemed itself. This sandwich celebrates the emancipation of fusion cuisine and is a tasty way to enjoy the best of two worlds.