Alternative namesWhole chicken
TypeFried chicken
Place of originKorea
Associated cuisineKorean cuisine
Main ingredientsChicken, cooking oil
Korean name
Revised Romanizationtongdak

Tongdak (Korean통닭; lit. whole chicken) is a chicken in South Korean cuisine, prepared by deep-frying a whole chicken.[1] It was a popular food in the 1970s, being the only kind of fried chicken sold in Korea at that time.[2] It is considered as the proto-Korean fried chicken.[3]

As more varieties of "whole chicken" dishes are also enjoyed in Korea nowadays and the generic term tongdak can refer to any "whole chicken" (e.g. rotisserie chicken is called jeongi-gui-tongdak (전기구이 통닭, "electric-grilled whole chicken") in Korea), the 70s-style whole chicken is now called yennal-tongdak (옛날통닭, "old-time whole chicken").[4] It is now sold as retro food in many traditional markets as well as streets in provincial cities. Suwon in Gyeonggi Province is famous for its tongdak golmok (통닭골목, "tongdak alley") with dozens of tongdak restaurants that are over 40 years old.[5][6]


Whole chicken seasoned with salt and black pepper is coated with a thin layer of weak flour (wheat flour with a low W), and deep-fried on low heat for a long time.[4] Before frying, cuts are made to the thicker parts such as the breast and thighs to cook the chicken evenly.[4]

See also


  1. ^ "tongdak" 통닭 [whole chicken]. Korean–English Learners' Dictionary. National Institute of Korean Language. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  2. ^ Won, Ho-jung (27 May 2016). "Fried chicken market anything but small in Korea". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  3. ^ Kim, Violet (22 June 2015). "Watch your wing, KFC! Korean fried chicken (and beer) is here". CNN. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  4. ^ a b c 김, 오희 (25 August 2015). "[스마트 리빙] 추억의 그 맛, '옛날 통닭' 外". MBC News Today (in Korean). Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Suwon welcomes visitors with traditional events, food". Yonhap. 26 January 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
  6. ^ 김, 경호 (14 April 2015). "'수원통닭골목, 음식테마거리 선정되나' 관심 집중". Newsis (in Korean). Retrieved 11 February 2017.