Spicy Korean Chicken Wings Recipe
Spicy Korean Chicken Wings are sweet, hot, tangy, and a little sticky with so much flavor and crunch, making them the perfect finger food. Each chicken wing turns out crunchy and coated in this Korean sauce that melds with the chicken beautifully. Besides the gochujang in this recipe, the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples you probably already have.
In Korea, they call these spicy chicken wings Yangnyeom chicken. Of course, Korean wings were first made in Korea. It was Kwon Won Kang from Gumi, South Korea who made the first Korean chicken wings in the 1940s. The first Korean fried chicken was also made in the 1940s when American soldiers were there for Thanksgiving and had no turkeys. Now for the perfect Game Day spread, pair these with some cheesy Philly Cheesesteak Dip and Mexican Street Corn Nachos and your party will be a hit.
- Chicken wings: You can use whole chicken wings, cut all the wings yourself, or use party wings. They sell these at grocery stores in the freezer section.
- Baking powder: To make chicken wings crispy.
- Kosher salt: For flavor.
Spicy Korean BBQ sauce:
- Butter: Salted or salted will both work.
- Honey: Pasteurized or unpasteurized honey.
- Sesame oil: You can use your favorite oil.
- Minced garlic: Garlic powder will work.
- Minced ginger: Ginger paste or ginger powder would also work.
- Soy sauce: Any kind you like is fine.
- Rice vinegar: You can also use rice wine vinegar.
- Gochujang: Also known as red chili paste.
- Toasted sesame seeds or crushed roasted peanuts: For crunch and flavor.
How to make spicy Korean chicken wings from scratch?
- Preheat oven and prep pan: Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F, line a baking sheet with foil, and place a wire rack on top. Brush the rack with sesame oil.
- Coat the wings: Meanwhile, pat chicken wings dry with paper towels and toss them in a large mixing bowl with salt and baking powder. Then, place the wings on the prepared pan so they do not touch.
- Bake wings: Now, bake your wings on the lower oven rack in your preheated oven for 30 minutes. Then, turn the temperature to 425 and move the pan to the upper oven rack. Bake for another 45 minutes or until they are crispy and golden brown.
- Saute garlic and ginger: While the wings cook, saute ginger and garlic in a large skillet or frying pan on medium heat for three minutes.
- Continue cooking: Then, add the remaining ingredients and simmer on low for three more minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off and leave the pan on the stove to stay warm.
- Toss in the sauce: After, toss the cooked wings in the sauce until evenly coated.
- Garnish and serve immediately: Finally, move finished spicy Korean chicken wings to a serving plate and top with toasted seeds or crushed peanuts.
- Add herbs and spices: For more flavor, add your favorite herbs and spices like onion powder, smoked paprika, thyme, or basil.
- Green onions: Thinly sliced green onions would also be a delicious garnish.
- Chicken stock: Add some chicken stock to your sauce ingredients for more chicken flavor.
- Brown sugar: For sweeter spicy Korean chicken wings, add a half cup of brown sugar to your sauce.
- Direct heat: If you want extra crispy skin, broil under direct heat for a few minutes before serving.
- Chilli powder: For more spiciness, you could add chili powder or red pepper flakes.
Frequently asked questions
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is what Koreans call an angry sauce. It is a fermented hot sauce or thick paste used in Korean cooking that tastes spicy, sweet, and savory. The sauce is made from yeotgireum, meju powder, glutinous rice, salt, and gochu garu. It is the rice that gives it a sweet flavor when it is cultured during fermentation.
Are these baked Korean chicken wings?
We use baked chicken wings instead of fried wings. Just bake chicken wings at low heat (preferably 250 degrees F) for 30 minutes on the lowest shelf of your oven. Then, turn the oven temperature to high heat (425 degrees F) and bake for another 45 minutes or until they are crispy. Deep-fried chicken wings are delicious too, but they have so much more saturated fat than the oven method and deep frying is more dangerous.
How are these different from traditional hot wings?
The crispy chicken is coated in a sticky sauce made with gochujang sauce instead of the traditional hot sauce ingredients. With this great sauce, you get complex flavors that you do not find in regular hot sauce because it is made with so many different ingredients.
How to store leftovers:
- Store: Any leftover spicy Korean chicken wings can be refrigerated in an airtight container for three to four days.
- Freeze: To freeze leftovers, wrap them in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before putting them in a freezer bag or freezer-safe airtight container. You can keep them frozen for three months.
- Thaw: Leave frozen chicken wings in the fridge overnight to thaw before serving.
- Reheat: To reheat, put the chicken wings in an oven preheated to 400 degrees F for five to seven minutes or in the air fryer for one minute on each side. Add more spicy Korean chicken sauce for extra flavor.
More chicken wings recipes to try:
Spicy Korean Chicken Wings
- 1 1/2-2 lbs chicken wings
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
Spicy Korean Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon oil I used sesame oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons ginger minced
- 2 tablespoons white sugar or brown sugar for a deeper flavor, you can also use honey or maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 tablespoons gochujang
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- toasted sesame seeds
- chopped green onions
- crushed toasted peanuts
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- Preheat the oven to 250 Fahrenheit.
- Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil. Insert a wire rack in it and brush it with oil or spray it with baking spray to prevent sticking.
- Pat dry the chicken wings with paper towels, add them to a large bowl, and toss with baking powder and salt to coat. Arrange the wings on the prepared wire rack, NOT touching each other.
- Bake in the preheated oven on the lower rack for 30 minutes. Increase the temperature to 400-425 Fahrenheit, transfer the baking sheet to the upper rack, and bake for another 45 minutes until the wings are golden brown and crispy.
Spicy Korean sauce:
- In a saucepan or pan over medium heat, add the oil, and sauté the garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and cook on low heat for 3 minutes, stirring. Turn off the heat and leave the sauce on the stove.
- Remove the chicken wings from the oven, add them to a large bowl, and pour the spicy sauce on top. Gently toss them to coat them evenly.
- Transfer the wings to a serving plate and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds on top. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce, we prefer Ranch or Blue Cheese as it balances the spiciness of the wings.
- Instead of lining the baking sheet with parchment paper, spray them with nonstick cooking spray.
- Corn starch can be used on your chicken wings instead of baking powder.
- For faster cooking with crispier chicken skin, you can air fry your chicken wings. Just fry at 390 for five minutes per side.
- Add more salt and black pepper to your sauce (to taste) before serving.
- At your next game day celebration, serve a large bowl of these incredible spicy Korean chicken wings with a small bowl of ranch dressing or another sauce for dipping.
- Looking for more great recipes for the perfect appetizer? We have all sorts of appetizer cuisine on our food blog.
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