Frying twice seems to be an Asian thing. It’s the same technique employed in cooking Japanese tebasaki. If you’ve never cooked fried chicken that way before, well, try it this time and you’ll be amazed at the results.
So, how does Korean fried chicken wings differ from tebasaki? First of all, chicken wings are merely dusted with starch when cooking tebasaki. Korean fried chicken wings are battered before frying.
But the main difference lies in the flavor and heat. Korean fried chicken wings are spicy hot because there is gochujang in the glaze while the subtle heat from tebasaki are derived from garlic and ginger.
But it isn’t just gochujang that provides the heat in Korean fried chicken wings because there’s garlic and ginger in the glaze too. Chili flakes have been omitted in this recipe for less heat. After all, not all of us have the same tolerance for heat as Koreans who grew up with spicy food.
As with tebasaki, the chicken wings are fried twice before they are tossed in the sauce thoroughly until every inch of the surface of the wings, including every nook and cranny, is coated with the glaze.
Korean fried chicken wings
- 1 kilogram chicken wings
- 2 tablespoons rock salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
To fry the chicken
- cooking oil
- 1 small egg
- ¾ cup potato starch or corn starch
For the glaze
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean chili paste) available in Asian groceries
- ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup rice wine
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
Marinate the chicken wings
- Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels and divide into two portions by cutting through the joint that connects with drumette from the wingette.
- Place the chicken in a bowl, add the salt and pepper, and mix well.
- Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate in the fridge for three hours.
Fry the chicken
- In a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of three inches.
- Beat the egg and pour over the chicken wings. Mix well.
- Add the starch and mix until a thin batter coats each piece of chicken.
- Over medium heat, fry the chicken wings until lightly crisp, about four minutes.
- Drain the chicken on a rack or strainer and leave to rest.
Cook the glaze
- In a clean wok or frying pan, heat the tablespoon of oil.
- Saute the ginger and garlic just until starting to brown.
- Add the gochujang and sugar.
- Pour in the rice wine and soy sauce.
- Mix, allow to simmer for 30 seconds then turn off the heat.
Refry the chicken wings
- With the heat set on high, fry the chicken wings until the crust is golden, about two minutes.
- Reheat the glaze until bubbly, add the fried chicken wings and toss to coat each piece evenly.
Serve the Korean fried chicken wings
- Optionally, sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the chicken before serving.