These Korean inspired gochujang chicken wings are crispy, garlicky, spicy, sticky and totally irresistible! The wings are air fried/baked until super crispy and the tossed in the most incredible gochujang sauce. They are so good, super easy to make for a large crowd and highly addictive!
Gochujang chicken wings!
These air fried/baked gochujang chicken wings are so good, and so highly addictive. They are incredible crispy on the outside but yet very juicy and flavorful on the inside. Keep reading to discover the best way to cook chicken wings for maximum crunch and browning without frying.
I toss these chicken wings in a Korean inspired sauce that is so complex in flavor. It is spicy, salty, sour and sweet, full of umami, hits all the right notes and goes so well with these crispy chicken wings. You will be mind blown at how amazing these wings turn out!
How to air fry/bake chicken wings and make them SUPER crispy!
Air fried/baked chicken wings can still turn out super crispy and delicious. Here's what you've gotta do:
- Pat dry the chicken really well. Moisture is the enemy of all things crispy and will cause the chicken to steam leading to soggy chicken. Make sure your chicken is patted dry really well.
- Baking powder. It might sound crazy to use baking powder on chicken wings, but trust me it works! The baking powder is the secret ingredient that makes the chicken skin super crispy. Make sure that you use aluminum free baking powder in this recipe, otherwise you might end up with a bitter aftertaste.
- Wire rack. It is important to keep the air circulating around the chicken wings for maximum crispiness. Use a perforated baking rack or wire rack to allow for maximum air circulation.
- Single layer. It is important that you don't overlap the chicken otherwise it will lead to steaming instead of crisping. Place the chicken in a single layer with a gap between them.
Air frying v/s baking
Both air frying and baking produce amazingly crispy chicken wings that are juicy and tender on the inside. Which option you use to make these amazing gochujang chicken wings will depend on a couple of criteria:
- Air fryer: air fried chicken turns out super crispy and the biggest advantage of this method is that it takes about half the time to cook compared to the oven method. However, most air fryers are small and this method will work well only if you are making a small batch of chicken wings.
- Oven: oven baked wings also turn out amazing but take twice the amount of time compared to an air fryer. However, if you are making a large batch, then this is the way to go. You can make a very huge batch at once using multiple baking trays and they will all be perfectly crispy and ready at the same time!
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is a savory, sweet, and spicy fermented condiment, very popular in Korean cooking. It is made from chili powder, glutinous rice, fermented soybean powder, barley malt powder and salt. The sweetness comes from the starch of cooked glutinous rice, cultured during the fermentation process.
It has an amazing, complex flavor and goes so well in so many different styles of cooking. If you haven't tried it, I highly recommend giving it a go. Gochujang is so versatile and once you've tried it, you will find yourself reaching out for it constantly, it is that good!
The most amazing gochujang sauce
Gochujang is the main flavoring ingredient in this amazing sauce and adds so much flavor. I also add in rice syrup (for sweetness), Kashmiri red chilli powder (for color and spice), rice vinegar (for tang), ginger, garlic & green onions and a dash of toasted sesame oil for a nutty flavor. This sauce is spicy, sweet, sour, salty & nutty with a wonderful savory flavor from the ginger & garlic. It reminds me of so many Indo-Chinese dishes like Manchurian, and will go super well with different kinds of protein or veggies.
Making a large batch for a crowd!
To make these gochujang chicken wings for a crowd, definitely use the oven instead of the air fryer. You can use multiple wire rack lined baking trays at the same time. Line the baking trays with aluminum foil for easier clean up. The cooking time will remain the same and all the wings will be perfectly cooked and crispy at the same time!
How to make this recipe vegan/vegetarian
Tofu/paneer would be perfect replacements for chicken in this recipe. The best part of this recipe is the sauce, and crispy tofu/paneer coated in this amazing sauce would be such a delicious treat.
To use tofu/paneer, cut it into 1" cubes and replace baking powder with the same amount of cornstarch. Reduce the cooking time to only a third of the time below. Everything else will remain the same!
More recipes to try!
Korean gochujang chicken wings (baked/air fried)
For the sauce:
- 1 teaspoon avocado oil
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 inch ginger root
- 1 stalk green onions
- 2 tablespoons gochujang (Korean fermented red pepper paste)
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 tablespoon rice syrup (or any other sweetener of your choice)
- 1 tablespoon water
- ½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
- kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
For garnish & serving
- ¼ teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Mix together all the spices for the chicken wings.
- Dry the chicken wings with paper towels thoroughly. Sprinkle the spice mix evenly over the chicken wings and toss to coat.
Air fryer instructions
- Preheat the air fryer at 375F/190C for 3 minutes and then place the chicken wings in a single layer. Air fry it for 12 minutes on one side, then flip over and cook for another 12 minutes.
- Increase the heat to 400F/205C (or as high as it will go), flip and cook for another 2-5 minutes or until the skin is crispy and brown.
- Preheat your oven to 425F/220C. Place the chicken wings in a single layer on a baking rack over a foil lined baking sheet and cook it in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip all the wings and bake an additional 20 minutes.
- Finally, remove from oven and flip once more and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until the skin is crispy and brown.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add in finely chopped ginger, garlic and green onions (save the green tops for garnish). Cook the aromatics for 2-3 minutes.
- Mix the rest of the sauce ingredients (except the sesame oil and cilantro) in a separate bowl and add it into the frying pan. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes or until it starts to thicken slightly. Finally turn off the heat and mix in the toasted sesame oil and chopped cilantro leaves.
- Toss the wings as soon as they come out of the oven with the sauce. Garnish the wings with sesame seeds and green onion tops and serve immediately with lime wedges.
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