Korean Chicken Wings (Baked!)
These Korean Chicken Wings are utterly addicting and way easier, less messy and healthier than fried Korean Chicken Wings – but with ALL the sweet heat flavor. This Korean Chicken Wings recipe is the perfect appetizer for game night or parties and can be prepped ahead of time then baked when it’s GO-TIME! The wings are first rubbed with a simple spice rub of ginger powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper then enveloped in a beautifully rich, sticky Korean BBQ sauce that takes just minutes to whisk together then about 5 minutes to simmer until the consistency of barbecue sauce. The emerging Korean Chicken Wings are the perfect balance of scrumptious sweet, spicy, savory AKA the definition of finger-lickin’good!
Servings Prep Time
24wings 15minutes
Cook Time
35minutes
Servings Prep Time
24wings 15minutes
Cook Time
35minutes
Korean Chicken Wings
Ingredients
Chicken
  • 24 chicken wings (1st & 2nd segments)approx. 3 pounds
Rub
  • 2tablespoons baking powder
  • 2tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2tsp EACH ginger powder, garlic powder
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1/2tsp EACH onion powder, pepper
Korean BBQ Sauce/Glaze
  • 1/2cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4cup water
  • 3tablespoons Gochujangsee notes
  • 1/4cup honey
  • 2tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1tablespoon butter
  • 1tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2tablespoons rice wine may substitute dry sherry
  • 1teaspoon cornstarch
Instructions
  1. Squeeze chicken very dry with paper towels; set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup) and top with a baking rack. Lightly spray rack with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Mix Rub Ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add half of the Rub to a large freezer bag. Add half of the wings and shake until coated evenly. Line wings on prepared baking rack so they are not touching. Add remaining Rub ingredients and wings to freezer bag and repeat.
  4. Bake wings on upper middle rack for 35-45 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Move oven rack approximately 8″ from broiler and broil to desired crispiness, watching closely so they don’t burn. Optional: Flip chicken wings over and broil the other side until crispy. Remove chicken from oven and add to a large bowl.
  5. The last few minutes of baking, whisk together all of the Korean BBQ sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Simmer until thickened to the consistency of a glaze, about 5-7 minutes.
  6. Remove 1/4 cup of sauce to a small dipping bowl. Add remaining sauce to the wings and toss with a spatula until evenly coated. Note that as soon as you add the glaze the chicken will not be as crispy – but it provides a structural yummy base. Serve immediately.
Recipe Notes

WHERE CAN I BUY GOCHUJANG?

Gochujang is the primary flavor in this Korean Chicken Wings recipe, so please don’t substitute it for any other ingredient – especially because it is so easy to find!  Gochujang should be easy to find in the Asian section of your grocery store, I use Annie Chun’s Gochujang Sauce.  It is located in the Asian section of my grocery store, but you can also easily buy it on Amazon (LOVE Amazon prime!).  I do recommend looking to see what Annie Chun’s Gochujang Sauce looks like so you can easily spot it at the grocery store.

CUSTOMIZE HEAT

These Korean Chicken Wings are is supposed to have a kick.  As written, the recipe calls for 3 tablespoons gochujang which is medium spicy – perfect for anyone who likes some heat.  If you know you don’t like heat or want to make this Korean Chicken Wings recipe kid friendly, then use 2 tablespoons gochujang and reduce the sugar by one tablespoon.   Alternatively, if you know you LOVE heat, then amp up to 4 tablespoons gochujang.

HOW TO AIR FRY KOREAN CHICKEN WINGS

I honestly don’t find air frying these Korean Chicken Wings beneficial because they get plenty crispy in the oven – which is all we need before drenching them in the sauce. Using the oven method, you can cook all of the chicken at once, verses the air fryer which will require several batches. It is best to save the air fryer for when you really need that crackling crunch.

  1. Grease 2 racks for the air fryer oven.  If your air fryer only has a rack and a basket, grease the basket instead.
  2. Place the wings on the greased racks in a single layer so they aren’t touching.  You will need to cook in multiple batches.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes at 250 degrees F.
  4. Flip the wings over and switch the position of the trays, so that the top is on the bottom and the bottom tray is on the top.  
  5. Increase temperature to 450 degrees (or the highest your air fryer goes).  Air fry for 15- 20 minutes or until the chicken are wings cooked through and crispy.

How to Prep Ahead

These Korean Chicken Wings can easily be prepped ahead of time. 

  • Prepare the chicken up to baking, then refrigerate for up to 12 hours – you can cover for 6 hours then uncover for the last 6 to help dry out the skin. 
  • Whisk the sauce ingredients together and store in the refrigerator until it’s time to bake the wings. You can also simmer and thicken the sauce ahead of time and store in the refrigerator but you will need to whisk in some water to thin over heat as it will thicken in the refrigerator. 
  • When it’s time to bake the wings, let them rest on the counter for 15 minutes then proceed to bake according to directions and simmer the sauce until thickened.  

How to REHEAT 

AIR FRYER

  • Line basket(s) with foil and spray with cooking spray.
  • Add chicken wings in a single layer to baskets.
  • Use the “snack” setting to reheat or air fry at 360 degrees F for 4 minutes, then increase heat to 400°F and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes.

OVEN

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup) and spray rack with cooking spray.
  • Line wings on baking sheet so they aren’t touching.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.

How to Freeze 

These Korean Chicken Wings freeze well because they are “sticky” wings verses “crispy” wings.  To freeze:

  • Line chicken wings in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Place in the freezer to flash freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours.  Flash freezing allows the chicken wings to be placed together in a freezer container without freezing together.
  • Transfer frozen wings to a freezer safe container or freezer size plastic bag, squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn.
  • Freeze for up to three months.
  • When ready to serve, line a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup) and top with baking rack.  Spray rack with cooking spray.
  • Line frozen wings on the baking rack and transfer to the refrigerator to thaw.
  • Once thawed, bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until heated through.