Korean Chicken Wings

These Korean chicken wings are actually baked, not fried, yet are still impossibly crisp. And they’re served with a finger-lickingly lovely sweet and spicy dipping sauce. Move over, Buffalo wings.

Korean chicken wings piled around a white container of dipping sauce.

What do we adore most about these Korean chicken wings? The impeccably crisp, burnished skin? The impossibly moist, tender meat? Or that elusive balance of sorta sweet but with some heat that most wings fail miserably to achieve? The yangnyeomjang, or Korean dipping sauce, that’s sorta sweet yet still has some heat? We’ll let you guess. Even better, just let us know in a comment below.

 –Renee Schettler

What's so special about Korean fried chicken?

What’s the trick behind the best Korean fried chicken? Or rather, in this instance, Korean baked chicken wings that are meant to taste like the now-famous Korean fried chicken? According to Aki Kamozawa & H. Alexander Talbot, it’s an overnight bath in a mixture of egg whites, salt, and baking soda. The concoction not only “forms an even coating that clings to the baked chicken wings and seasons them,” as the authors explain, but somehow manages to “break down the outer layer of proteins on the skin,” which renders the chicken skin thin and crackling, the underlying meat moist and juicy. There you have it. Resourceful home cooks may wish to note that the authors also brush this very same marinade on a whole chicken, let it soak up the flavor in the fridge overnight, and then roast it.

Korean Chicken Wings

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 4 to 6
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Ingredients

  • For the baked chicken wings
  • For the Korean dipping sauce

Directions

Make the baked chicken wings

In a large bowl, plop the egg whites, baking soda, and salt and stir to dissolve the salt and baking soda. Add the chicken wings and toss to coat evenly. 

Remove the wings from the bowl and arrange them on 2 wire racks situated on rimmed baking sheets. Refrigerate the wings overnight, uncovered. (This results in the crisp skin. Don’t skip this step! We know it takes a lot of fridge space. #WorthIt)

Preheat the oven to 450°F (235°C).

Slide the wings, still on the racks on the baking sheets, in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Flip the wings over and cook for 10 more minutes. Flip the wings over again and bake until deep golden brown with ridiculously crisp skin, 10 to 15 more minutes. 

Let the wings cool on the wire racks for 5 minutes.

Make the Korean dipping sauce

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, apple juice, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chile flakes, sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, and scallion.

Pile the baked chicken wings on a platter and serve the sauce alongside. Oh, and you’re going to want to serve these with napkins. Ample napkins. Originally published January 28, 2014.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

Four pounds of wings and two teenage boys, gone in 60 seconds. With a little advance planning, this Korean chicken wings recipe was an easy weeknight meal that satisfied the entire family.

I have to admit, I like my wings a bit more done, so 10 additional minutes in the oven and a quick broil achieved the perfect crispness for me. Next time I make these, I’ll baste the wings with the dipping sauce as they cook so the lovely Korean flavors permeate the wings.

These Korean chicken wings take a little more forethought than some recipes, but they yield a crisp, golden finish that's worth the few minutes it takes to prep them the night before. The dipping sauce is a lovely balance of sweet and salty and comes together in moments.

Really, the whole recipe is wonderfully low maintenance, though if your oven is not in pristine condition, you may find a certain amount of smoke. A small price to pay.

The next time I make them, I'm tempted to drizzle the sauce over the top, rather than reserve it for dipping. If you're serving the wings with a stack of napkins anyways, you may as well make the most of them.

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