You’re 30 minutes away from the crispiest, crunchiest, tastiest chicken wings ever: Korean fried chicken.
If you’ve never tried it, is an extra crunchy double fried chicken tossed in a sweet and spicy sauce. It’s like the best hot wings ever.
What is Korean fried chicken?
Korean fried chicken is classically double fried extra crispy wings and drummettes that are then coated in a sticky, sweet, and spicy sauce. It’s like buffalo wings amped up with the power of gochujang.
Air fryer Korean fried chicken
We’ve always loved the idea of making Korean fried chicken at home, but even with as much as we cook, deep frying is never fun, so we’ve never done it. Steph suggested using the air fryer, which I thought was a genius idea, and I developed this double air fry technique that produced a pretty darn crispy chicken that I think rivals the best of the best deep fried versions while being way healthier.
How to make Korean fried chicken
The secret of Korean fried chicken is the double frying. Double frying in the air fryer works just as well as it does with deep frying, but way easier. The secret is to coat your chicken after the first fry using a spray/mist of oil. It’s not totally necessary, but it really helps. To make Korean fried chicken in an air fryer:
- Coat the chicken. I coated the chicken first with oil to help with heat transfer, then salt and pepper, then corn or potato starch, which is what Asian-style chicken is classically made with for a lighter, crispier outer shell.
- Air fry the chicken. 400ºF for 15 minutes. There’s no need to preheat the air fryer.
- Make the sauce. While the chicken is air frying, make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients, then heating it up to a very slight boil (or even just microwaving it for a minute).
- Flip the chicken. When 15 minutes is up, flip the chicken and continue air frying for another 5 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Double fry and sauce. After the chicken has cooled, spray it with oil again, then air fry it for the final time at 400ºF for 5 minutes. Remove and toss in sauce, then enjoy immediately.
Korean fried chicken sauce
The magical sauce that goes on Korean fried chicken is a mixture of honey, brown sugar, gochujang, and ketchup. Really: ketchup is a very important ingredient if you want to keep things authentic. It’s important to note that this is just one possible sauce – there are other sauces for Korean fried chicken out there, but this one (in America, at least) is the iconic one.
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is very slightly spicy fermented Korean paste that goes great in everything. We also use it for our sweet and spicy gochujang honey roast chicken and potatoes, our 10 minute spicy beef weeknight stir fry udon, and our kimchi stew with mochi egg recipe.. Traditionally it comes in tubs, but these days you can find it in much more convenient squeeze bottles in the Asian aisle of literally any grocery store.
What if I don’t have spray oil?
Spray oil is really good, cheap, and irreplaceable in the kitchen – especially if you have an air fryer. It’s not worse for you than any other kind of oil, as long as you know when to use it and its limitations. We like a nice high smoke point propellant free oil, but you can use any oil you want (except olive because of its low smoke point) and you can even make your own.
Deep/pan fry Korean fried chicken
If you don’t have an air fryer (you should really consider getting one as they are great and cheap these days) you can easily do it the classic way: fry the chicken until golden brown, then remove and let cool a bit before dropping it back in for a few more minutes. Then toss in sauce, as usual.
Oven baked korean fried chicken
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can use an oven to bake these wings. Just follow the recipe as is, but preheat the oven to 425ºF and bake the wings on the middle rack for 30 minutes, then turn them and continue for another 10-20 minutes (50 minutes total). Toss them in the sauce once they are cool enough to handle.
Will this sauce work with any kind of fried chicken?
Yes! If you are feeling lazy, you can just make the sauce and toss it in grocery store or chain fried chicken. It won’t be as good or quite the same, but still pretty awesome.
How does it compare to delivery?
Korean fried chicken is available as a delivery item in most major cities these days. While this might seem like more work than just ordering delivery, right after I made this chicken, we went out and tried a local version – hot and fresh – to compare and contrast. The homemade KFC was both tastier and crispier.
I hope you get some properly good KFC in your life asap. Hot and fresh.
Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken
The greatest fried chicken in the world, hot and fresh at home via the power of air frying
- 1 lb chicken wings
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp corn starch
For the sauce
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tbsp gochujang see note
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 0.5 tbsp soy sauce
- 0.5 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 0.5 tbsp ginger grated
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 391
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 10.7g67%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.