These crispy oven baked wings with a spicy gochujang sauce are the ultimate game day appetizer! Serve your spicy Korean chicken wings with a side of pickled daikon radish for a sweet and refreshing side to balance the heat!
Over the course of the last year, Korean fried chicken became my go-to late night study snack and if someone came to visit me in Boston, I would always take them out for the mouth-watering combination of spicy fried chicken and beer. Now, hundreds of miles away from the closest KFC (Korean fried chicken), I’ve had to learn to make these sweet and savory chicken wings on my own. And I have to tell you — I am not disappointed with the result! While korean fried chicken is traditionally deep fried (often twice!) to get that addictively crunchy crust, I opted for a healthier version where the wings are baked in the oven and then tossed in a sticky gochujang sauce. Don’t worry though — I’ve included a few tips and tricks to make sure our chicken wings come out of the oven with a delicious crispy coating!
gochujang + daikon radish
The spicy component in our sauce for these chicken wings comes from a delicious Korean chili paste — gochujang. It’s somehow sweet, savory and spicy all at once! You can find gochujang at almost any market selling Korean products. Recently, we picked up this brand of gochujang at our local Korean market — purchasing it at the store is generally much cheaper than buying it online. This spicy korean chili paste can have varying levels of spiciness depending on which brand you buy so make sure to adjust the level of gochujang in the sauce to taste.
And if you find yourself at a Korean grocery store searching for gochujang, don’t forget to pick up some daikon radish! Daikon is a juicier and milder radish than some of its relatives, which makes it the perfect accompaniment to spicy wings. To make the pickled radish side dish, simply mix up a quick pickling brine with rice vinegar, water and sugar and then pour it over peeled and cubed daikon. It’s best to let your mixture sit in the fridge for a day or so before serving, but in a pinch giving it a few hours would work as well!
baking crispy chicken in the oven
There are a ton of different methods promising the crispiest oven baked chicken and while I’ve tried many of them, I always come back to one of the simplest — baking the chicken with a thin coat of cornstarch. It’s easy, mess-free and I almost always have cornstarch in the pantry! Another simplе trick is to fit your baking sheet with a wire rack so the chicken can crisp up better, but out here in our little cabin I didn’t have one on hand and my chicken was perfectly crispy baking directly on foil with a bit of cooking spray.
You can also choose between flipping your chicken wings over halfway through the bake time or leaving them on one side. I like to leave the side with more skin up the entire time to make sure that side is extra crunchy, but that’s just my preference. Either way you’ll end up with crispy wings ready to be slathered with a spicy gochujang sauce!
Hungry for more Korean recipes? Try these!
- sweet and savory beef bulgogi
- spicy pork and kimchi mandu
- mandu guk | korean dumpling soup
- hotteok | pancakes stuffed with brown sugar syrup and cinnamon
crispy chicken wings
- chicken wings 2 kg (4 lbs)
- cornstarch 2 tbsp
- salt to taste
spicy gochujang sauce
- olive oil 1 tbsp
- garlic 2 cloves
- ginger 2.5 cm (1 in)
- gochujang 4 tbsp
- honey 4 tbsp
- soy sauce 2 tbsp
- rice vinegar 1 tbsp
- - chopped green onion
- - toasted sesame seeds
pickled daikon (optional)
- daikon radish 450 g (1 lb)
- rice vinegar 120 ml (½ c)
- water 120 ml (½ c)
- sugar 100 g (½ c)
- salt 1 tsp
crispy chicken wings + spicy gochujang sauce
- Preheat oven to 425F (220C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and fit with a wire rack.*
- Pat the chicken wings dry and place in a large bowl. Sprinkle the cornstarch and salt over the chicken and mix to coat evenly.
- Transfer the chicken wings to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes or until crispy.
- When the chicken is almost cooked, begin making the sauce. Mince the garlic and ginger. Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and ginger and cook for several minutes or until fragrant, stirring occasionally.
- Add the gochujang, honey, soy sauce and rice vinegar to the saucepan. Cook on medium-low heat for several minutes.
- Toss the cooked chicken wings with the sauce. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onion. Serve with pickled daikon.
- Peel the daikon radish and cut it into cubes of a bit less than an inch (2 cm). Place in a jar and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, heat the rice vinegar, sugar and water over medium-low heat and stir until all of the sugar has dissolved.
- Allow the liquid to cool slightly and then pour the liquid over the radish cubes.
- Seal the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
- baking: while the wire rack will give you an even crunchier crust, I often go without and the wings always turn out crispy and delicious!
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