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Sweet & Spicy Korean BBQ Wings
These delicious Sweet & Spicy Korean BBQ Wings are deep-fried until crispy then glazed in a sticky, sweet, and spicy sauce that will have you licking your fingers. The name of this dish in Korean is Dakgangjeong. If you haven’t had it before, Korean fried chicken is legendary. We have a local Korean fried chicken place nearby, but when it closed during the lockdown, I had to learn how to make it myself. So glad I did. It’s not nearly as difficult to make this dish as it seems.
You start with a marinade of rice wine, garlic, ginger and salt, which the chicken wings absorb for about 30 minutes. The next step is to coat the chicken wings with cornstarch. The cornstarch helps by absorbing moisture on the chicken, so the surface gets crispier. Double frying the chicken wings isn’t strictly necessary when using cornstarch – the exterior will be pretty crunchy after just one fry – but this is a signature element of Korean fried chicken, so we do it!
The sauce for these Korean BBQ Wings comes together easily and with so much flavor. Just add all the sauce ingredients to a pan over medium heat until boiling. Then reduce the heat and continue simmering for about 5 minutes until the sauce has reduced and slightly thickened.
To cook the wings, add cooking oil to a large skillet or use a deep fryer if you have one. Heat the oil until it reaches 375°F. Add the chicken wings to the skillet or fryer, making sure they don’t touch each other to prevent overcrowding and ensure even cooking. Cook for about 5 minutes per side until browned.
After frying once, remove the wings from the skillet or fryer and let them drain on a wire rack. Reheat the oil to 350°F and fry the wings a second time until golden brown, about 30 seconds per side. This second frying step helps achieve that extra crispy texture.
Once all the wings have been fried, reheat the sauce and pour it over the chicken in a large bowl. Stir well until the wings are evenly coated with the sauce. Serve the wings while hot for maximum flavor.
These Sweet & Spicy Korean BBQ Wings are perfect as an appetizer or main dish. They pair well with steamed rice and can be enjoyed on their own or with a side of Asian slaw or pickled vegetables. Whether you’re hosting a game night, movie marathon, or simply craving some delicious Korean fried chicken, these wings are sure to satisfy your taste buds.
The Key to Super Crispy Fried Chicken
To achieve the perfect crispy texture for these Sweet & Spicy Korean BBQ Wings, there are a few important steps to follow. The first is to coat the chicken wings in cornstarch before frying. This helps absorb moisture and creates a crispier exterior. It also prevents the formation of gluten, which can make the crust less crunchy.
The second key step is double frying the chicken wings. While not necessary when using cornstarch, it is a signature element of Korean fried chicken. Double frying ensures an extra crunchy coating while keeping the meat tender and juicy on the inside.
Lastly, maintaining the oil temperature between 350-375°F is crucial for achieving that perfect crunch without absorbing excess oil. Overcrowding the pan should be avoided, as it lowers the oil temperature and prevents proper browning.
To make these delicious wings, start by making the sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a pan over medium heat until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes until slightly thickened.
Next, marinate the chicken wings in a mixture of rice wine, garlic, ginger, and salt for about 30 minutes. Coat each wing with cornstarch and shake off any excess.
In a large skillet or deep fryer, heat cooking oil to 375°F. Fry the wings in batches for about 5 minutes per side until browned. Remove and drain on a wire rack.
Reheat the oil to 350°F and fry the wings again for about 30 seconds per side until golden brown. Drain on a wire rack once more.
Finally, reheat the sauce and pour it over the fried wings. Toss well to coat evenly and serve hot.
Ingredients You’ll Need
– Chicken wings (1/3 pound per person)
– Corn starch
– Oil for frying (peanut, vegetable, canola, or avocado oil)
– Rice wine or apple cider vinegar
– Sesame oil
– Brown sugar
– Korean chili paste
– Soy sauce
– Garlic cloves
– Black pepper
How to Make Dakgangjeong (Korean Fried Chicken)
Start by making the sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients to a pan over medium heat until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and slightly thickened. Set aside.
In a bowl, mix together rice wine, garlic, ginger, and salt to create a marinade. Add chicken wings to the marinade and let them absorb the flavors for about 30 minutes.
Remove the wings from the marinade and coat them with cornstarch. Make sure each piece is evenly coated.
In a large skillet, heat cooking oil on medium-high until it reaches 375°F. Add the chicken wings to the skillet in batches, making sure they don’t touch each other. Cook for about 5 minutes per side until browned. Remove the wings from the skillet and place them on a wire rack to drain excess oil.
Reheat the oil to 350°F and deep fry the wings again for about 30 seconds per side until golden brown. Remove from the skillet and place them in a large bowl.
Reheat the sauce and pour it over the chicken wings in the bowl. Stir well to coat each wing evenly with sauce.
Serve hot and enjoy your delicious Dakgangjeong Korean fried chicken!
Tips and Notes
– To achieve super crispy chicken wings, use cornstarch to absorb moisture on the chicken and create a crispy surface. It also prevents the formation of gluten, ensuring that the crunchy crust stays on the chicken.
– Double frying the chicken wings is a signature element of Korean fried chicken, but not necessary when using cornstarch. However, it adds an extra level of crunchiness to the wings.
– When frying the wings, make sure not to overcrowd the pan. This will lower the temperature of the oil and prevent the wings from getting crispy. Cook them in batches if needed.
– Use a cooking oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut oil, vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil.
– The sauce for these Korean BBQ Wings is made by simmering ingredients like ketchup, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, brown sugar, honey, Korean chili paste, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. Simmer until reduced and slightly thickened.
– After frying the wings and coating them in the sauce, serve them immediately while hot. The crispy exterior will begin to soften once the sauce is added.
What to Serve with Korean BBQ Wings
Korean BBQ wings are a delicious and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed on their own or paired with some tasty side dishes. Here are a few ideas for what to serve with these wings:
1. Steamed Rice: A bowl of steamed rice is the perfect accompaniment to Korean BBQ wings. The neutral flavor of the rice helps to balance out the bold flavors of the wings.
2. Kimchi: Kimchi is a traditional Korean side dish made from fermented vegetables, usually cabbage or radishes. Its tangy and spicy flavor pairs well with the sweet and spicy sauce of the wings.
3. Pickled Vegetables: Pickled vegetables, such as pickled cucumbers or carrots, provide a refreshing and crunchy contrast to the rich and flavorful wings.
4. Asian Slaw: A light and refreshing Asian slaw made with cabbage, carrots, and a sesame dressing can add some freshness to your meal.
5. Steamed Vegetables: Steamed broccoli, green beans, or bok choy can be a healthy and nutritious addition to your plate.
6. Fried Rice: If you want to make it into a complete meal, serve the Korean BBQ wings with some homemade fried rice. The combination of flavors will be irresistible!
7. Soju or Beer: To wash down all the deliciousness, enjoy your Korean BBQ wings with some traditional Korean soju or your favorite ice-cold beer.
These are just a few suggestions, but feel free to get creative and serve these wings with any sides that you enjoy. The most important thing is to have fun experimenting and finding your perfect combination!
In conclusion, Korean BBQ wings are a delicious and flavorful twist on the classic chicken wing. The combination of smoky, sweet, and spicy flavors make them a popular choice among food enthusiasts. Whether enjoyed as an appetizer or main course, these wings are sure to satisfy any craving for bold and tangy Korean cuisine.
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