Countdown to Super Bowl LI in my lovely (and underrated) hometown of Houston! Earlier this week, I shared one of my favorite ways to make chicken wings. Today, I’m sharing the hubs’s preferred recipe, made with gochujang, or Korean spicy red pepper paste. If you’ve ever had Korean food, you’re probably familiar with this paste and condiment—it’s the same stuff used to dress bibimbap, or Korean mixed rice bowls, and it’s made into marinades and dipping sauces. The flavor of gochujang is sweet, tangy, a little funky, a little spicy.

This preparation is the way my mama-in-law makes her wings, and the hubs came up with his own version, which we also served at my first pop-up in Houston. The flavor is balanced, as you get nutty, sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy all in one. The vodka-cornstarch batter helps with crispiness when frying to ensure all that sauce doesn’t make them soggy.

Serve these Korean wings next to my Vietnamese-style caramelized fish sauce wings, and you’ve got an international take on some Super Bowl classics.

Happy cooking, and let me know how they turn out!

Recipe: Spicy Korean Red Pepper Chicken Wings

Notes: These wings are sticky and super flavorful, so you won’t need any dipping sauces here.

Ingredients

  1. 1 tsp ground ginger
  2. 1 tsp Garlic powder
  3. 1 tsp onion powder
  4. 3 lbs chicken wings
  5. 3/4 tsp kosher salt
  6. 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  7. 1/3 c AP flour
  8. 1/3 c rice flour
  9. 3/4 tsp baking soda
  10. 1 egg, beaten
  11. 1.5 tbsp vodka
  12. 3/4 c water
  13. Sauce:

  14. 2 tbsp neutral oil (e.g. Canola)
  15. 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped (1 head)
  16. 2/3 c ketchup
  17. 2/3 c brown sugar
  18. 1/2 c red pepper paste (gochujang)
  19. 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  20. Garnishings:

  21. 1 stalk scallion, finely chopped (optional)
  22. 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Instructions

  1. Rub wings: In a large bowl, mix together ground ginger, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover and chill overnight..
  2. Batter chicken: in a large bowl, whisk together salt, pepper, AP flour, rice flour, baking soda, egg, vodka, and water. Pat chicken dry and dredge with batter.
  3. Par-fry wings: In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil to 350°F. Fry wings for 4m. Drain on wire racks over paper bags for 5m.
  4. Make sauce: in a small saucepan over low heat, combine canola oil, garlic, ketchup, sugar, red pepper paste, and vinegar. Cook for 7m, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
  5. Refry wings: re-heat oil to 350°F. Fry wings for 4m more. Drain on wire racks over paper bags for 2m.
  6. Coat wings in sauce. Garnish with scallion and sesame seeds before serving.

Active time: 50m
Total time: 8h 50m
Yields: 6 servings

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2 Discussion to this post

  1. Ken Sewell says:

    Hey Christine , just finished making these , really awesome sauce , we are covered in it LOL , finger licking good!!! , I didn’t have any vodka so had to make do with some fine Marsala, worked out ok though , followed it up with a mango/ vanilla panacotta with dark chocolate pearls and some cranberry crystals, now looking at doing one of your Vietnamese inspired dishes , thanks👍

    • Christine Ha says:

      Interesting about the wine substitution. Vodka is mainly used to add crispness. Glad you enjoyed these wings though.

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