Korean Buffalo Wings

  • Sauce:
  • 110g (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 6 tablespoons Korean apple vinegar (sagwa-shikcho) or rice vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons Korean chile paste (gochujang)
  • 1 teaspoon Korean chile flakes (gochugaru)
  • Chicken:
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt or sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.3KG (24 to 26 pieces) chicken drumettes and wingettes or flats (see Cook's Note)
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) potato starch
  • Vegetable oil, for frying

1. For the sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the vinegar, chile paste and chile flakes until smooth. Set aside in a warm spot.

2. For the chicken: In a small bowl, stir together the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, baking powder and pepper. Put the chicken in a large bowl, sprinkle with the garlic powder mixture, and toss to coat. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle the potato starch over the chicken and toss again, making sure the chicken is well coated.

3. In a large, wide, heavy-bottomed pot at least 5 inches deep, heat 2 inches of oil over medium-high heat until it reaches 190°C on a deep-fry thermometer. Working in batches, fry the chicken, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per batch. Transfer to a wire rack or paper-towellined plate to drain. Let the oil return to temperature between batches.

4. Put the cooked wings in a very large bowl. If the sauce has separated, give it a good whisk to bring it back together. Drizzle the sauce over the chicken and toss until well coated. Serve immediately.

Notes: This is my version of Buffalo wings, tossed in a Korean-style hot sauce. If you can't find precut "party wings," get regular wings, cut off and discard the tips, and separate the wings at the main joint. Wings can vary quite a bit in size, but 3 pounds of average wings will give you a total of 24 to 26 drumettes and wingettes.

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