The Secret to Making Korean-Style Chicken Wings at Home

There are two secrets, and we’ve got them both.

Korean-Style Chicken Wings
Photo: Dotdash Meredith

Let's face it: All chicken wings are pretty much the best snack or party food ever invented. But Korean-style chicken wings, with their crispy fried exterior surrounded by sauce, may be the best of the best. How these wings keep a perfect crisp while not having a heavy layer of crust (like American-style wings) is a secret technique that I'm here to share. Because everyone should be able to make (and enjoy) Korean-style chicken wings at home.

The Secret to Making Korean-Style Chicken Wings

The secret to Korean-style chicken wings lies in dusting them with the right starch and using a double-frying method to ensure perfectly juicy meat and a fantastic exterior. Here's how to do it.

How to Prep Korean-Style Chicken Wings

Start, if you can, with larger chicken wings. Smaller wings can sometimes overcook when using a double-fry method. Separate the flats from the drumettes; discard the tips or save them for stock. Season the wings well with salt and pepper, and if you like, some minced ginger. Give them a good toss and let them rest for about 15 minutes.

Next, coat the wings in potato or corn starch. Potato starch is more traditional, but corn starch works well if you cannot source potato starch. (Asian markets carry potato starch; specialty stores like Whole Foods often do as well.) You'll need about 1/3-1/2 cup starch per pound of wings.

Coat the wings thoroughly, pressing the starch into the surface with a squeeze, and then tapping lightly to remove any excess. Arrange the coated wings on a rack over a sheet pan so that they stay dry.

Julia's Korean Fried Chicken
Victor Protasio

How to Cook Korean-Style Chicken Wings

While you may not have heard of double-frying—where a lower-heat oil blanching begins to cook the interior, then a second fry at a higher temp gives that perfect crisp and wonderful browning—you've eaten plenty of delicious foods cooked that way. For example, if you've munched on crispy frites with steak at a French bistro, you've experienced the wonder of double frying.

Here's how to double-fry chicken wings: Pour a quart of high-smoke point oil like peanut, avocado, or grapeseed into a countertop deep fryer or a heavy-bottomed pot with deep sides.

For your first fry, have your oil around 325° F. Fry the wings in batches for about 10-12 minutes until they are crisp, but blond, without much browning. Set the wings aside and increase the heat of your oil to 350°. Fry again until the exteriors are deeply browned and extra crunchy, and the interiors register at least 185°F on a meat thermometer. You can hold cooked wings uncovered on a rack over a sheet pan in a 200° F oven until you are ready to serve—they will stay fresh and crispy for up to 45 minutes. Toss your double-fried wings in sauce just before serving.

Want some more inspiration and some great recipes for sauce? Check out these 8 Korean Fried Chicken Recipes

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