Craving a finger-licking, crispy delight that's bursting with bold Korean flavors? Look no further! Get ready to tantalize your taste buds and elevate your kitchen game as we dive into the irresistible world of Air Fryer Korean fried chicken. With its golden, crunchy exterior and tender, juicy meat, this modern twist on a Korean classic is sure to make your heart skip a beat. And did we mention coating it in sweet and spicy sauce?
Below, we will share our scrumptious recipe for air fryer Korean fried chicken wings that are perfect for any occasion, whether a lively game day gathering or an elegant dinner party. Brace yourself for a burst of flavor that will have everyone at the table craving for more. Not only do these crispy wings boast an irresistible taste, but they also offer a healthier twist compared to their traditional counterpart. By utilizing the air frying method, we can enjoy these delectable treats with significantly reduced calories and fat without compromising on the delectable satisfaction that comes with each bite.
Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
Korean Fried Chicken Sauce Ingredients
1. Preheat your Air Fryer to 400°F (200°C).
2. In a large bowl, thoroughly mix together the all-purpose flour, cornstarch, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
3. In a separate bowl, vigorously whisk together the eggs and buttermilk (if desired).
4. Dip each chicken piece into the egg mixture, allowing any excess to drip off. Then, coat the chicken with the flour mixture, ensuring that each piece is evenly coated for optimal results.
5. Arrange the coated chicken in a single layer within the air fryer basket. Give the chicken a light coating of cooking spray to promote a crispy texture.
6. Air fry the chicken in the Air Fryer for approximately 25-30 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through the cooking process. Cook until the chicken turns a glorious golden brown and reaches a fully cooked state. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, considering the size of your chicken pieces and the power of your specific Air Fryer model.
7. While the chicken is cooking, it's time to prepare the tantalizing Gochujang sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the Gochujang sauce, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and grated ginger until the ingredients are thoroughly combined, resulting in a harmonious and flavorful sauce.
8. Once the crispy fried chicken is cooked, transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Pour the Gochujang sauce over the chicken and toss until each piece is generously coated.
9. Place the spicy sauce-coated chicken back in the Air Fryer for an additional 2-3 minutes to allow the sauce to caramelize slightly.
10. Carefully take out the perfectly crispy chicken from the air fryer and generously garnish it with a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds and a scattering of freshly chopped green onions. These delightful toppings add a final touch of flavor and visual appeal to the dish.
Prior to coating the chicken with the flour mixture, ensure to pat it dry using paper towels thoroughly. This helps the coating adhere better and results in crispier chicken.
Preheat the Air Fryer: Preheating the Air Fryer before adding the chicken helps create a hot environment right from the start, leading to better browning and texture.
Space out the chicken: To achieve optimal results, make sure to avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket. Give each piece of chicken enough room to cook evenly and ensure proper air circulation for crispiness. Cook in batches if necessary.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 33.4g
Saturated Fat 0.2g
Total Carbohydrate 48.8g
Dietary Fiber 3.2g
Total Sugars 18.6g
Vitamin D 0mcg
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Spray with cooking spray: A light coating of cooking spray on the chicken before air frying works wonders in enhancing the crispiness and achieving a beautiful golden brown color on the coating.
Double coat for extra crispiness: To achieve an even crispier coating, you have the option to double-dip the chicken in both the egg mixture and flour mixture before air frying. This additional step adds an extra layer of crunch and enhances the overall texture of the dish.
Monitor sauce consistency: When preparing the Gochujang sauce, adjust the amounts of honey or soy sauce to achieve your desired sweetness and spiciness levels. If the sauce is too thick, add a water splash or adjust the ingredients accordingly.
What is Korean Fried Chicken?
Korean fried chicken, sometimes referred to as KFC is a beloved dish in Korean cuisine known for its irresistibly crunchy exterior and succulent deep-fried chicken. It has gained significant popularity both in Korea and worldwide for its unique preparation and delicious flavors.
What distinguishes Korean fried chicken is its unique two-step frying process. The chicken undergoes initial frying at a lower temperature to ensure thorough cooking and rendering of the fat. It is then removed from the oil, drained, and subsequently fried again at a higher temperature. This double-frying technique results in a remarkable texture, with a crispy outer layer and tender, succulent meat.
In addition to its crispy exterior, Korean fried chicken is known for its variety of flavorful sauces. These sauces can range from spicy and tangy to sweet and savory, catering to different tastes. Gochujang, a fermented chili paste, is often used to create spicy and slightly sweet sauces for Korean fried chicken.
What is Gochujang?
Gochujang is a traditional Korean chili paste, a staple ingredient in Korean cuisine. It is crafted from a combination of red chili peppers, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans, and salt. The mixture is then fermented for several months, developing a deep and complex flavor profile that adds a unique depth and richness to dishes.
Gochujang has a rich, spicy, and slightly sweet taste. It adds depth and heat to dishes, making it a versatile condiment used in a wide range of Korean recipes. It is often described as having an "umami" flavor due to the fermentation process.
Beyond its fiery heat, Gochujang brings an unparalleled depth of flavor to dishes. It is known for its ability to balance out sweetness and saltiness while providing a distinct savory quality. It can be used as a base for marinades, stir-fry sauces, dressings, dipping sauces, and as a flavor enhancer in soups and stews.
What You Will Need To Make Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken Wings
Chicken Wings or Drumsticks
Chicken wings or drumsticks are the primary protein source in this dish. They provide juicy and tender meat that pairs perfectly with the crispy coating and flavorful sauce.
The versatile all-purpose flour is the primary ingredient in the chicken's coating, providing the desired texture and crunch. When air-fried, it helps create a light and crispy texture, giving the chicken its signature crunch.
Cornstarch is combined with flour to enhance the crispiness of the chicken. It adds an extra lightness to the coating, creating a delicate and crunchy outer layer.
Garlic powder contributes a savory and aromatic essence to the chicken, infusing it with a gentle garlic undertone that harmonizes with the other components and elevates the overall flavor profile.
Onion powder contributes a mild and slightly sweet flavor to the chicken. It adds depth to the seasoning profile, enhancing the overall taste experience.
Paprika is a spice that provides a vibrant red color to the coating. It also adds a subtle smoky flavor to the chicken, enhancing its overall taste profile.
Salt is an essential ingredient for seasoning the chicken. It helps enhance the chicken's natural flavors and balances the dish's overall taste.
Black pepper adds a touch of spiciness and a warm, earthy flavor to the chicken. It complements the other spices and adds depth to the coating.
Eggs play a crucial role in creating an egg wash that aids in the adherence of the flour mixture to the chicken, resulting in a cohesive and flavorful coating. They provide moisture and contribute to the overall texture of the coating, resulting in a crispy and well-bonded crust.
Buttermilk is an optional ingredient that can be added to the egg wash. The addition of buttermilk serves a dual purpose: tenderizing the chicken while introducing a delicate tanginess that enhances the overall flavor profile. The acidity in buttermilk can also contribute to a more tender and juicy result.
A gentle spritz of cooking spray is applied to lightly coat the chicken before air frying, contributing to its golden, crispy exterior. It helps enhance the crispiness of the coating by ensuring an even application of heat during the cooking process.
The Gochujang sauce plays a pivotal role in this dish, serving as a vital and defining component. It is a fermented chili paste that brings the chicken a spicy and slightly sweet flavor. Gochujang adds depth, heat, and a unique umami taste that separates Korean cuisine.
Soy sauce introduces a savory and salty dimension to the Gochujang sauce, enriching its flavor profile. It enhances the umami flavors and balances the sweetness, creating a well-rounded and harmonious sauce.
Honey imparts a delightful touch of sweetness to the Gochujang sauce, harmonizing with the spiciness of the Korean fried chicken. It helps balance the spiciness of the chili paste and adds a delightful glaze to the chicken, creating a sticky and flavorful coating.
Rice vinegar contributes a tangy and subtly acidic note to the sauce, enhancing its overall flavor profile. It helps brighten the overall taste of the dish and balances the richness of the Gochujang and honey.
Sesame oil introduces a delightful nutty aroma and flavor to the Gochujang sauce, enhancing its depth and complexity. It enhances the overall depth and complexity of the dish, adding a distinct sesame note common in Korean cuisine.
Grated ginger adds a fresh and zesty flavor to the Gochujang sauce. Grated ginger brings a gentle warmth and tanginess to the dish, harmonizing with the other ingredients and elevating the overall taste profile.
Toasted Sesame Seeds and Chopped Green Onions (for garnish)
Toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions are optional garnishes that add visual appeal and extra flavor to the dish. The sesame seeds provide a slight crunch and a nutty taste, while the green onions add freshness and a pop of color to the final presentation.
How To Elevate This Recipe
Use different cuts of chicken
Instead of using chicken wings or drumsticks, opt for bone-in or boneless chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are known for their higher fat content and darker meat, resulting in a more flavorful and moist texture than leaner cuts. The natural fat in chicken thighs helps keep the meat juicy and succulent, even when cooked in the Air Fryer.
Marinate the chicken
Before coating the chicken with the flour mixture, marinate it in a flavorful marinade for a few hours or overnight. You can use ingredients like soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and sesame oil to infuse the chicken with more depth of flavor.
Add a spicy kick
For those seeking a spicier rendition, you have the option to intensify the heat by incorporating extra chili flakes or a dash of hot sauce into the Gochujang sauce. This will enhance the heat level and give the dish an extra fiery kick.
Experiment with different coatings
While the basic flour and cornstarch coating is delicious, you can get creative with different coatings. For example, you can try incorporating panko breadcrumbs, potato starch, crushed cornflakes, or even crushed pretzels to add extra texture and flavor.
Customize the Gochujang sauce
Tailor the Gochujang sauce to your taste preferences. Experiment with additional ingredients like garlic, ginger, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, or even a squeeze of citrus juice to create a sauce that is perfectly balanced and suits your palate.
Serve with pickled vegetables
Accompany the Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken with a side of tangy and refreshing pickled vegetables, such as radishes or cucumber slices. The acidity and crunch of the pickles will provide a delightful contrast to the rich and spicy chicken.
Garnish with fresh herbs
In addition to sesame seeds and green onions, consider garnishing the dish with fresh herbs like cilantro or Thai basil. These herbs will bring a burst of freshness and aromatic notes to the final presentation.
Experiment with different cuts of chicken
While the recipe typically calls for wings or drumsticks, you can explore using other cuts of chicken, such as boneless thighs or even chicken breast strips. Be sure to adjust the cooking time accordingly to guarantee that the chicken is thoroughly cooked and retains its juicy tenderness.
How To Store Leftover Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken
To maintain freshness, ensure that the containers are tightly sealed, effectively protecting the leftover chicken from air exposure. It is essential to promptly refrigerate the containers within two hours of cooking, preserving the quality of the chicken. Refrigeration helps inhibit bacterial growth and keeps the chicken safe to consume.
Leftover Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken is best consumed within 3-4 days of storage. Beyond that, the quality and texture may start to deteriorate. When you're ready to savor the leftover goodness, you can restore the chicken's crispiness by reheating it. Preheat your Air Fryer to 375°F (190°C) and reheat the chicken for 3-5 minutes until it is heated through and the coating regains its delightful crispiness. Alternatively, you can use an oven or stovetop to reheat the chicken.
If you have leftover sauce, separate it from the chicken. Move the sauce into an airtight container and store it separately in the refrigerator. When ready to reheat, gently warm the sauce in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reaches the desired temperature. Avoid overheating the sauce to avoid altering its texture or flavor.