Spicy Korean pepper paste gochujang makes these chicken wings different from any other chicken wings. The sauce is not sweet or sour but truly peppery with a slight tang to it. Marinating the wings over night and air frying them twice make flavors even bolder .Healthy Korean Chicken Wings is the first recipe in my book, Paleo Cooking with your Air Fryer. I wanted to introduce the book with a familiar ingredient – chicken wings – that are enveloped with a new flavor – gochujang – that readers might experience for the first time. Eating these wings is like experiencing the Discovery Channel and not just watching it from the couch. I wanted the readers to taste what gochujang can do for food … bold flavors exploding in their mouths!
Just look at the gorgeous color!
And if there ever was a chicken wings battle, these air fried wings with gochujang sauce can easily beat Buffalo Chicken Wings.
Hands down. I am not biased at all on this. Trust me.
And these air fried ones are healthier than the deep fried Buffalo Wings! What more can you ask?
What is gochujang?
Gochujang is Korean pepper flakes – gochugaru (I use this pepper flakes to make kimchi) – that’s been fermented for months with rice malt, alcohol, and some other ingredients that aid in the fermentation process. The process takes about 4-6 months under the full sun. In Korea, it’s common to see mesh covered clay pots with reddish paste inside from Fall to Spring, until right before the monsoon season begins. Then the pots are covered to continue the process while consuming it. If you ever want to make it – and I applaud you for trying – Kimchimari has a great tutorial with pictures. My grandmother and mom used to make it in Korea but here in the states, it’s easier to buy from Korean grocery stores. And honestly, my HOA would have a fit for having vats of semi-opened clay pots with fermenting, often smelly, gochujang.
Fermenting anything smells. Have you ever smelled kombucha while fermenting? Or kimchi?
If you don’t want to buy it or make it, I guess you could possibly substitute the gochugaru and gochujang with other peppery sauces but then, you will miss out on its unique taste. Many people compare gochujang with Sriracha but I don’t think they are at all similar. Gochujang is not sour and has an earthier taste.
One thing when you buy gochujang is to read the ingredients to make sure it’s wheat flour or soy free. Also, make sure there’s no High Fructose Corn Syrup. You will be glad you took the extra efforts to make this finger licking good wings with original Korean spices. And sit with a pitcher of your favorite drink and be ready to be awakened by bursts of hot sexy bold flavors!
Did I say sexy and bold? Yup. I said it. These are sexy and bold.
These will be a huge hit on your next game night. Guaranteed.
Air Fried Paleo Korean Chicken Wings
Note: You can always adjust the degree of heat with less gochugaru and gochujang. The recipe in the book does not include honey but it’s optional if you want a little sweetness. So I added it in this version.
Also, just in case you didn’t see my last posts, Philips Avance XL is the air fryer I use and hands down, it is the best air fryer there is. Philips is a reliable company with great customer service and their air fryer is a work horse!
Air Fried Healthy Korean Chicken Wings
- 16 chicken wings
- 1 tsp garlic chopped
- 1 tsp ginger grated
- 1 tbsp gochujang
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- 1 tbsp scallion diagonally sliced, for garnish
Korean Chicken Wings Sauce
- Separate the drummettes from the wingettes and discard the tips. Combine the chicken parts with garlic, ginger, Gochujang, and marinate overnight.
- Make the Korean Chicken Wings Sauce by combining all the ingredients in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- When ready to cook, preheat the air fryer to 360°F.
- Take the wings out of the refrigerator and blot the liquid from the wings with paper towel. When the air fryer reaches the desired temperature, place as many wings in the basket as you can and set the timer for 12 minutes. Shake the basket at half way and turn over any wings that are not browning.
- Meanwhile, transfer the marinade to a medium saucepan and simmer on low heat. Reserve 2 Tbsp of the marinade to serve on he side.
- When the timer goes off, transfer all the wings to the pan and coat the wings with the sauce.
- Return the wings to the air fryer, set the timer for 3 minutes at 360°F. and cook until the timer goes off. Transfer the chicken wings to a plate, sprinkle sesame seeds and scallion before serving with the remaining sauce on the side.
- You can make these chicken wings in a convection oven at 350ºF on a rack for 15-17 minutes. Turn the wings over at half way to ensure all sides are cooked evenly.
- Normally, sweetener is not used but if you like the sauce to be sweeter and less peppery, you can add 1 tbsp of raw honey to the sauce to coat before frying for the second time.
Image: Donna Crous of Eighty20Nutrition