This crispy Korean fried chicken is cooked in an air fryer and glazed with a sweet and spicy sauce that is highly addictive. Get your beer ready it’s Chimaek 치맥 time. You might be asking if it is possible to have delicious restaurant-style spicy Korean fried chicken without the mess of deep frying. This air fryer fried chicken is pretty close without all of the mess of deep frying and the danger of hot oil.
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In South Korea Chimaek 치맥 or the eating of chicken while drinking beer drinking is a very popular social activity. Due to the increasing popularity of K-Pop and K-Dramas, it is gaining in popularity in North America.
Today I am using chicken wings but you can use any chicken pieces that you like, but skinless chicken thighs work best. Just cut up into bite-sized pieces and cook the same way. adjust your cooking time to cook all the way thru.
Prior to brining the wings, I will slash them to allow the brine to penetrate and for faster cooking. I make two slashes on each side of each wing.
To add flavor to the wings we will wet brine them overnight. If you only have an hour or two that also works.
To a small bowl add water, salt, and sugar. Mix to dissolve the salt and sugar then add the chicken wings. Cover with plastic wrap then place them into the fridge overnight. Before using drain and dry with paper towels.
To ensure a nice thick crispy cust we will be using a dry batter and a wet batter. I will keep them basic today but feel free to experiment. Or you can just buy a Korean fry batter and season how you like.
All-purpose flour: You can use just about any wheat flour, cake, or fine flour that works great.
Potato starch: For a crunchy coating. Corn starch also works but potato starch ensures extra crispy wings.
Salt: For flavor.
White pepper: I use white to prevent spots but black pepper also works great.
Garlic powder: To add flavor to the crust
Onion powder: To add flavor to the crust
Korean red pepper flakes or Gochugaru: To add a little spice to the crust.
Optionally you can add a little curry powder.
Prepare your dry and wet batters.
Place the dry batter into a large plastic bag.
Place your wet batter ingredients into a bowl. Dip your dry chicken into the wet batter then add to the bag with the dry batter. Toss the chicken in the bag to coat it with the dry batter. Remove the coated chicken and place it onto a wire rack. Allow to air dry on the rack for fifteen minutes. This will allow the crust to set onto the chicken. After fifteen minutes check for wet spots. If you have wet spots toss in the dry batter and shake off any excess.
For easy cleanup line the bottom of your air fryer with parchment paper and preheat your air fryer to 350F (175). To prevent sticking spray your air fryer rack with nonstick spray. To ensure the crispiness of your crust spray the outside of the chicken with cooking spray. SIn a single layer place the chicken wings into the preheated air fryer. Ensure they have enough space for airflow. Cook for about ten minutes.
After fifteen minutes flip the chicken over and continue cooking until you have crispy wings and the internal temperature is 165F (74C). This should take another ten minutes.
While the chicken is cooking you can make the sweet and spicy chicken sauce.
Yangnyeom in Korean means seasoned but is usually referring to a spicy gochujang sauce. This is what we will be seasoning our Korean chicken wings with today.
Yangnyeom sauce ingredients:
Ketchup: Brings a sweet and sour flavor profile to the sauce.
Korean red pepper paste or Gochujang paste has a depth of flavor and is spicy.
Korean red pepper flakes or Gochugaru is used to control the spice level of the sauce.
Raw sugar: For sweetness and flavor but you can also use brown sugar.
Agave syrup: Normally corn syrup is used by I prefer agave.
Fresh garlic: Fresh is so much better than dried.
Sesame oil: Brings a fresh nuttiness to the sauce. But a little goes a long way.
Soy sauce: Brings umami but the recipe already has enough salt for me.
Chicken bullion: Brings a little MSG to the party. It’s up to you if you want to use it.
Place all of the ingredients into a small saucepan on medium-low heat bring continue to stir the sauce until it comes to a simmer. Turn off the heat and set aside until ready to use. The sauce can be made the day before and stored in an airtight container.
After your Korean fried chicken wings are cooked add them to a large mixing bowl. Add some of your yangnyeaom sauce and toss.
Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.
A very popular side dish served with Korean fried chicken is a Korean pickled radish recipe or chicken mu. Mu is Korean radish if your area’s Asian grocery stores dos not have mu daikon is the best substitute.
First, cut your mu into cubes. Then add some sea salt and toss. This will pull out some of the moister from the radish. Allow to sit for one hour, and give a toss every fifteen minutes or so. After one hour drain off the excess water. Taste to mu. If it’s salty give it a rinse. Then add your pickling liquid. Its a very basic ratio of 1 1 1. 1 part white vinegar, 1 part white sugar, and 1 part water. Stir it to dissolve the sugar (it takes a bit of stirring). Then pour over the mu and allow to sit overnight.
For a great side dish, you can try this crispy air fryer smashed potatoes recipe from Shruthi.
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- 22 oz Chicken wings
- 2 Cup Water
- 1/2 Tablespoon Salt
- 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
- 1/2 Cup All-purpose flour
- 1/4 Cup Potato starch
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon White pepper
- 3/4 Cup Water cold
Yangnyeom Spicy wing sauce
- 6 seconds Cooking spray
- 1/2 teaspoon Sesame seeds for garnish
- 1 each green onion for garnish
Brine the wings
- On each wing section cut two slashes on each side.22 oz Chicken wings
- Mix together 2 cups of water, 1/2 Tablespoon salt, and 1/2 Tablespoon of sugar. Add the wings to the liquid.2 Cup Water, 1/2 Tablespoon Salt, 1/2 Tablespoon Sugar
- Brine the wings overnight.
- Pour off the brine liquid and dry the wings with paper towels.
- To make the dry batter in a large plastic bag mix 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup potato starch, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes.1 Cup All-purpose flour, 1/2 Cup Potato starch, 2 teaspoons Baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon Salt, 1/2 teaspoon White pepper, 1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon Onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
- To a bowl add 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 cup potato starch, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, and 3/4 cup water.1/2 Cup All-purpose flour, 1/4 Cup Potato starch, 1/4 teaspoon Salt, 1/2 teaspoon White pepper, 3/4 Cup Water
- To a small sauce pan add 3 Tablespoons ketchup, 1.5 Tablespoons red pepper paste, 1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes, 2 Tablespoons raw sugar, 2 tablespoons agave syrup, 2 cloves of finely minced fresh garlic, 1/2 teaspoon of sesame oil.3 Tablespoons Ketchup, 1.5 Tablespoons Red pepper paste, 1/2 Tablespoon Red pepper flakes, 2 Tablespoon Raw sugar, 2 Tablespoon Agave syrup, 2 Cloves Garlic, 1/2 teaspoon Sesame oil
- While stirring on medium heat bring sauce to s simmer.
- Set sauce aside until ready.
Cook the wings.
- Dip the dry wings into the wet batter. After dipping them into the wet batter add them to the bag with the dry batter.
- After all of the wings are in the bag tie the bag and give a good shake to evenly coat the wings.
- Place the wings onto a baking sheet or wire rack.
- Let them set for 15 minutes.
- Preheat your air fryer to 350F.
- Spray the air fryer tray with cooking spray.
- Spray the wings with cooking spray.6 seconds Cooking spray
- Place the wings into the air fryer and cook for 15 minutes.
- Flip the wings over.
- Return the wings to the air fryer and cook until golden brown and the internal temp is 165F.
- Remove from the air fryer and garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.1/2 teaspoon Sesame seeds, 1 each green onion
- 1 pound Radish Korean radish or Mu
- 1 Tablespoon Salt Sea salt
- 1 Cup Vinegar
- 1 Cup Sugar
- 1 Cup Water
- Cut radish into cubes1 pound Radish
- Add salt to the radish and toss. Let sit for one hour, turning every 15 mintes.1 Tablespoon Salt
- Pour off the salty water that came out of the radish.
- Mix together 1 cup vinegar, 1 cup sugar, and 1 cup water. Add this to the radish. Ensure the radish is covered with liquid.1 Cup Vinegar, 1 Cup Sugar, 1 Cup Water, 1 pound Radish
- Allow the radish to soak overnight. It is now ready to serve.