I've been in love with Korean fried chicken since I first had it at a Korean buffet, which unfortunately closed down shortly after I'd discovered it. Since then, they've been an occasional indulgence since they're quite pricey and I don't really eat out at Korean restaurants that much.
So I was quite excited when I chanced upon an amazing looking recipe for these chicken wings which looked exactly like the ones I've had at Korean restaurants. So excited infact, that chicken wings shot to the top of my grocery shopping list and the next day, I was already making these for lunch!
I don't really do much deep-frying ususally- infact, this was the first time I'd deep fried any kind of raw meat. The recipe's quite simple, but the deep-frying part is quite time consuming as you have to do it in batches, and each batch takes quite a while to cook through. Not to mention that it's quite messy too. But the end result it well worth it- delicious pieces of sticky, crunchy, tasty chicken wings, which will no doubt be finished in a fraction of the time it took to cook them!
I'd originally intended to write about these chicken wings a couple of months earlier, after making these chicken wings for the first time but with exams (and everything else that was happening in my life!), I didn't quite get around to it til now. Which is probably a good thing, because since then I've managed to make minor modifications to the recipe a bit to make it slightly healthier and easier to make :)
I made these again recently, but not wanting to wait around for them to deep fry through (or to clean up the mess afterwards), I chucked these into the oven to cook through as my gas oven is able to make pretty crispy chicken wings, especially with the flour coating (my electric oven, not so much) It's not quite as crunchy as the deep-fried ones, and it does soften more than the deep-fried ones when you put the sauce on, but it's a lot healthier and easier than deep-frying! And the sauce is so good, no-one really minded that they weren't as crunchy anyway :)
Korean Fried Chicken Recipe
Recipe from here (check it out for step-by-step instructions!)
Chicken Marinade Ingredients
3kg chicken wings
1 cup milk (can substitute with soy milk if lactose intolerant)
2 tsp salt
3 tsp ground pepper
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger
5 cloves garlic
1/2 finely grated brown onion
Chicken Coating Ingredients
3 tbsp Korean curry powder
1/2 cup potato starch
1 1/2 cup tempura flour (or substitute for 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup corn starch)
Sweet &Spicy Sauce Ingredients
1/2 onion, finely diced
1/3 cup tomato sauce (Western-style, not the Asian ones which taste completely different)
1/2 cup sweet chilli sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire/Worcester Sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1. The first thing that you need to do is prepare the chicken (of course, if you buy pre-cut and prepared chicken wings then you’re fine)A chicken wing has three sections – the ‘drumette’, the mid-wing and the wing tip. Use your meat cleaver to cut through each joint so that each wing is cut into three pieces.
2. Once your wing has been split into three pieces, cut off any thick chunks of skin from the wingette and mid-wing (there is usually 2-3 bits that can come off, you want the remaning skin to be just paper thin segments). Discard the removed skin and wing tips as they will not be used.
3. Cut three slits into each side of the drumette and mid-wing section – this will allow the pre-frying marinade to get right into the meat to keep it moist and impart a little flavour. Once you’ve prepared all the chicken wings, set aside for now.
4. Mix up the marinade in a large bowl – milk, salt, pepper, sugar, ginger, garlic and onion. Stir to combine.
5. Add the chicken and turn a few times with your hands to ensure that the chicken is evenly covered. Allow to sit for 1 hour, then drain well for at least 15 minutes.
6. Toss together the potato starch, Korean curry powder and the tempura powder in the clean plastic bag, then add the chicken and toss it around to ensure it is evenly coated.
Preheat the oil to approx 160 degrees C. Dust off any excess flour from each chicken piece, then add a few pieces to the hot oil (being careful not to overcrowd as this will make the temperature of the oil drop and affect the cooking process). Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes on each side to ensure even cooking.
Note: I skipped the deep-frying process here, and instead, chucked my wings into a preheated 180degC oven for about 45 minutes (until cooked through and crispy). It might be strange putting wings with batter into the oven, but it cooks, there will be some oil coming out of the wings which mixes with the batter and makes it super crispy!
7. Once the chicken has been deep-fried for about 10 minutes and is very lightly golden, use the slotted spoon to remove from the oil and place in your metal strainer/colander to cool. Try and keep the chicken pieces in a single layer – this avoids oil dripping from piece to piece during the cooling process, and also allows steam to escape so that the chicken coating stays crisp. Allow the chicken to sit and drain for about 10 minutes.
8. Increase the temperature of the oil to 180 degrees C, and fry the chicken for a second time for another 8-10 minutes, or until each piece is golden brown in colour (the picture below and to the right shows the colour difference between the first fry and second fry). Once all the chicken pieces have been deep-fried for a second time, set aside on your metal strainer/colander.
9. While the chicken is resting, finely dice 1 1/2 onions and saute in a a frying pan with a little olive oil
10. Once the onion is soft, add the ketchup (tomato sauce), sweet chilli sauce, water, Worcestershire/Worcester Sauce and chilli flakes. NOTE – add chilli flakes according to taste. Allow the sauce to simmer until slightly thickened.
11. Once the sauce is ready, add a few chicken pieces at a time to the sauce and give them just a very thin coating of sauce – if there is too much, then it will overpower all the other flavours in the dish.