The Ultimate Korean-Style Spicy Chicken Wings Recipe

There are lots of recipes laying claim to the ultimate chicken wings. Alton Brown suggests that the magic lies in steaming the wings – but we tried it, and couldn’t tell the difference. Modernist Cuisine at Home also stakes claim to the ultimate, crispy chicken wings, which uses a Korean style marinade. But we’ve made a couple of tweaks which we think elevates the recipe from the delicious to the sublime.

The first alteration lies in the Korean flavours. A phenomenal idea. But Modernist Cuisine misses out doenjang – the Korean equivalent to salty Japanese miso. Gochujang, or Korean hot red pepper paste, has received tremendous press over the last six months thanks to the burgeoning interest in Korean food. But its symbiotic friend doenjang is all too often ignored, to the cook's peril. Together they create a sauce with perfect balance of heat, sweetness and umami saltiness. We often alter the ratios dependent on the dish – but we nearly always use them together.

Secondly, Modernist Cuisine deep fries their wings. But deep frying can be a chore – it involves lugging about cooking oil, and trips to the dump to get rid of it afterwards. Extractor fans which don’t extract properly fill homes with lingering deep fried aromas. And then there’s always that slight fear of flames. Pan-roasting the wings in the oven and then tossing them in a few tablespoons of rice flour just before the end of cooking creates a crisp outside without the angst…or the calories.

Ingredients Serves: 10

  • 2kg chicken wings
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp rice flour

For the sauce


  1. Heat oven to 200°C
  2. Joint the chicken wings (we particularly like this boning cleaver). Set aside the the wing-tips. They can be frozen and kept for making stock at a later date.
  3. Add a little oil to two roasting tins, and divide the wings between them. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, and turn the wings over. Roast for a further 20 minutes.
  4. While the chicken wings are roasting, prepare the sauce. Add all the sauce ingredients together into a small sauce pan, and stir gently whilst heating until combined. Set aside.
  5. After 40 mins of total cooking time, remove wings from oven and sprinkle over a little rice flour. Toss well. Return to oven for a further 20 minutes.
  6. Remove wings from oven, and pour over sauce - split evenly between the two roasting pans - and toss well. Return to oven for another 5 minutes until warmed through and a little crispy.
  7. Serve with carrot and celery sticks, or - for an American twist - cos lettuce tossed in a blue cheese dressing.
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  • Too much sugar in this recipe, otherwise spot on. Drop it down to 45g.

    MrG on

  • Wonderful! So glad you enjoyed them. Thanks for letting us know. Really interesting the dispute about sugar quantities (as per previous comment) – brown sugar does sound like a good addition :-)

    nicola on

  • Amazing!! I actually put more sugar in (light brown)- probably not authentic but gave BBQ -like sweetness that worked very well with the spicy edge from the chilli paste. Definitely be making again :D

    SamA on

  • I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Thank you for letting us know.

    nicola on

  • Absolutely wonderful! The depth of flavour is great and the heat perfect. These are my new favourite wings.

    Rory Bremner on

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