Southern California is a huge ethnic melting pot/salad bowl with large ethnic groups such as Vietnamese, Koreans, Chinese, Thai, Philipinos, and Latinos – and each group has made it’s mark on the culinary landscape. One such culinary notch is Korean fried chicken wings.
While fried chicken may be something American’s consider their own, the Korean style is also extremely delicious. Their method of a very lightly battered and double fried chicken wing renders out the fat and results in an ultra crispy and delicious wing. Add to that a variety of glazes such as ginger soy and spicy glaze, it’s no wonder Korean fried chicken joints are popping up all over the West and East Coasts.
We don’t deep fry very often but we had access to a deep fryer and had to make our version of Korean fried chicken wings for a birthday party. We adapted Maangchi’s Sweet and Crispy Fried Chicken to make it similar to the ones we’ve had here in Los Angeles. The Korean chicken wings at Kyochan or Bon Chan have a very thin crust and so instead of using your typical flour and egg batter, we used Wondra flour which is a super fine flour – great for crispying things up – a tip we got from Chef Eric Ripert on his cooking show, Avec Eric.
Korean Fried Chicken Wings with Ginger Soy Glaze
(adapted from Cooking Korean Food with Maangchi)
2-3 lbs. chicken wings (tips discarded, and wings cut at the joints-washed and pat dry)
1 cup of Wondra flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Soy Ginger Glaze:
1 cup water
1 cup thinly sliced ginger
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoon honey or corn syrup
1-2 tablespoons Korean fermented chile or rooster brand garlic chile or red pepper flakes (adjust according to your tastes)
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds (optional)
First prep the chicken wings, wash, and pat dry with paper towel. In a mixing bowl, combine about 1 cup of Wondra flour, salt, and pepper. Dredge the chicken wings in the flour mixture to get a fine light coat.
Heat some cooking oil in a deep fryer or a deep frying pan to about 350 degrees F. Fry chicken wings, in batches if necessary, about 5 minutes. Remove, and shake any excess flour/grit off and allow to cool.
Now in a small saucepan, add the water, ginger, soy sauce, vinegar, chile, sugar and bring to boil. Then add the honey/corn syrup and reduce by half and it will be a thick maple syrup like consistency and set aside.
Re-fry the wings until crispy golden brown, about another 5-8 minutes. Drain on frying rack or paper towels. Dredge or brush on the soy ginger glaze. We also like to finish with some toasted sesame on top.