Ideas in Food's Korean-Style Chicken Wings

By • January 28, 2014 • 46 Comments



Author Notes: A genius marinade for oven-crisped chicken wings that might be even better than fried (plus a magic dipping sauce you're going to use on lots more than wings). Recipe adapted slightly from Maximum Flavor (Clarkson Potter, 2013).Genius Recipes

Serves 4 to 6

  • Neutral high smoke point oil (like vegetable, canola, or grapeseed) or spray for racks
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking soda
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon (10.5 grams) fine sea salt
  • 4 pounds (1.8 kg) whole chicken wings (smaller wing sections like drumettes and flats or wingettes will also work)
  • 1/4 cup (65 grams) tamari soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) apple juice
  • 1 tablespoon (16 grams) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) Korean red chile flakes (available at Korean markets, or substitute crushed chile flakes if unavailable)
  • 1 tablespoon (3.75 grams) toasted sesame seeds, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 grams) grated fresh ginger
  • 1 scallion, finely sliced
  1. Oil 2 wire racks and set them each over rimmed baking sheets. Put the egg whites, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and stir to dissolve the salt and baking soda. Add the chicken wings and stir to coat evenly. Remove the wings from the bowl, draining off excess marinade, and lay them out on racks set over baking sheets. Refrigerate the wings uncovered overnight for them to dry out.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450° F (235° C).
  3. Put the wings, still on the racks on the baking sheets, into the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Flip the wings over and bake for 10 minutes. Flip the wings over again and bake until a deep golden brown with a crackling skin, about 10 more minutes. Take the pans out of the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, apple juice, honey, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chile flakes, sesame seeds, garlic, ginger, and scallion.
  5. Pile the wings on a serving platter and serve the sauce alongside.
Jump to Comments (46)

Tags: Super Bowl

Comments (46) Questions (0)

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2 months ago Gourmel

I was really excited to try this over the weekend but my wings never crisped but rather the skin was so tough I couldn't even eat them. Any ideas what happened?

Astafford

3 months ago Alexandra Stafford

Made these tonight, and they were spectacular! Sauce and all. I've never eaten so many wings in one sitting in my life. Not sure if I should feel proud or sick, but the wings and sauce were a huge hit here.

Congrats on the book! Can't wait to have so many genius recipes consolidated in one place. I continue to love this column.

Miglore

3 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Thanks Alexandra! I'm so happy you liked the wings.

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5 months ago Molly Fuller

Divine!!! Ours didn't brown quite enough, but they were great. I think next time we will just grill them as we always have done, and use the sauce, which is AWESOME!!! Thank you! Served it with sesame rice and Korean coleslaw...nary a morsel left!

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5 months ago JK

Use potato starch if you can, more authentic and doesnt leave the off taste

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5 months ago CGollay

I haven't tried these yet, but that sounds like an awful large amount of baking soda. I think that when I do try them, I'll substitute baking powder for the soda, and perhaps add 1/4 tsp baking soda to aid in browning.

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6 months ago Lizziemac69

Love the technique and the way these turned out...making them again today for the second time. Drying out the chicken in the fridge is something relatively new to me, but it does the trick for offering snapping crunchy skin. The baking soda must work as a tenderizer on some level. We tossed our wings in Buffalo sauce before baking last time (and will again). They were fall-off-the-bone tender + that snappy skin. Awesome! We enjoyed with blue cheese and celery. Very, very good! (The sauce was also excellent, however, we used that for the Chicken Dumplings also found on this site! FANTASTIC! Better than any Asian restaurant we've ever had!)

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6 months ago Lizziemac69

Sorry - the recipe we used the sauce with is "Chicken Potstickers" also found on this site.

Stringio

6 months ago Michael Mangiapane

So I'm making the wings but using liquid egg whites, and the marinade seems very thin. I'm hoping they still turn out okay.

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6 months ago JK

welp..basted them, returned to the oven, flipped and repeated..another 10 minutes or so just build the outer crispiness back and allow the sauce to adhere, and lingering flavor that makes me want to tweak that 'marinade', because something tastes off. Too bad really, looked like a terrific technique. As for the color? Don't be afraid to vary the cooking times, not all recipes are exact,and all ovens are different. As for the smoke..well, clean your oven before heading into 450 land. That sounds like the issue, not the recipe. This method wold be for high heat oven baking not grilling..the method with the whites/baking soda is to crust am air dried skin, grilling would just burn that off. It's a whole different animal, just grill them like you normally would and make the sauce.

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6 months ago JK

Tasted a little off..I'm not sure if it's the baking soda or the eggwhite, or just both..something off-putting, so basting and going back in for a few minutes

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6 months ago Tyaprey

What are the ingredients for the sauce? ;-)

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

They're listed above!

Stringio

6 months ago Ingrid Parker

Is there any way to get the sodium content on this recipe? My husband has to be on a low sodium diet. Maybe these can only be for company! :-)

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Hi Ingrid, I'm sorry that I don't know the sodium content for this recipe, although there may be good services for that online. I can tell you that some of the salt, egg white, and baking soda get left behind in the bowl, so this isn't a very salty recipe.

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6 months ago Amy

Made these for that BLOW OUT super bowl yesterday. Like a previous post, I basted the wings in the sauce for the final turn in the oven. Definitely made them wonderful. Also, I used pineapple juice instead of apple and added a 1/2 t of cayenne for extra heat.

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6 months ago Rhonda35

Made these for yesterday's Super Bowl buffet. The egg white "marinade" and drying process is genius for sure! Made the wings so crispy as they cooked up. I made one change in procedure and I would do it again so thought I'd share: Step 4 has you mix the sauce in a small bowl and serve alongside the wings. I mixed the sauce in a large bowl, dumped the wings into it, tossed them around a bit, put them back on the racks and broiled the wings for 2 minutes - just enough time to cook a little bit of the sauce onto the chicken for additional flavor. I served the rest of the sauce alongside (since the chicken was cooked when tossed with the sauce) and no one used it because the flavor was baked onto the wings. They were delicious.

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6 months ago Ann Goldman

They were great, it took a bit longer to brown than instructions called for, I took a few out earlier (they were cooked) and left the remainder in the oven and they did turn a beautiful (although lighter shade) of brown. Delicious.

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6 months ago Corinne

Unless something miraculous happens in the next 10 minutes, mine aren't going to look anything like the photos. I dipped the wings in the egg white mixture last night, put them in the fridge, let them come to room temp before putting them in the oven. They've been cooking for 25 minutes and are barely browned. The rack was crowded so I moved a few to a foil-lined smaller sheet and those seem to be doing better. But i'm not getting any caramel brown wings.

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6 months ago Corinne

Ok so I just took them out of the oven and while they are cooked and brown, it's not the deep, dark brown I was anticipating. I have no problem bringing them to the neighbor's house for out Super Bowl party but I am puzzled as to what happened.

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6 months ago Rhonda35

The initial crowding on the pan is why your wings didn't get that mahogany brown coloring. From what you wrote, it sounds like they were crowded for the first 25 minutes of a 35 minute cooking session. Unfortunately, you've got to dirty two racks and two baking sheets to get these to color properly.

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6 months ago Corinne

No, they weren't. I split the wings between two baking sheets prior to putting them into the oven, as I stated above. There was plenty of room on two baking sheets and they still did not color properly.

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6 months ago Rhonda35

Oh, I guess I misunderstood. When you said "the rack was crowded so I moved a few to a foil-lined smaller sheet", it sounded like you had them all on one rack. The only other reasons for a lack of browning that I can think of would be oven-related; perhaps not fully preheated or maybe the calibration is off a bit, which is quite common in home ovens. Well, it sounds like they did brown up for you in time for the neighbors' party. Hope they were a hit!

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6 months ago Brian

What happens if the egg coating doesn't dry??

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It will still work! Hope they worked out for you.

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6 months ago Daisy

Do you think this would work with regular drumsticks? Maybe lowering the heat after the first 35 minutes?

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I haven't tried it, but others have commented that they've used legs successfully. Your plan sounds good -- I would just keep an eye on them in the oven and turn the heat down sooner if they're browning too quickly.

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6 months ago Daisy

They came out great! I think it took about twice as long to cook but the whole drumstick was crunchy with the meat nice and moist. I wished I'd made more. Serve with the Korean dipping sauce and also traditional hot wings sauce.

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6 months ago lindalu

Can I do these on the grill? (in the way described in the NY Times article a couple of days ago - rendering fat on indirect heat and then putting them in direct heat...

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6 months ago kath1

I prepped 4 massive wings to do their thing overnight, but then had to add another 8 at lunchtime. This wasn't good, it's the time needed to properly dry out that makes it crispy cos I could easily tell which was which as they cooked. More salt? Also the gas pressure was low so not sufficiently hot oven, no smoke here. But it was still lovely, and the dipping sauce is divine.

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6 months ago MaureenOnTheCape

These were quite tasty but until I can figure out what I did to create so much smoke in my house I'm afraid I won't be able to make them again. I followed the recipe to the letter, but halved the recipe. It was an acrid smoke factory for the whole 35 minutes. I thought of abandoning the project halfway through. Even with windows open and fans buzzing, it will take several days to dissipate the odor throughout the whole house. If anyone can offer ideas about why my attempt was so totally smokey, I would love to know it. They're a nice alternative to the usual BBQ sauce.

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I'm so sorry to hear this -- that never happened in our testing, except for when I used light olive oil, which had too low a smoke point, on the racks. What kind of oil did you use? Were the wings still wet when you baked them? Or was there a lot of egg residue on the sheet pan?

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6 months ago jjc

Seasoned rice vinegar or plain? Thanks !

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

We used plain!

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6 months ago arlineofva

What's the best way to reheat the wings the next day? I plan to make a lot of this recipe this weekend.

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I've crisped them back up in the oven at 350 F with good results! They didn't take long -- maybe 15 to 20 minutes.

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6 months ago Robby Sadlak

I haven't made the wings yet but will soon. What a great idea.

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6 months ago pamb

My husband and kids love more traditional wings, whereas I'd prefer the korean sauce. Can I bake the egg-white/baking-soda-bathed wings, followed by a basting of BBQ sauce + a quick trip back into the oven to meet their needs? Never made wings before...

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Yes, I think that's worth a try!

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6 months ago pamb

These turned out fabulous! After 25 minutes cooking time, I tossed half the wings in a bowl with 1/2 c Frank's Redhot Sauce + 1/3 c melted butter + 2T brown sugar and baked them for the last 10 minutes. So half were traditional hot wings and the other half were left plain -- so yummy with the Korean dipping sauce. I will definitely make these again! The drumettes are also much easier to separate from the wing once cooked, if you so choose.

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6 months ago Joe Wittine

Putting chicken wings in the oven always equals substantial smoke, in my experience. is the egg white/baking soda bath a factor?

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

The only thing that seemed to create a lot of smoke in my testing was greasing the racks with light olive oil instead of an oil with a higher smoke point. Otherwise, the egg white coating seems to help keep it contained.

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6 months ago Margie Ferraro

The only thing is that the Korean people don't eat chicken wings. The story is if men eat them in the company of their wives that she is acknowledging that he has permission to cheat.

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6 months ago Ellie Kim

As a Korean, this is quite untrue. Korean chicken wings, or "tongdak" are enjoyed by most families cooking at home now and then, not to mention all of the street vendors that offer them.

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6 months ago Robert F Hemphill

Rice vinegar is left out of the ingredient list.

Miglore

6 months ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Thank you for letting me know and sorry about that -- it should be showing up momentarily.