This is the BEST Korean fried chicken recipe! Follow our recipe with step by step photo reference to make the crispiest, juiciest, and most flavor Korean fried chicken at home with two sauce options - soy garlic and sweet and spicy gochujang.
You've heard it. There's something special about Korean fried chicken that classic fried chicken can't compete with. So what's is so special about Korean fried chicken?
Korean fried chicken is known for it's ultra crispiness that last for an extended amount of time longer than regular fried chicken. And that is something we all love. But besides being super crispy, Korean fried chicken is known to be paired with some of the most addictive sauces! Soy garlic sauce and sweet and spicy gochujang sauce being the most popular.
Now, that we've finally decoded and found the perfect Korean fried chicken recipe, don't forget to pair these addictive fried chicken with Korean corn dogs and kkwabaegi (Korean twisted donuts) for the ultimate Korean streetfood fest!
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the ingredient quantities!
For the wings:
- Chicken wings - Our wings are separated into drumettes and flats. Feel free to keep them together if you prefer.
- Water - A little bit of water is used to marinate the wings. This would help the seasonings dissolve and hydrate the wings, like when brining meat.
- Salt and sugar - These two are the basics of the marinade.
- Onion and garlic powder - These two seasonings are optional, but we recommend using them to give the wings more flavor.
To make the wet batter:
- Fry mix - Feel free to use this Korean fry mix or make our homemade version with everyday pantry ingredients. Both work great!
- Cornstarch - You could also use potato starch instead. However, having starch in the mix is essential for making Korean fried chicken. The addition of starch is one of the secrets to why Korean fried chicken is so crispy!
- Water - This is the liquid use to make the wet batter. Just make sure to use water that's at last room temperature or cooler because the fry batter uses baking powder.
If making homemade fry mix:
- All-purpose flour - All-purpose flour is the base for the fry mix and gives fried chicken their classic crispy outsides.
- Cornstarch - Potato starch is a good substitute if you don't want to use cornstarch. However, a starch is important in this fry mix because it's one of the reasons that makes Korean fried chicken super crispy.
- Salt, sugar, and black pepper - These three are the basic seasonings for seasoning the fry mix. Also, we highly recommend using fine salt or table salt.
- Baking powder - Having baking powder in the mix is very important. It prevents the starch from giving Korean fried chicken an unpleasant hard crunch. It leavens the mix so that the the chicken gets an airier crisp.
- Onion, garlic, and ginger powder - These three are the optional seasonings. Although they are optional, we highly recommend having them in the fry mix. They add lots of flavor and will make the fried chicken tastier.
- Gochugaru - This is also known as Korean red pepper flakes. If using, make sure to use the fine ground gochugaru, NOT the coarse version. It adds a nice color to the fry and adds just a touch of spice.
For the soy garlic sauce:
- Soy sauce - Our recipe is based on low sodium soy sauce. If using regular soy sauce, you may want to use a tablespoon less.
- Corn syrup and sugar - Although both add sweetness to the sauce, corn syrup's main purpose is to make the sauce sticky and glossy, while the granulated sugar is the one that makes the sauce sweet.
- Garlic - Gotta have fresh garlic to make the best soy garlic sauce! Feel free to cut the garlic into thin slices instead of minced if you prefer.
- Gochugaru - Aka Korean red pepper flakes. Just to add a little hint of spice, but gochugaru is totally optional. If using, either the fine ground or coarse version is fine.
For the sweet and spicy gochujang sauce:
- Gochujang - Also, known as Korean red pepper paste. Gochujang is the base of this sauce, which gives the sauce thickness, heat, mild sweetness, and mild savoriness. Do note that some gochujang are extra hot, so make sure to read the label!
- Honey and sugar - Both of these adds sweetness to the sauce. Honey has a very distinctive flavor, so sugar is added to prevent honey from becoming too overpowering.
- Soy sauce - We used low sodium soy sauce for the recipe. If using regular soy sauce, reduce it by ½ to 1 tablespoon. Soy sauce helps to balance out the sweetness and add a bit of umami to the sauce.
- Garlic and ginger - These two aromatics adds depth to the sauce. Garlic makes the sauce more savory, and ginger helps to keep the sauce and Korean fried chicken a bit more refreshing.
How to make Korean fried chicken
Please scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe and instructions!
1. Marinate wings. Combine the wings with water, salt, sugar, onion and garlic powder. Mix until well combined and most of the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.
🌟 Pro tip: If you have time, allow the wings to marinate for about 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge. If refrigerating, allow the chicken wings to warm up at room temperature for an even fry.
2. Make the wet batter. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the wet batter. Set aside. Feel free to use store-bought fry mix or make your own.
3. Prepare fry station. Heat the oil to 335°F for the first fry. Also, prepare a sheet pan lined with paper towels or a cooling rack, tongs, thermometer if needed, and a wide bowl with about 1 cup of fry mix.
4. Batter the wings. Transfer the marinated chicken wings to the prepared bowl of wet batter and mix to coat each wing well. Then, place the wings into the prepared bowl of fry mix and coat well. Pack the fry mix onto the wings and dust off the excess if necessary.
📝 Note: There may be excess liquid leftover from the marinade. Please do not add it into the batter. It will make the fry batter too thin.
5. First fry. Fry the battered wings at 335°f for 5 minutes. Then, remove and let them rest for 5 minutes. Fry in batches if needed.
6. Second fry. After resting, refry the wings at 350°F for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the wings cooked through (with an internal temperature of 165°F) and the outside is golden brown and crispy. Remove the wings and let them cool for a few minutes before enjoying.
Sauces for Korean fried chicken
Our Korean fried chicken is so super flavorful and can be enjoyed without any sauces. However, Korean fried chicken wings are known for their addictive sauce pairings after all, so here are two of our favorites:
Soy garlic sauce:
Combine soy sauce, corn syrup, sugar, garlic, and optionally, gochugaru, and bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat. Let the sauce simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened.
📝 Note: This sauce will become thicker and sticker when cooled, so don't over-reduce it! It's also best to toss the wings straight into the pan with the sauce. This wings can be more evenly coated.
Sweet and spicy gochujang sauce:
Combine gochujang, honey, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger, and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let the sauce simmer for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has thickened.
📝 Note: This sauce is on the thicker side. So if you're like me, I recommend brushing the wings with the sauce or dipping them.
- DO NOT overcrowd the oil. Overcrowding the oil when frying will drastically drop the oil temperature. This will result in having under cooked chicken and/or a soggy fry that's oily. So fry in batches if necessary.
- Use potato starch or cornstarch depending on your preference on crispiness. Either starch is suitable for making the Korean fried chicken fry mix and batter. However, the potato starch will yield a lighter, airier crisp while the cornstarch will give a crunchier crisp. So feel free to use the one that will yield the texture you prefer.
- DO NOT skip the baking powder. The baking powder is essential for leavening the fry mix and fry batter. Without it, the fried chicken will be have a hard crunch rather than a pleasant crunch.
Storage and reheating
Leftover Korean fried chicken can be stored in the fridge, in an airtight container, for up to 4 days. Just make sure to let the wings cool completely before refrigerating.
If the fried chicken has not been tossed in sauce, it can be reheated in the microwave, oven, or an air fryer. To reheat in the oven, bake the oven on a sheet pan for 5 to 10 minutes at 350°F, until warmed through. For the air fryer, air fry for about 5 minutes at 325°F until warmed through. Do note that reheated wings will not be as crispy or as juicy as when freshly fried.
For wings already tossed in sauce, cover and microwave until heated through.
Korean fried chicken is super crispy because of two reasons - the addition of starch to the fry mix and the use of the double frying method.
Korean fried chicken batter is usually made of wheat flour, starch (usually potato or cornstarch), seasonings, baking powder, and water.
For making Korean fried chicken, both potato starch and cornstarch are suitable. The difference is the texture each will give the fried chicken. Cornstarch will give the fried chicken a crunchy crisp, while the potato starch will give the fried chicken a lighter, airier crisp, like potato chips.
Yes. It is very important that baking powder is added to the fry mix, especially if cornstarch is used. Baking powder leavens the batter and give the fried chicken a lighter, desirable crunch. If baking powder is not used, the fried chicken will most likely have a hard crunch that will not be very pleasant.
We normally use canola oil for frying because it's neutral tasting and what we can usually buy in a large amount. If you prefer and is not allergic, peanut oil is a great choice as well. It will add a subtle nutty flavor to the fried chicken.
What to do with leftover oil
Leftover oil can be reused for cooking or more frying. Transfer the leftover oil into a heatproof bowl, jar, or container. Let the oil cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap or a lid. If you're uncomfortable with handling hot oil, set the oil aside to cool first!
If you plan on reusing the oil again, make sure to strain it through a fine mesh strainer or a couple layers or cheesecloth to remove any debris. Keep the oil in a cool, dark place and use within a couple of weeks.
If you're disposing oil, pour it into a jar or a container that can be sealed. Dispose of it in your trashcan. DO NOT pour it down your drain! It may damage your pipes and also cause damage to the environment!
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Korean Fried Chicken
For the wings:
For the wet batter:
Homemade fry mix (if making):
- 1 cup all-purpose flour fluffed, spooned, and leveled
- ½ cup cornstarch or potato starch
- 4 teaspoons salt (preferably fine salt or table salt)
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 teaspoons onion powder (optional)
- 3 teaspoons garlic powder (optional)
- 3 teaspoons ground ginger (optional)
- 2 teaspoons black pepper finely ground (optional)
- 2 teaspoons gochugaru (fine ground) Also known as Korean red pepper flakes. Make sure to use the fine ground version NOT coarse (optional)
(Optional) Soy garlic sauce:
Prepare the wings:
- Marinate the wings:In a large mixing bowl, combine the wings, water, salt, sugar, onion and garlic powder. Mix well until well combined and the water is mostly absorbed. Set aside until needed.*If you have time, allow the wings to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature or overnight in the fridge.*
- Make the homemade fry mix (if making):Combine all of the ingredients for the fry mix in a mixing bowl and whisk until well combined. Set aside until needed.
- Make the wet batter:In a mixing bowl, whisk together ¼ cup of the store-bought or homemade fry mix, cornstarch, and water until smooth. It will be a very loose batter. Set aside until needed.
- Prepare the fry station:Heat the oil to 335°F for the first fry. Feel free to use a fryer or a pan. If using a pan, make sure to use at least 2 to 3 inches of oil. Also, prepare a sheet pan lined with paper towels or a cooling rack for resting the wings. Lastly, Place about 1 cup of store-bought fry mix or the remaining homemade fry mix in a wide mixing bowl for dry dredging.
- Batter the wings:Place the marinated wings into the prepared bowl of wet batter. Make sure to not pour any excess liquid from the marinade into the wet batter and batter in batches if needed. Mix and coat the wings well.
- Place the battered wings into the bowl of dry fry mix. A few or one at a time is recommended and try to let excess wet batter drip off. Dredge the wings well with fry mix. Gently press the fry mix onto the wings if needed. Dredge in batches if needed.
Fry the wings:
- For the first fry:After dredging in the fry mix, shake the wings to dust off the excess fry mix. Carefully place them into the hot oil and fry for 5 minutes. If needed, occasionally turn the wings to get an even fry. Make sure to not overcrowd the oil and maintain the heat at 335°F. Fry in batches if necessary.
- After 5 minutes, remove the wings and let them rest for 5 minutes on the prepared sheet pan.
- For the second fry:Increase the oil temperature to 350°F and maintain it. After the wings have rested, carefully place them back into the oil and fry for another 4 to 5 minutes, until the wings are cooked through (registering 165°F internally) and the outside is golden and crispy. Remove the wings from the oil and let them rest on the prepared sheet pan for a couple of minutes.
- Enjoy the wings while they are hot, as they are, or tossed in soy garlic sauce or the sweet and spicy gochujang sauce.
(Optional) Soy garlic sauce:
- Combine all the ingredients for the soy garlic sauce in a fry pan (soy sauce, corn syrup, sugar, and garlic).
- Over medium heat, bring the mixture up to a simmer and let it cook for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and is sticky. Stir occasionally.
- Add the wings to the sauce and toss until the wings are evenly coated with sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds if desired. Enjoy!
(Optional) Sweet & spicy gochujang sauce:
- Combine all the ingredients for the gochujang sauce in a frying pan (gochujang, honey, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger).
- Heat the mixture over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Let the sauce cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce thickened.
- Add the wings to the sauce and toss until the wings are evenly coated. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced green onions if desired. Enjoy!
- Potato starch vs cornstarch - Either starches can be used for this recipe, however, they will result in different textures. Cornstarch will give a crunchier crisp while potato starch will give a lighter, airier crisp, like a potato chip.
- Seasonings - Although seasonings other than sugar and salt are optional, we still highly recommend it for the best tasting Korean fried chicken.