Sticky, sweet, and spicy, can you believe these crispy gochujang wings are made in the air fryer?
If you like wings with a sweet and savory sauce, then these gochujang wings are for you. Inspired by Korean fried chicken, these wings are crispy on the outside and might make you think they were deep-fried. Surprise! They are super easy to make in the air fryer. This scalable wing recipe is perfect for a holiday gathering or game day, so what are you waiting for, go buy some wings!
*This post is sponsored by Local Hive HoneyTM, as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for your support!
WHAT IS GOCHUJANG?
There is a good chance you’ve run into this ingredient before, even if you have never been to an Asian specialty market. If you don’t know what gochujang is, it is a sweet, spicy, and fermented red chili paste that is commonly used in Korean cooking. Made from gochu-garu, glutinous rice, meju powder, yeotgireum, and salt, this thick paste is a great ingredient to use in marinades or sauces. If you have had gochujang before then you know it has a STRONG flavor on its own, and depending on what you are making needs to be balanced with other flavors. This recipe pairs that strong flavor with sweet honey, herbaceous cilantro, and a little bit of acid to make a finger licking wing sauce.
HOW TO GET CRISPY AIR FRYER WINGS
Have you tried to make crispy wings in the air fryer and they came out … well not so crispy and dry. Below are tips and tricks to get deep fried texture in the air fryer.
DO NOT OVER CROWD
If you have an air fryer, then you know the key to crispy food is to not over crowd the basket. Depending on how large your air fryer is, and how many wings you have, this recipe could call for 3 rounds of cooking. Do not cut corners by stacking the wings on top of each other. Make sure each wing is lying flat on the bottom grate with some room in between. For reference I have the Ninja AF101 and I was able to fit 6-7 wings easily in the basket.
ROTATE FOR EVEN COOKING
These wings require 1 turn midway through cooking to ensure the entire wing is golden brown and crispy. Halfway through pause the air fryer and pull the basket out. With a set of tongs flip the wings, spray (we will get to that next), and place the basket back in to cook the other side.
SPRAY SPRAY SPRAY
The ultimate hack to getting that deep fry texture in the air fryer is to use spray oil. I am talking real cooking oil not one that has additives. I like to use avocado oil, however since the air fry temp is only 390 you can use olive oil, canola, or vegetable spray. Place the wings in the basket and generously spray the tops of each wing. When you flip midway, spray once more to get the bottoms. I found this method guaranteed a golden crispy wing that wasn’t dry.
Not all air fryers are created equal. This recipe calls for a basket air fryer which I find can actually get things pretty crispy vs an oven air fryer. If you know that your air fryer needs to be placed on a hotter or lower temp or take more or less time feel free to adjust cook time and temp.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED FOR CRISPY GOCHUJANG WINGS
WINGS + BREADING
Wings – This gochujang wings recipe calls for 1 – 1 1/2 lbs of chicken wings, drums and winglets, but can easily be doubled for a larger crowd. Go small, trust me. The breading will beef up these wings significantly. I bought “party wings”, but whatever small wings you can find works.
Panko Breadcrumbs – Use regular, unseasoned panko. Truth be told I used Japanese panko. I find that Japanese panko gives these wings a slightly better texture. Either way avoid pre-seasoned bread crumbs.
Egg – Used to adhere the breading. These wings are double dipped to give a great thick crispy crust, similar to Korean fried chicken.
Oil Spray – The key to getting crispy air fryer wings. Does this recipe require you to spray both sides? Yes. Is it absolutely worth it? Also, yes. I use an avocado oil spray, but if you have a canola, vegetable, or even olive oil spray that works at well. Avoid EVOO, and make sure you aren’t using a cooking spray that has a ton of other ingredients added.
HONEY GOCHUJANG SAUCE
Honey – Repeat after me, I will use good honey. If you aren’t aware or haven’t seen any of my other recipes that uses honey, then let me tell you, not all honey is created equal. Whether it’s these spicy and sweet gochujang wings, crispy Brussels sprouts, or even hot honey chicken my go-to is always Local Hive HoneyTM. Quality is always at the forefront of their products, working with over 250 beekeepers across the US Local HiveTM bottles 23+ different varietals of 100% US raw & unfiltered honey. Each varietal has its own flavor profile which comes from the local pollen sources in which the honey originates from. Even more exciting this recipe uses the latest varietal, Cali Valley Harvest Reserve Honey. Cali Valley is mellow, citrus-tinged, and rich in flavor which comes from unique blend of floral sources: forget-me-not, orange, and lemon blossoms nestled in the San Bernardino Valley. You can find more information about Local Hive as a whole as well as order this limited-edition bottle online at www.LocalHiveHoney.com.
Gochujang – These days gochujang can be found outside Asian specialty markets, located in the international aisle, or Asian aisle of many chain supermarkets. It is often sold in a hard rectangle red box. Order it online HERE!
Ginger – Fresh only! Grated on a microplane or the tiny hole side of a box grater.
Rice Vinegar – Absolutely necessary, the thick strong flavor of the sauce needs a touch of acid to break it up.
Garlic – Fresh only! Grated on a microplane or the tiny hole side of a box grater.
Sesame Oil -Toasted preferred, un-toasted also works.
Butter -Seems odd, but let’s remember that buffalo sauce has a whole lot of butter too.
Furikake – If you have a favorite, definitely use that, if not choose a basic furikake (ie. not one that has bonito or wasabi in it). Look for one that consists of nori (dried seaweed), sesame seeds, sugar, and salt if possible. Call me basic but I love the one that Trader Joes sells
Buttermilk – The key to a good ranch, equal parts buttermilk, mayo, and sour cream. Feel free to swap out the buttermilk for regular milk. You will lose a bit of the funk that ranch has, but I understand that sometimes buying a carton of buttermilk for one recipe can be annoying.
Sour Cream – Must be sour cream, do not swap out for greek yogurt.
Air Fryer – I can’t believe I am saying this, but you need an air fryer for this recipe. If you have been here for a while, then you know I was always anti-air fryer. It wasn’t until I bought one to make French fries that I realized what the hype was about. Making these wings in the air fryer not only simplifies the process and cuts down on oil but also keeps them crispy post-cooking. If you are a pro deep fryer though, with no air-fryer absolutely take that route.
HOW TO MAKE CRISPY GOCHUJANG WINGS
Make the Honey Gochujang Sauce – In a saucepan over low heat, add all the sauce ingredients (butter, honey, gochujang, rice vinegar, sesame oil, grated garlic, and ginger). Yes, no pre-sautéing the garlic and ginger, no melting the butter prior—just throw everything into a pot and give it a good mix to combine. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool. As it begins to cool, it will thicken up, so don’t worry if it feels a little thin.
Prep the Chicken Wings and Stations- Remove the chicken wings from the package and dry them with a paper towel. Season with a heavy pinch of salt on both sides. On the side, beat the eggs in one bowl, combine the flour and cornstarch in another, and, finally, place the panko in the third bowl. It is extremely important that you are salting throughout, so add a heavy pinch of salt to the eggs and panko.
Bread the Chicken Wings – Working with a few wings at a time, coat them first in the egg, then in the flour/cornstarch mixture, followed by another dip in the egg, and finally, coat with the panko. Make sure to pack the panko down. Place all the finished wings on a sheet pan or a plate on the side.
Air Fry to Crispy – Preheat the air fryer to 390°F for 3 minutes. Spray one side of the wings with oil and place that side up in the basket. Be careful not to overcrowd the basket. Depending on the size of your wings, cook for 7-9 minutes before pausing the air fryer and flipping them. Give them another spray and continue cooking until they are cooked through (approximately another 7 minutes). Take them out and repeat the frying steps for the next batch until all the wings are cooked.
Make the Ranch – This couldn’t be easier. In a bowl combine the buttermilk, sour cream, and mayo. Add in the furikake and garlic powder. Enjoy immediately or place in the fridge until the wings are done.
Store leftover gochujang wings in the fridge for 2-3 days. It is best to store before coated in the sauce however if you coated all of them they can still be reheated. I highly recommend you reheat the same way you cooked them. In the air fryer at 350F degrees for a few minutes until they are crispy and warmed throughout.
Need another recipe to use this delicious honey? Check out the recipes below!
Sticky, sweet, and spicy these air fryer gochujang wings are blah blah
Cuisine Asian, Korean
Keyword Air Fryer, Game Day, Wings
1 – 1 1/2lbsparty wingssmall, drums and winglets
cooking sprayavocado, canola, vegetable, or olive
Honey Gochujang Sauce
1tsp sesame oil
4clovesgarlicgrated on a microplane or small holes box grater
1/2tspgingergrated on a microplane or small holes box grater
Honey Gochujang Sauce
In a saucepan over low heat add butter, honey, gochujang, rice vinegar, sesame oil, grated garlic and ginger.
Bring to a simmer and simmer for 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and place on the side to cool.
Crispy Air Fryer Wings
Remove the chicken wings from the package and dry with a paper towel. Season with a heavy pinch of salt on both sides.
On the side set up your breading station; beat the eggs in one bowl, combine the cornstarch and flour in another, and place the panko in the third. Salt the eggs and panko with a heavy pinch of salt.
Working with a few wings at a time coat them in the egg, flour/cornstarch, followed by more egg, then the panko. Make sure you pack the panko down. Place all finished wings on a sheet pan or a plate on the side.
Preheat the air-fryer at 390℉ for 3 minutes.
Depending on how large the air fryer basket is place 5-7 wings in the basket and spray heavily with a spray oil.
Cook for 7-9 minutes before pausing the air fryer and flipping the wings over. Spray once more and cook until thoroughly cooked and crispy (approx. another 7 minutes).
It is easiest to dip the wings when the sauce is still a little warm. Either place the wings in a large bowl and top with the sauce and mix, or dip each wing individually. Top with chopped cilantro and sesame seeds.
In a bowl combine the mayo, sour cream, and mayo. Add in the furikake and garlic powder.