Air Fryer Korean Chicken Wings are crunchy, sweet, spicy, and savory—in other words, they’re an explosion of flavor in every bite! 🤯 Fry it, to believe it!
Korean fried chicken (KFC), also known as Yangnyeom fried chicken, has quickly risen to fame in the United States and around the world.
The dish is highly sought-after for its signature crispy batter combined with a sticky, sweet, sour and spicy sauce. The resulting chicken is unmatched in flavor and textures, making it hard not to love!
Air fryer Korean fried chicken wings offer the same flavor profile without the hassle of double-frying, as it’s traditionally made.
We tested double air-frying and the result was just too dry and unappetizing.
Regardless, it works out better this way! Less time and less work are required to make the chicken with just a single trip to the air fryer!
Korean Fried Chicken Wings Air Fryer Recipe Ingredients
This list looks long but don’t be worried! You likely already have most of these ingredients in the fridge and pantry. And, it doesn’t hurt to know that the results will be 10000% worth it.
- Chicken wings
- Ginger, grated
- Salt and pepper
Korean Fried Chicken Sauce
- Tomato sauce (like from a can), or ketchup
- Gochujang, Korean chili paste
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Garlic, minced
- Sesame oil
Breading Mix & Batter
- Potato starch (or cornstarch)
- Baking powder
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Spring onion
- Toasted sesame seeds
📣 You can find the exact measurements and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card down below.
In order to achieve those mind-blowingly good results, we suggest following this recipe as-is rather than making substitutions. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed!
ASMR Recipe Video: Air Fried Yangnyeom Chicken Wings
Don’t have time to read? We made this short recipe video just for you. 😉
*You can find the exact amount of ingredients and adjust the number of servings in the recipe card below.
How to Make Korean Fried Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer?
This air fryer chicken wings recipe requires a little more time and effort than our typical recipes, but don’t fret! All of the techniques we employ in this recipe are simple and straightforward, and the results are well-worth it!
This recipe will probably take about an hour, but 30 minutes of that time is hands-off waiting for the chicken to marinate!
1. Prepare your chicken wings.
If starting with frozen wings, thaw them before continuing. The best way to thaw wings is in the refrigerator overnight. To thaw them faster, put them in a sealed container or bag into a bowl of cold water and change the water every 30 minutes until they are fully defrosted.
Once the wings are thawed (or if you’re using fresh), add the wings to a large bowl and pat dry with a paper towel.
If the wings are whole, rather than separated into “party wings,” carefully separate the drum, the wingette, and the wing tip. Discard the wing tip.
2. Season and marinate the wings for 30 minutes.
Toss the wings with the crushed ginger, salt and pepper. Massage the seasoning into the wings and ensure that all the wings are coated. Cover the bowl tightly in plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator.
Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 12 hours.
3. Make Korean Fried Chicken sauce.
In a medium saucepan over medium low heat, combine the tomato sauce (or ketchup), gochujang, honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, minced garlic and sesame oil. Bring the mixture to a simmer and allow to reduce until thickened. Set aside until ready to use.
🌶️ Spicy Tip: For spicier wings, use more gochujang!
4. Prepare dry batter.
Prepare the dry batter mixture that will be divided to create the wet and dry batters. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, potato starch, garlic powder and onion powder. Whisk to evenly combine.
5. Prepare wet batter.
To prepare the wet batter, in a small bowl, combine ¼ cup of the dry mix made in step 4 with ⅓ cup of water. Whisk thoroughly and set aside.
6. Preheat your air fryer to 400ºF (204ºC).
If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400ºF (204ºC) and then let it cook for 5 minutes.
For a more tender and juicy chicken wings, please don’t skip this step.
7. Dredge the marinated wings.
To prepare the wings for air-frying, first dip each wing into the wet batter, allowing any excess to drip back into the bowl before putting the wing into the dry batter. Roll the wing around in the dry batter to ensure the entire wing is coated.
Kitchen Hack: Use a large Tupperware or any container with a cover. Add your dry batter and shake to cover the wings.
8. Brush the breaded chicken wings with oil.
Using neutral cooking oil spray or a brush with neutral oil, coat each wing in a very thin layer of oil.
💡Pro Tip: Avoid buying cooking oil sprays that contain propellant. Opt for the sprays that have just the cooking oil as the only ingredient. The propellants can damage the air fryer basket coating over time.
9. Air fry chicken wings for 20-25 minutes.
When the air fryer is fully preheated, add the wings in a single layer. If you haven’t already done so, brush or spray with neutral cooking oil.
Air fry for about 10 minutes before flipping and cooking the rest of the way, another 10-15 minutes, about 20-25 minutes total.
I used a 6-quart air fryer to test this recipe. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings you are making. For optimal results, begin with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
10. Coat the air fried wings with Korean fried chicken sauce.
To check if your wings are fully cooked, insert a meat thermometer into the largest wing. The internal temperature should be at least 165°F (74°C) or higher.
When the wings are fully cooked, golden brown and crispy, transfer them to a large, clean bowl. Add the sticky Korean fried chicken sauce prepared earlier and gently toss to coat the wings.
Note: Try to use the bowl to toss the wings around rather than stirring them to avoid breaking off the crunchy coating.
11. Serve & enjoy your air fried Korean chicken wings!
Transfer the sauce-coated wings to a plate, sprinkle with chopped scallions and toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!
Now that you’ve mastered the art of Korean fried chicken in wing form, there’s no reason why you couldn’t expand into larger pieces of chicken!
You could use the same techniques and ingredients from this crunchy wing recipe on a bone-in chicken thigh, drumstick or breast! (Obviously the cooking time will be longer.)
We also strongly believe that this chicken is so good, you can enjoy it without the sauce! The breading is so flavorful and delicious that just a little sprinkle of salt would be great.
Either way, you’ve got a really delicious plate of super crunchy Korean chicken wings, just waiting to be enjoyed!
Plus, if you’re not planning on eating all the wings you’ve made right away, save some on the side without sauce: they’re much easier to heat up this way.
Freezing & Storage
The best way to store Yangnyeom chicken wings (in the fridge or freezer) is without the sauce, so if you’re not planning on eating all the wings, set some wings aside before tossing in the Korean fried chicken sauce.
Freezing: Once the wings have cooled completely, add to a freezer-style zip-top bag or airtight container and freeze for up to 2 months. To reheat, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the instructions below.
Fridge: Once the wings have cooled completely, add to a zip-top bag or airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Reheating: To reheat wings without sauce, add to an air fryer preheated to 350°F and air fry for 3-4 minutes or until heated through and crispy again. Do not overcook to avoid drying out the breading.
To reheat wings that already have sauce, transfer to an air fryer at 350°F for 4 minutes or until fully-heated through, watching closely because the sugar and honey in the sauce could make it start to burn.
Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken Wings FAQs
How to make Korean fried chicken wings in an air fryer?
To make Korean fried chicken wings in the air fryer, start by marinating your wings with a ginger mixture for 30 minutes. Then prepare the spicy sauce and breading mixture. Coat the marinated chicken wings with batter and breading mix, and air fry them for 20-25 minutes at 400°F (204°C). Finally, coat the chicken wings with the Korean fried chicken wings sauce.
Crispy & Savory Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken Wings
- 1 pound chicken wings 10-12 pieces
- 1½ teaspoon ginger grated
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
Breading Mix & Batter
- ½ cup flour
- ½ cup potato starch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup water
Korean Fried Chicken Sauce
- 3 tablespoons tomato sauce or ketchup
- 2 tablespoons Gochujang Korean chili paste
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon spring onion
- ¼ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- Get the wings ready by thawing them overnight or using fresh ones. Then, pat them dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture.
- Season the chicken wings with ginger, salt and pepper. Toss the drumettes and wingettes until fully covered, then marinate them for 30 minutes.
- Make the sauce by combining all the wet ingredients in a saucepan. Turn up the heat to medium-high and let it come to a boil. Once it boils, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Stir intermittently.
- In a large bowl, mix the dry batter: whisk together all purpose flour, potato starch, baking powder, onion powder and garlic powder.
- Next, prepare the wet batter by mixing together ¼ cup of the breading mix we made earlier and ⅓ cup of water. Set aside both of the wet and dry batter for coating.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F (204°C).
- Now, let's coat the marinated chicken wings with the wet batter, then transfer them into the dry batter mixture. Dust off any excess flour mixture and place the wings on a plate. Repeat until all the chicken wings have been breaded.
- Onto the preheated air fryer, carefully place the chicken wings. Space them out for even cooking. Then brush them generously with neutral high-smoking point cooking oil.
- Air fry for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Flip halfway to ensure even cooking. If there are any white spots, brush them with oil for a golden brown appetizing finish.
- Immediately after air-frying, coat the chicken wings with the Korean fried chicken sauce in a large bowl. Toss until fully coated. If there is any sauce left over, serve it as a dip.
- Serve with a side of rice and kimchi, and top the air fryer Korean fried chicken wings with julienned green onion and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy!
- Fresh chicken wings will yield the best results.
- If you have frozen chicken wings, thaw them overnight.
- We do not recommend defrosting them in the microwave as it may dry out the meat and potentially make it unsafe to eat.
- If your air fryer doesn’t have a preheating option, you can set the temperature to 400°F (204°C) and then let it cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Preheating and thawing your chicken wings properly will yield juicier results. Based on our tests, the longer you cook your chicken wings, the drier they will become.
- It’s not ideal to wash your chicken wings as it may contaminate your kitchen. Chicken wings are classified as white meat and should be cooked to a temperature of 165°F (74°C) or higher.
- Don’t make the crust too thick, as it will result in a starchy texture.
- As much as possible, fully coat the breaded chicken wings with oil, ensuring there is no visible dry batter. Otherwise, they may appear uncooked after air frying.
- You can skip coating half of the air fried wings with the sweet and spicy sauce. Alternatively, you can serve any leftover sauce as a dip.
- I used a 6-quart Instant Pot Vortex Plus to test the Korean air fryer chicken wings. Cooking time and temperature may vary depending on your air fryer and the number of servings being prepared. For best results, start with the lower end of the suggested cooking time.
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