Chicken wings are super tasty and really inexpensive here in the UK. In other parts of the world they are treated with reverence. In America they're buffalo wings; across Indonesian and in Vietnam they're street food snacks and in Portugal you'll find Piri Piri wings on every menu. In this recipe I'm giving some wings a Korean vibe with gochujang paste, sesame and Randy's Korean sauce
Chicken wings come in three parts - the drumettes, the flats and the tips (don't bother with the tips, use them for stock). It's worth spending a few minutes separating the three sections - the joints are easy to locate and using a knife, cut through the centre of each one. It's also worth giving your seasoning time to work it's magic. It is possible to prep and cook them one hour later, but you'll thank me if you're organised and can give them a little longer (preferably overnight).
The cooking methods
There will be endless debates surrounding the best cooking method for wings - some people just deep fry them, some steam them first, some roast them in the oven, some BBQ them. All of these will give you a tasty wing, but to get that soft, tender meat with a crispy outer, I prefer a combination of both oven and deep fry. However, there is one technique that is important - the 'double cook'. Whichever your preferred method is, it's good to cook them at a low temperature first, remove and allow to cool, then crank up the heat for maximum crisp. Your second cook could be the bbq, under the grill, in an air fryer or just old-school deep fried in hot oil.
Recipe for Korean BBQ Chicken Wings
2kg Chicken Wings, jointed into flats and drumettes
For the marinade
3 tablespoons gochujang paste
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1 teaspoon finely grated garlic
4 tablespoons Randy's Korean sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
4 spring onions, finely sliced
Oil for frying
1. In a large bowl, mix the marinade ingredients together then toss in the separated chicken wings. Massage the marinade into the wings to give everything a good coating. Leave for at least 1 hour - but preferably overnight.
2. When you are ready to cook, pre-heat your oven to 170°C. Spread the chicken wings out on a large roasting tray and tightly cover with foil. Cook the wings in the oven for around an hour and a quarter. Before removing them, check they are soft and tender.
3. Leave your wings to rest and cool for around 10 minutes but can be up to half an hour.
4. Pour enough oil into a saucepan so you can fully submerge your wings (you may have to fry them in batches) and heat the oil to around 200°C - be careful here and make sure the oil comes no more than half way up the pan for safety.
5. Drop the wings into the oil and fry for 2 - 3 minutes.
6. Have a large bowl ready with a few tablespoons of Randy's Korean Sauce in the bottom. As soon as the wings are crispy, remove them with a slotted spoon, straight into the Korean sauce. Toss the wings round in the sauce to give them a good coating and then serve, sprinkled with a few sesame seeds and sliced spring onions.
A potato salad and a good homemade slaw will go really well on the side.
It's also worth trying this recipe using Randy's Buffalo Sauce, just season the wings with salt, leave for at least an hour and then follow the rest of the cooking instructions
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I keep reaching for our delicious Pickled Lemon Paste. It's intense lemon flavour provides a great lift to so many dishes...
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