Meet the better KFC: Korean Air Fryer Chicken Wings! Plump chicken wings tossed in a Korean-inspired soy garlic gochujang sauce then air fried, they’re crispy, sticky, with a spicy outside, tender inside, and a sonnet to wing lovers.
One of our favorite local restaurants does a weekly “KFC night” as in Korean Fried Chicken.
One full order of chicken is supposed to feed four people, but Ben and I always manage to polish off the entire thing on our own. It is too good to resist.
Today’s air fried Korean fried chicken wings are inspired by our local KFC night, with the twist of the air fryer.
- Although wings are not the leanest cut of the chicken, air fried chicken wings are healthy compared to deep fried wings, as they do not require oil to cook.
- Making wings in the air fryer leaves you with easy clean up, instead of a fryer full of hot, dirty oil (no thanks!).
How to Make Crispy Korean Air Fryer Chicken Wings
To make sure the wings become nice and crispy, I used the same double fry technique as my classic Buffalo Air Fryer Chicken Wings.
- For the first fry, cook the wings at a lower temperature, 360 degrees F, for 24 minutes. This renders the fat from the wings, an important step that keeps them from becoming soggy.
- For the second (a.k.a. “double”) fry, increase the temperature to 390 degrees F. Air fry the wings for 6 or so additional minutes to crisp the skin.
Another popular technique for crispy wings is to make air fryer chicken wings with flour. I found this method more tedious than it is worth.
The two-temperature approach (double dry) is all you need for restaurant-worthy crispy air fryer chicken wings.
- Chicken Wings. A fan-favorite in many households, chicken wings are juicy and fun! Plus, they’re a source of protein.
- Soy Sauce. The umami element for our tasty air fryer soy garlic chicken wings sauce.
- Maple Syrup. Adds natural sweetness and a scrumptious stickiness to the sauce (just like honey does in my Honey Garlic Chicken Wings).
- Rice Vinegar. For light and sweet acidity.
- Garlic + Ginger. This iconic duo elevates the sauce in a delicious way.
- Sesame Oil. Adds an unmistakable, not-to-be-missed earthy, nutty touch.
- Gochujang. This popular ingredient in Korean cooking gives the sauce depth and heat. It’s also wonderfully savory and sweet.
- Cut off the wing tips, then split the wings (if they are not split already). Pat dry and season.
- Lay the wings in an air fryer coated with nonstick spray. Cook for 24 minutes at 360 degrees F, flipping halfway through.
- Flip the wings again. Cook at 390 degrees F for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- While the wings cook, whisk the sauce ingredients (except the sesame oil) together in a saucepan. Simmer to thicken, then transfer to a bowl and stir in the sesame oil.
- Add the wings to the bowl with the sauce.
- Stir to coat.
- Top with green onions and sesame seeds. ENJOY!
- To Store. Refrigerate wings in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F. You can also reheat the wings in the microwave, but they won’t be as crispy.
- To Freeze. Freeze wings in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
Meal Prep Tip
Split and trim the wings up to 1 day in advance. Store them in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Air Fryer. Enjoy these air fried chicken wings anytime! We love that this creates healthier versions of all of our favorite foods.
- Mixing Bowls. I love this set of dishwasher-safe mixing bowls.
- Tongs. Great for tossing and turning the wings without burning your hand.
With air fryer Korean fried chicken, any night can be “KFC night.”
Don’t be surprised when you start to crave these irresistible wings weekly too!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can certainly use this scrumptious sauce for another chicken recipe. I think it would be tasty drizzled over Air Fryer Chicken Breast.
Yes, you can put raw chicken in an air fryer. The heat from the air fryer will cook the chicken wings to a safe temperature for eating.
As written, these chicken wings are not overly spicy, but they can be made as spicy as you’d like. Some gochujang brands are much spicier than others. For those who like extra hot chicken wings, use a spicy gochujang.
Korean Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- 1 ½ pounds chicken wings
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 tablespoon gochujang (Korean red chile paste) or sambal oelek, or sriracha, plus additional to taste
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- Chopped green onions and sesame seeds for serving
- Coat the basket of a 3 quart or larger air fryer with nonstick spray.
- If your wings are not already split, split them now: Trim off the wing tips (use your knife to feel for the joint soft spot). It should separate relatively easily, but if not, put the blade in place, then carefully but firmly hit the top of your knife to apply extra pressure. Discard the tips. Next, split the drumette side of each wing from the flat side at the joint: slice down through the skin feeling for the “soft spot” once more. Wiggle your knife as needed. Pat the wings dry, then season the wings all over with kosher salt.
- Place the wings in the air fryer in a single layer, making sure they do not touch (if needed, stand up the drumettes along the sides). Set the air fryer to 360 degrees F according to your model’s instructions. Cook the wings for 12 minutes. Remove the basket and with tongs, flip the wings over. Return to the air fryer at 360 degrees for 12 additional minutes.
- Slide out the basket, flip the wings once more, then return to the air fryer. Increase the temperature to 390 degrees F. Cook for 6 minutes, flipping halfway through. The skin should look nice and crisp (if your wings are on the larger side, they may need a few additional minutes).
- While the wings cook, in a medium saucepan, stir together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, ginger, and gochujang. Bring to a simmer over medium high. Let simmer, whisking often, until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the sesame oil.
- Once the wings are cooked, transfer them to the bowl with the sauce.
- Stir to coat, then transfer to a serving platter. Serve hot, sprinkled with green onion and sesame seeds.
- TO STORE: Refrigerate wings in an airtight storage container for up to 3 days.
- TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers on a baking sheet in the oven at 350 degrees F. You can also reheat the wings in the microwave, but they won’t be as crispy.
- TO FREEZE: Freeze wings in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
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