My son, Eli and I made this one night over the holiday break. Some of the best wings we’ve ever had. These wings would be excellent for Super Bowl Sunday! They are sweet, crunchy, spicy and if you decide to add the peanuts at the end – they have this nutty element as well. To quote Maangchi “of the hundreds of recipes that I’ve posted on my website and YouTube, this is the most popular.” If you don’t know Maangchi, check her out on YouTube. She’s an entertaining chef with a vast array of recipes, primarily focusing on Korean cuisine. You could just serve wings and be a huge hit with whoever is at the table, but we had steamed coconut rice with scallions and pan-seared garlic long beans. Any sides you choose will complete the meal.
- 2-1/2 lbs organic chicken wings
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 C potato starch (we didn’t have any so we used corn starch – works just as well)
- Vegetable oil or Canola oil
- 1/3 C toasted peanuts (optional but soooo good)
For the sauce and garnish
- 1/2 C rice syrup or honey (we used honey)
- 3 T soy sauce
- 2 T brown or white sugar (we used brown)
- 2 tsp yellow mustard (this is Maangchi’s twist on the recipe)
- 2 Canola oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (we used 6 garlic cloves – it was a must)
- 1 tsp minced peeled ginger
- 8 small dried red chili peppers
- 2 – 3 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional – but we used them!)
For the chicken
Mix the chicken pieces, salt and black pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to a large zip-lock bag, add in potato starch or corn starch, close the bag and mix well by slipping the bag over and back again until the chicken is completely coated.
Place a large mesh strainer over a bowl. Heat 2 inches canola oil in a large deep pan or wok over medium-high heat until it reaches 340 degrees. You can also test the oil by dipping a tip o the chicken in the oil. It if bubbles, it’s ready. Carefully add wings in batches. We had a big wok so added in 6-7 without crowding. Deep fry turning the wings with tongs until all sides are golden brown ~ it takes about 10-12 min per batch. Transfer to the strainer over the bowl. Once strained place on sheet pan. Once all chicken has been fried and strained, get oil back up to temperature of 340. Transfer all pieces back into oil and cook until dark golden brown and very crunchy. About 12 minutes. Transfer back to strainer and then back onto sheet pan. If using peanuts, place thin in a slotted spoon or mesh strainer and carefully dip them into the oil for about 30 seconds.
For the sauce
Mix the rice syrup or honey, soy, sugar, vinegar and mustard in a bowl. Heat a large pan or wok over medium heat. add the oil, garlic, ginger, and chili peppers and stir for 30 seconds until garlic is a little crispy and fragrant. Add the soy sauce, honey mixture and stir until it bubbles. Let it bubble for 3 minutes until it’s shiny and sticky. Add in the chicken and peanuts (if using) to the bubbling sauce and toss with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and a few teaspoons of chili flakes. Transfer to a plate. We garnished ours with chopped scallions. These stay crispy for a longggg time!
Cook’s Notes: We loved this recipe however, for our tastes we decided we needed more garlic and more ginger. You can double the amounts Maangchi calls for and get a bigger bolder flavor for your wings.