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Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings

June 22, 2023
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
Make these Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings for an easy spruce up to your weeknight or weekend meal that comes jam-packed with flavor + the right amount of sweetness and spice!

Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings

Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings are truly the next family staple recipe for your household! Made with an easy Korean-inspired sauce mixture that has a delicious sweet-spicy flavor, seasoned to perfection, and a nicely juicy center; these wings are the perfect appetizer or main meat that can be served with your favorite sides or dipping sauce---whether during dinner or brunch or lunch. Air Fryer + Gluten-Free options.

Chicken wings with sesame seeds on white paper with a spoon and garnish.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links via Amazon for products that I wholeheartedly love and receive commission from.

Growing up, chicken wings and chicken in general have been my favorite things to eat. I literally would take both over everything else and not much has changed. Haha. These Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings are definitely legit and I promise that they'll be the next family staple in your house like they are mine. Since It's officially my Birthday week, I'm sharing some of my personal faves ALL WEEK LONG on the site and via Instagram (Check out all Reels to see these recipes in action, including this one).

Honestly, when it comes to wings, there isn't a bad flavor (for the most part) and while traditional buffalo wings like these Classic Oven Baked Buffalo Wings are a crowd-pleaser, adding lemon pepper seasoning to the mix truly takes things to the next level----try these Lemon Pepper Buffalo Wings or Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings. You won't be disappointed and I promise that everyone will be going for a round of seconds and thirds. Plus, if you're fan of chicken wings in general, then you must try these Baked Jamaican Jerk Chicken WingsSpicy Orange Chicken Wings. But of course, we can't forget about the deliciousness of this Gochujang flavor and these Gochujang Shrimp Tacos and Spicy Gochujang Chicken Tenders are the things you need to try next!

This chicken wing recipe is overall super easy to make, the perfect balance between spicy, tangy, and sweet, can be done in both the oven or air-fryercompletely family-friendly, and is the best addition to so many meal ideas, gatherings, and summer BBQs.

What is Gochujang?

While I rarely adapt foods outside of my Southern or Jamaican roots, I truly love Spicy Gochujang sauce (along with a few other cultural foods), therefore, I wanted to highlight this special sauce which is a part of the Korean culture.

Gochujang is an ingredient in Korean cooking that consists of a thick, spicy-sweet crimson red paste that is made from red chile pepper flakes and other ingredients.

According to an article via Bon Appetit, Gochujang is fermented over years in a pot kept outdoors, which causes the starches in the glutinous rice (one of the ingredients it's made from) to convert into sugar, which gives this paste it's sweetness. Using Gochujang is best done when applying it to rich meats as a marinade or along with other ingredients to create a nice sauce. It's highly recommended not to be eaten on it's own since it's taste can be pretty aggressive.

Jump to:

Why You Will LOVE these Wings!

  • Versatile snack, appetizer, or side option.
  • Boasts of a great air fryer + gluten-free option.
  • Sweet, spicy, and bold flavor combo.
  • The perfect crispiness on the outside + juiciness on the inside!
  • Such an upgrade to regular wings and is guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser!
  • Addictively tasty + irresistible for the entire family.
Ingredients on a black table including gochujang paste, apple cider vinegar, cornstarch, honey, tamarind sauce, sesame seeds, and herbs + seasonings.

How to Make Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings

The THREE parts of these Gochujang wings are the chicken wings, the seasoning, and the Gochujang sauce.

The best part about any wing is the crispy coating that is formed without an “actual coating”. And these chicken wings do not disappoint. I talk more about tips to making these wings nice and crispy, but let’s talk about this delicious recipe, especially the marinade and the sauce.

Ingredients for Gochujang Chicken Wings

Here’s what you need for these delicious Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings:

  • Chicken wings. I like to use organic wings that are disjointed (comes in two pieces) for a better cook. You can also use whole pieces of chicken (i.e. drumsticks, thighs, etc.) if preferred. For chicken tenders, see my recipe for Spicy Gochujang Chicken Tenders.
  • Smoked paprika. This adds an extra layer of complexity to the wings. Gives a delicious earthy, smoky flavor. You can use regular paprika, if desired.
  • Cornstarch + all-purpose flour. Used for the "coating" of the wings for an extra crispiness. You can sub with arrowroot starch, GF flour, tapioca flour, etc. for a GF-option.
  • Unsalted butter. This adds additional flavor to the sauce. For a dairy-free option, feel free to use vegan butter.
  • Gochujang. You can find this at Korean or Asian markets (or via Amazon) and well-stocked grocery stores. It’s Korean fermented chili paste that is often stored in the refrigerator once opened.
  • Rice vinegar. Like many vinegars, it's made through a fermentation of process of rice grains. Has a very mild, delicate flavor profile. You can sub with apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, lemon juice, white vinegar, or white wine.
  • Raw Honey. This adds a nice hint of sweetness to the heat. Feel free to use maple syrup, light brown sugar, or cane sugar, if you'd like.
  • Tamari sauce. Very similar to soy sauce, but without the presence of wheat which makes it a great option for those who are gluten-free. Can also sub with low-sodium soy sauce, if desired.
  • Chicken stock. Use low-sodium store-bought or make your own. Can also sub with veggie stock or bone broth.
  • Herbs + seasonings. Use as much or as little spice as you like for the sauce. Adds additional flavor. You'll need salt, black pepper, garlic powder, parsley, and cayenne pepper.
Seasoned chicken wings lined on a baking sheet with a wire rack.

Do I Use Cornstarch or Flour for Crispy Chicken?

OK, so this is one of the hot debates as it relates to which one creates the crispier chicken or chicken wings. While cornstarch does add extra layer of crispiness for your chicken, using flour still works too!

But to best honest, the best kept secret is the combination of both cornstarch and flour, which creates the crispiest results. Of course, if you're looking to make this fried chicken recipe gluten-free, then substitute the cornstarch or flour with arrowroot starch or a great all-purpose flour.

What are the Two Types of Wings?

When it comes to wings, there are two types: Drums (a.k.a. drumettes) and flats (a.k.a. wingettes). The drums actually look like miniature chicken legs and have one single bone in the middle surrounded by meat, whereas the flats are “flat” and contain two smaller bones that runs the length of the wing.

How to Prep + Season Wings

Baking these Gochujang chicken wings are generally an easy process—in total just 45 minutes or so due to the process of cooking the chicken wings and making and tossing them in the buffalo sauce. You first start by cleaning and washing your chicken pieces to ensure that they are clean and ready to be seasoned. I like to wash my chicken wings with both vinegar and lemon to help keep things clean and sanitized.

Once your chicken wings are clean, then it’s time to pat them dry and season them! I’m all about seasoning every “layer” of my food, therefore, the chicken gets direct seasonings, but since the sauce has so much bold flavor, it doesn't need seasonings. Let everything marinate for 10-15 minutes or 1-2 days (or overnight tightly wrapped in the refrigerator) for the best results.

Large dutch oven filled with cooked chicken wings and sesame seeds.

Do You Bake or Fry Chicken Wings?

Of course, both methods of making these Gochujang chicken wings are effective. However, if you’re wondering whether you’d be able to also make these wings in an air-fryer—-then yes!

To make your crispy chicken wings in an air fryer, it's very similar to doing it the oven. The only difference would be the cook time and adding them to a basket versus a baking sheet. Once you've seasoned and dusted your chicken wings, add them to your air fryer basket, spray with cooking oil, and cook them at 360 degrees for 10-15 minutes. NOTE: You might want to spray your basket with cooking oil to ensure that your chicken doesn't stick to it during cooking.

As you know, this recipe is for baked wings and honestly, they’re just as crispy as using them in the airy-fryer (especially when you broil them in the last round), so the choice is yours!

Tips + Tricks for The Crispiest Chicken Wings

To make sure your chicken wings get as crispy as possible without needing an actual “coating”, follow these simple tips:

  • After rinsing your wings, be sure to pat dry completely until they are as dry as possible before marinating them.
  • Make sure each wing has plenty of space on the baking sheet or baking dish. The airflow helps things crisp up. 
  • When using a baking sheet, add a wire rack atop the parchment paper so that wings can crisp up nicely on all sides.
  • Cook wings until crisp prior to adding sauce so that they have minimal liquid.
  • Broiling your wings for about 5 minutes or so helps to get them nice and crispy without burning.
  • Always toss your crispy wings in the sauce for a minute or two or until fully coated to avoid keeping them in the sauce too long and making them soggy.
Chicken wings on a platter with white paper, a red napkin, red pepper flakes, and herbs.

What to Serve with Gochujang Chicken Wings

These Gochujang chicken wings are full of flavor all on their own, but who doesn’t love to dunk and dip----right? So, feel free to serve your wings with any (or all) of these tasty condiments:

However, if you're thinking about serving these chicken wings with something to create a complete, full meal, then I recommend trying my favorite ways to incorporate them:

Common Q + A's for these Wings!

How do you store + reheat these wings?

Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or microwave when ready to serve.

Can I make these wings gluten-free?

Of course! To make these wings GF, just ensure that all sauce ingredients are GF-friendly and the best alternative to cornstarch is arrowroot starch or Gf flour. 

Can I use another sweetener besides honey?

Absolutely! Feel free to use maple syrup, light brown sugar, or cane sugar, if you'd like.

Is gochujang hotter than sriracha?

Gochujang is similar to sriracha but instead has a deeper flavor profile with less vinegar and more sweetness. Gochujang is also less spicy than sriracha, so if you like sweet-spicy combinations then gochujang is the perfect thing to use to achieve this!

What does gochujang taste like?

Basically, It's has a hint of spicy, "funky", salty, sweet, and deeply savory flavors. Overall, Gochujang traditionally also gets its gentle sweetness from its fermentation process, which takes place over several years and sees the starches in the rice convert to sugars.

What is a good substitute for gochujang?

Whether you want to substitute gochujang paste because you don't have it handy or just aren't a fan, you're in luck! The following are great subs: sriracha, hot sauce, ketchup + hot chili powder, or chili bean paste.

Do you need to refrigerate gochujang?

Yes! Like most other fermented products, gochujang needs to be sealed and refrigerated after opening.

Do you have to cook gochujang before eating?

In general, gochujang has a thick consistency and can be eaten plain or raw but it's usually combined with other ingredients to create a thinner texture and add more flavor like as a sauce. However, many Koreans will eat it as is as an accompaniment to raw vegetables.

Is gochujang a Superfood?

Yes and no! Generally, gochujang is not a great source of any vitamins. It is not a superfood in actuality, but it's ingredients include chili peppers and soy protein, which are both vitamin-rich foods.

How do you make gochujang less spicy?

Just like in this recipe, adding honey or any form of sweetener helps to cut down the spicy level.

Chicken wings on a platter with white paper and a fork and spoon.

More Appetizer + Handheld Recipes to Try Next!

Now that you're on a sweet + spicy kick with this Gochujang chicken wings recipe, give these recipes that your entire family will love a try next:

MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?

If you tried this Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings recipe or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.

Chicken wings on a platter with white paper, herbs, and sesame seeds.
Chicken wings on white paper with a spoon and garnish.

Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings

June 22, 2023
5 from 2 votes
Make these Sticky Gochujang Chicken Wings for an easy spruce up to your weeknight or weekend meal that comes jam-packed with flavor + the right amount of sweetness and spice!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 6 Servings

Ingredients

CHICKEN WINGS:

  • 2 ½ lbs. organic chicken wings, disjointed
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup organic all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup cornstarch

SAUCE:

  • 2 Tbsps unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsps rice vinegar (You can also use apple cider vinegar)
  • ½ cup raw honey, organic (You can also sub with organic brown sugar)
  • ¼ cup organic chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsps tamari sauce (You can also sub with low-sodium soy sauce)
  • 2 Tbsps Gochujang paste
  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

Instructions

MARINATE THE CHICKEN WINGS:

  • In a large bowl, add your freshly cleaned + rinsed chicken wings along with the salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, parsley, cayenne pepper, cornstarch, and flour, mixing everything together until chicken is fully coated. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. NOTE: For best results, it's best to marinate chicken overnight in the refrigerator or for up to 2 days.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and a wire rack for the best crispy results. NOTE: be sure to generously spray the wire rack to ensure that wings don't stick.

BAKE THE CHICKEN:

  • Lay each chicken wing side by side onto the baking sheet (about an inch apart). Repeat until all chicken wings are assembled. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until crispy.

WHIP TOGETHER THE SAUCE + TOSS WINGS:

  • In a medium skillet (10-inch) over medium-high heat, add the butter and let it melt. Then add in the Gochujang paste, honey, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and chicken stock and whisk everything together until it begins to boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and let everything simmer for another 2-3 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Add in the crispy chicken wings and toss them until coated.
  • Garnish wings with sesame seeds.
  • Remove from heat and serve immediately with your favorite side or dipping sauce.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Any leftovers can be kept in a tightly sealed container and refrigerated for up to 3-4 days. Reheat in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or microwave when ready to serve.
  • GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To make these wings GF, just ensure that all sauce ingredients are GF-friendly and the best alternative to cornstarch is arrowroot starch or Gf flour. 
  • HONEY: You can always substitute honey with maple syrup or Agave.
  • TIPS FOR CRISPY WINGS: See the post for all tips for making the most crispiest chicken wings.

Nutrition

Calories: 511kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 36g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 156mg | Sodium: 878mg | Potassium: 370mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 710IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg

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Signature of my name, Shanika in black font.

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  1. BEST WINGS WE'VE EVER MADE! We devoured all of them. We actually cooked them on the grill instead of in the oven and they came out perfect. Good option during summer when you don't want to turn on the oven. We can't wait to make these again and try different variations. Enjoy!

    • Hi Marissa! WOW! This truly makes me so happy! And I love that you grilled these-----I know that added such a beautiful char + flavor! Thanks so much for giving them a try! 🙂

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