Gochujang Chicken Wings Recipe

Gochujang chicken wings have become a popular appetizer in recent years, combining the addictive crunch of fried chicken with the sweet and spicy kick of gochujang sauce. But where did this Korean-inspired dish come from?

Gochujang itself has a long history in Korean cuisine. This savory and pungent condiment is made from fermented soybeans, glutinous rice, salt, and chili peppers. It likely originated in rural parts of Korea as a way to store chiles for long winters. The first recorded mentions of gochujang date back to the 1600s.

While gochujang has been used for centuries in dishes like bibimbap and tteokbokki, using it as a sauce for fried chicken wings is a more recent phenomenon. The concept of deep-frying chicken wings and tossing them in a sticky, savory sauce originated in 1964 at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York. The owners famously created the original buffalo chicken wings using a cayenne pepper hot sauce.

Gochujang Chicken Wings Recipe

This inspired other chefs to put their own spin on buffalo wings by using different sauces. Gochujang chicken wings emerged as Korean-American chefs started experimenting with the sweet-spicy flavors of gochujang as a sauce. The pairing of crispy fried wings and gochujang likely became popular thanks to the condiment's growing availability in the US.

As Korean products like kimchi and gochujang became easier to find in American grocery stores in the 1990s and 2000s, home cooks and restaurants began incorporating them into more fusion dishes. The balance of sweet, salty, and spicy flavors in gochujang sauce complemented fried chicken wings perfectly.

The recipe spread online and through Korean communities abroad. Now gochujang wings are a fixture on menus at Korean fried chicken joints and sports bars alike. Their surge in popularity is thanks to the customizability of the dish - cooks can control the ratio of gochujang to sugar and soy sauce in the sauce. This allows the wings to be tailored to individual tastes.

How to Make Crispy Gochujang Chicken Wings

To make gochujang wings with an extra crunchy texture and flavorful sauce, there are some key steps:

Marinate the Wings

Most gochujang wing recipes call for marinating the raw chicken wings in a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and sometimes gochujang. Marinating for at least an hour, or up to overnight, helps the wings absorb flavor.

Double Fry the Wings

Frying the wings twice is the secret technique many Korean fried chicken restaurants use. The wings are fried at a lower temperature for the first fry to cook the inside without browning. Then they are fried again at a higher temperature to make the outside extra crispy.

Use a Starch Coating

Before frying, coat the wings in a mix of cornstarch and all-purpose flour. The cornstarch helps form a crispy outer layer on the wings. Let the coated wings rest for 10-15 minutes before frying so the coating adheres.

Make a Gochujang Sauce

While the wings fry, make your gochujang sauce. Heat gochujang, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, brown sugar, and honey to the desired consistency. Toss the hot fried wings in the sauce right before serving.

Garnish with Sesame Seeds & Green Onion

Finely sliced green onions and toasted white or black sesame seeds add flavor and crunch when sprinkled on the finished wings. This takes the wings to the next level presentation-wise.

Tips for Baked Gochujang Wings

Don't have a fryer at home? You can achieve tasty gochujang wings using the oven too. Here are some tips:

Use Baking Powder

Coating the wings in baking powder before baking helps them get crispy. The baking powder creates little air pockets in the skin as it cooks, leading to a satisfying crunch.

Start Low, Then Turn Up the Heat

Bake the wings at a lower temp (250°F) for 20-30 minutes to render the fat and cook through. Then crank up the heat (425°F) to crisp the outside. Watch closely at the end to avoid burning.

Broil to Finish

After saucing the wings, broil them for 2-3 minutes to caramelize the gochujang glaze. Keep a close eye to prevent charring.

Line the Pan

Lining your baking sheet with parchment paper or foil makes cleanup easy. The wings won't stick as much either.

Let Wings Rest After Sauce

Before serving, let the sauced wings rest for 5 minutes so the glaze sets. This helps the wings achieve maximum crunch.

Ideal Gochujang Wing Sauces

The gochujang glaze or sauce is what really makes these wings stand out. When mixing up your own, keep these tips in mind:

Customize Spice Level

Add more gochujang and garlic to the sauce if you like extra heat. For milder wings, use less gochujang or add honey and rice vinegar to balance the spice.

Get the Consistency Right

Aim for a sauce that coats the wings nicely but isn't too watery. Simmer it over medium heat to reduce and thicken to the right sticky consistency.

Balance Sweet and Savory

In addition to spiciness, gochujang lends sweetness. Honey and brown sugar will up the sweetness, while soy sauce provides saltiness. Rice vinegar adds acidity to balance it out.

Finish with Toasted Sesame Oil

Stir in a bit of toasted sesame oil at the end for a nutty flavor. A little goes a long way, so start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.

Add Ginger and Garlic

For extra punch, use both fresh minced ginger and garlic in your gochujang wing sauce. They add flavor dimension.

Simmer the Sauce

Heating the sauce helps blend the ingredients and thickens it slightly. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, adding water if needed to thin.

Serving Suggestions for Gochujang Wings

These saucy, slightly spicy wings pair well with a variety of sides and drinks. Here are some serving ideas:

Make it a Meal - For a complete meal, serve gochujang wings alongside white or brown rice, kimchi, and a simple green salad.

Cool It Down - Offer crunchy cool sides like cucumber salad, daikon radish pickle, or wakame seaweed salad to balance the heat.

Stick with Starch - Fries, tater tots, or potato wedges are perfect for scooping up any extra sauce drippings.

Match the Sauce - Pair with chilled Korean beer or makgeolli rice wine, which complements gochujang's flavor profile.

Go Green - Fresh herbs like cilantro, mint, or basil brighten up the wings' richness when used as garnish.

Get Cheesy - Add mozzarella or cheddar cheese sticks as an indulgent accompaniment. The creamy cheese offsets the spiciness.

Give Options - Provide extra sauce on the side for dipping or drizzling over rice and veggies. Ranch or blue cheese dressing works too.

Batch Cocktails - For parties, offer festive Korean-inspired cocktails like Soju Sours or Grapefruit Beer-garitas.


Can I grill Gochujang wings instead of frying or baking?

Yes, you can absolutely make grilled gochujang wings. After marinating the raw wings, cook over indirect heat for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Then move them over direct heat and baste with the gochujang glaze to caramelize. Add more glaze and flip frequently to prevent burning.

What's the best way to store and reheat leftover gochujang wings?

Keep sauced leftover wings in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. To reheat, put them on a lined baking sheet and cover loosely with foil. Bake at 400°F for 10-15 minutes until heated through. The oven will help crisp them up again.

Can I adjust the heat level in the gochujang wing sauce?

Absolutely! If you want a milder wing, use less gochujang in your sauce, or add more honey/sugar to balance the heat. For extra spice, add more gochujang, red pepper flakes, garlic, or ginger. Customize it to your tastes.

What's the difference between gochujang and sriracha? Can I substitute one for the other in wings?

While both are red chili pastes, gochujang has a deeper, more complex flavor thanks to its fermented soybean base. Sriracha is made from fresh chilies. For wings, gochujang adds unique sweetness and tang that sriracha lacks. But in a pinch, use a ratio of 2 parts sriracha to 1 part honey for a similar vibe.

What drinks pair best with gochujang wings?

Refreshing Korean beers like Cass or Hite complement the heat well. Or make Korean-inspired cocktails using soju, like a Soju Sour. Creamy milkshakes or ice cream are also great for taming the spice!


With their complex blend of sweetness and heat, gochujang chicken wings make the perfect starter for your next party or potluck. They also work well as casual family dinners since you can prep the sauce and wings in advance. Then simply fry, bake, or grill right before serving. Feel free to riff on the basic recipe too by adding extra garlic, sesame, or citrus. Once you get the basic method down, you'll be amazed at all the possibilities.

Hopefully, you know now how to fry and glaze wings worthy of any Korean BBQ joint. So gather your ingredients, turn up some K-pop, and get ready to make these fiery wings yourself. Just be prepared for requests for the recipe once your friends, family, or tailgating crew get a taste!

Gochujang Chicken Wings Recipe

Gochujang Chicken Wings

Enjoy these sweet, spicy and sticky Korean-style chicken wings! Adjust the glaze to your desired level of heat.
4 from 1 vote


  • 3 pounds chicken wings, drumettes and wingettes separated
  • 1/4 cup gochujang (Korean chili paste)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, for garnish
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish


For Baked Gochujang Wings:

  • Cut wings into drumettes and wingettes and place in a large bowl. Make the marinade by whisking together the gochujang, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar and pepper. Reserve half of the marinade for later.
  • Pour remaining marinade over wings and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with foil and grease with oil. Arrange wings on sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, flip wings, then bake for 15 more minutes.
  • Meanwhile, pour reserved marinade into small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer for 5 minutes to reduce into a glaze.
  • Brush wings all over with glaze and return to oven for 5 more minutes to caramelize.
  • Transfer wings to serving platter. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve immediately.

For Fried Gochujang Wings:

  • Cut wings into drumettes and wingettes and place in a large bowl. Make the marinade by whisking together the gochujang, soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, garlic, ginger, sugar and pepper. Reserve half of the marinade for later.
  • Pour remaining marinade over wings and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  • In a large bowl, mix together 1 cup cornstarch and 1 cup flour. Dredge marinated wings in starch mixture until fully coated.
  • Fill a large pot with 2-3 inches oil and heat to 325°F. Fry wings for 5 minutes until browned. Drain on paper towel-lined plate.
  • Reheat oil to 375°F. Fry wings again for 2-3 minutes until crispy. Drain on new paper towels.
  • While wings fry, make glaze by simmering reserved marinade for 5 minutes. Toss hot fried wings in glaze until coated.
  • Transfer wings to serving platter. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions. Serve immediately.


  • For spicier wings, add more gochujang and garlic to the marinade
  • Let coated wings rest for 10-15 minutes before frying for maximum crunch
  • Toast sesame seeds in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes to intensify flavor
  • Pair wings with Korean beer or soju cocktails
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Recipe Rating

  1. 4 stars
    My family is going to go crazy for these! We love Korean flavors. The tips for getting the wings extra crispy are really helpful.