| | | |

Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken

Sharing is caring!

This air fryer Korean fried chicken is super delicious. The chicken is perfectly crispy and coated in a spicy, sticky gochujang sauce.

Korean fried chicken is one of our absolute favorite dishes to make in the air fryer. It’s way less work and healthier than in a deep fryer but you can still achieve perfectly crispy chicken.

The trick is in the dry coating on the chicken, and cooking them first at a lower heat to render the fat, and secondly at a higher heat to crisp them up.

side view of Korean fried chicken.

The crispy chicken

The chicken is coated in a very simple dry rub consisting of corn starch or potato starch, baking powder and seasoning.

Baking powder is a key component in creating a lovely crispy coating around the chicken. It helps to dry the chicken skin out a bit and encourages crispy chicken wings.

The chicken undergoes two different cooks. The first air fry is at a low temperature to render the fat. Then for the second fry, the heat is cranked up in the last 15 minutes of cooking. This is what will give a beautiful golden brown skin.

a hand holding a chicken nibble.

The Korean sauce

The sauce is where the real magic happens. This spicy sauce coats the fried chicken pieces at the end and they become sticky and so delicious.

The sauce is made up of a few ingredients but the main flavour comes from gochujang paste. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste. It’s made up of gochu-garu chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybean powder, barley malt powder and salt.

The paste is a beautiful deep red color and gives a flavorful spice. It’s not too hot either and brings the perfect balance of spice. This is the vital and not-so-secret ingredient in this Korean fried chicken recipe.

You can find this at your local grocery store.

tomato sauce, chilli paste, ginger in a bowl.

The ingredients

Find the ingredient amounts for this easy recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post. Here is a rundown of what you will need.

  • Small chicken pieces – You can use chicken wings or nibbles You could use bone-in, boneless chicken thighs or chicken drumsticks too but the cooking time will be longer. Don’t use chicken breast as this will dry out too much.
  • Cornstarch – Or use rice flour or potato starch.
  • Baking powder
  • Gochujang paste
  • Soy sauce
  • Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • White or brown sugar
  • Honey
  • Tomato ketchup
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Fresh garlic or garlic powder
  • Fresh ginger
  • Sesame seeds and green onions for serving.

Equipment

Air fryer – This spicy Korean fried chicken is made in a 5.8-quart air fryer. If yours is smaller the chicken may need to be cooked in batches.

Method

Use paper towels to pat dry the chicken wings or thighs and place them in a large mixing bowl. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Sprinkle this over the chicken pieces and toss them well to coat them in the dry mixture.

Place the chicken pieces in as close to a single layer as you can in the air fryer basket. If they are very snug, don’t worry, they will shrink as they cook.

cornstarch coated chicken.
partially fried chicken.

Cooking the chicken

Air fry the chicken at 350°F/175°C for 7 minutes. Remove the air fryer basket and use tongs to flip the chicken pieces upside down. Fry another 5-7 minutes at 350°F/175°C. This low heat will help to render the fat from the chicken.

Turn the heat up to 400°F/200°C and fry the chicken pieces for another 10-12 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through cooking until it’s golden brown and crispy. This high heat brings the crispy element. The cooking time will vary for each air fryer, or how big the chicken pieces were.

fried chicken in air fryer.

The sauce

While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl combine all the sauce ingredients and mix them together well.

When the chicken has finished frying, add it into a clean large bowl. Pour over the sauce and toss it all together to ensure the chicken is well coated.

a bowl of red sauce.
sauce being poured onto chicken.

Place the coated chicken in a serving bowl and top with some sliced green onion and sesame seeds.

a fork in a piece of sticky chicken.
a fork with a piece of sticky chicken.

Storing

Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. It can be reheated in the air fryer for a few minutes at 350°F/175°C until warmed through.

More air fryer recipes

Yield: 5

Korean Air Fryer Chicken

side view of Korean fried chicken.

This air fryer Korean fried chicken is super delicious. The chicken is perfectly crispy and coated in a spicy, sticky gochujang sauce.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken

  • 2lb / 1kg chicken wings or nibbles
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Sauce

  • 2 Tablespoons gochujang
 paste
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon ketchup

  • 
1 Tablespoon water
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 
1⁄2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon ginger - finely minced
  • 
1⁄2 Teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 

1 clove garlic - finely minced

Serving

  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onions

Instructions

  1. Use paper towels to pat fry the chicken wings or thighs and place them in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle over the vegetable oil and coat the chicken with it.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Sprinkle this over the chicken pieces and toss them well to coat them in the dry mixture.
  3. Place the chicken pieces in as close to a single layer as you can in the air fryer basket. If they are very snug, don't worry, they will shrink as they cook.
  4. Air fry the chicken at 350°F/175°C for 7 minutes. Remove the air fryer basket and use tongs to flip the chicken pieces upside down. Fry another 5-7 minutes at 350°F/175°C. This low heat will help to render the fat from the chicken.
  5. Turn the heat up to 400°F/200°C and fry the chicken pieces for another 10-12 minutes, turning the chicken halfway through cooking until it's golden brown and crispy. This high heat brings the crispy element. The cooking time will vary for each air fryer, or how big the chicken pieces were.
  6. While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce. In a small bowl combine all the sauce ingredients and mix them together well.
  7. When the chicken has finished frying, add it into a clean large bowl. Pour over the sauce and toss it all together to ensure the chicken is well coated.
  8. Place the coated chicken in a serving bowl and top with some sliced green onion and sesame seeds.

Nutrition Information

Yield

5

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 490Total Fat 27gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 200mgSodium 1009mgCarbohydrates 26gFiber 1gSugar 11gProtein 38g

Similar Posts

4 Comments

  1. Loved this recipe! The sauce is fantastic – I made about an extra half batch of it just because when it comes to sauce, the more the merrier. However it definitely would have been plenty saucy as written. I did as many as I could fit in my air fryer and did the rest in the oven on convection setting. Both were delicious, but the air fried wings were slightly more crisp. Thanks so much for the awesome recipe!

  2. Hi,

    How much of the calories are the chicken wings? What would the calories be if I used chicken breasts instead for example.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *