Korean chicken wings

Sorry for the long radio silence, folks. Last week was Spring Break, and we drove all the way to New York to visit family and friends and see the sights. And eat. And eat, and eat some more. Nothing fancy, just the very best burger and fries EVER at the Shake Shack in NYC (I’m fairly certain the Shake Stack is the best thing I’ve ever eaten on a bun), lunch at a Japanese grocery in New Jersey, and some takeout wings from Bonchon. The wings were for the kids–the adults were having sushi–but we managed to snag a few from their greasy little hands. They are shatteringly crispy, sweet, salty, garlicky and completely addictive.

When we returned home, I found a giant bag (nearly seven pounds!) of chicken wings on sale and took it as a Sign from the Kitchen Gods. I cruised the internet for recipes, watched grainy YouTube videos of deep frying chicken, and took the plunge. To be fair, my attempt was not exactly the same as Bonchon, but it was still really, REALLY good. My taste testers asked if we could have “Momchon” wings every day. Um…no. The post-frying kitchen clean up is not on my daily to-do list. But I will certainly make them again soon (there must be four pounds of wings left in the freezer), experimenting once again with the sauce. I won’t change the technique, though I’d like to try rice flour instead of the flour/cornstarch mixture. And next time I’ll hunt down some of the special Korean bean paste that is the base for the spicy version of the sauce.

Momchon Chicken

Marinating wings

15 chicken wings, tips cut off, and cut in half at the joint (30 pieces)
1/2 medium onion
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup cornstarch
salt and pepper


5 cloves garlic, chopped
2-inch piece peeled ginger, chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T. honey
1 T. Asian sesame oil

After the first fry

Grate or mince 1/2 an onion. Add 2 cloves garlic, minced, salt and pepper. Toss chicken wings in this mixture to coat; marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour. (I used a covered bowl, but a plastic freezer bag is also perfect.)

Mix up the sauce and bring it to a simmer in a small saucepan. Let it simmer gently for about 5 minutes. If you make it ahead, just warm it again as you’re frying the wings.

Heat oil in a heavy, deep pot until it reaches 350 degrees.

Mix the flour, cornstarch, salt and pepper in a bowl or zippered freezer bag. Toss the marinated wings into the flour until completely coated. When the oil is at 350, add 1/3 of the wings to the pot and deep fry for about 5 minutes, until golden. Pay attention to the temperature and don’t let it go above 350! Remove from the oil and let drain on a rack or paper towels. When the oil comes back up to temperature, fry the next batch. When all the wings have been fried once, bring the oil back up to temperature and fry them in batches again for 4-5 minutes.  Drain on a rack or paper towels, and immediately brush with the warm sauce.


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