By Christie Vanover | Published November 11, 2021 | Last Updated July 11, 2022
I lived in South Korea for a short time and quickly grew in love with Korean barbecue, especially chicken wings. At most Korean restaurants I experienced, the wings were fried and then tossed in a sweet sticky sauce.
But you know me. I love to grill, so I’ve created my version of Korean chicken wings on the grill, mimicking the same delicious sauce I tasted on the peninsula.
Korean Chicken Wings Marinade and Sauce
Start by marinading your wings in a combination of Asian flavors, including soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, oil and aromatics like garlic and ginger. You can also add crushed red pepper flakes and adjust, depending on your heat preference.
I prefer to marinate my wings for 4-8 hours, but if you’re in a hurry, a 30-minute marinade will work, too, the meat just won’t absorb quite as much flavor.
While the wings are marinading, you can make the sauce. The base starts with ketchup, and it’s sweetened up with brown sugar and honey. Gochujang is a Korean chili paste that is a little sweet and a little heat. That gets mixed in with a little water to thin the sauce. Soy sauce is added for salt and umami.
Gochujang: A Korean chili paste made from chilis, sweet glutinous rice, fermented soy beans and salt. It is red like ketchup, but much stickier because of the rice. You can find it in the Asian section of your supermarket or online.
Mix the sauce ingredients in a sauce pot in advance. Then, just before you start to grill your wings, heat the sauce on the stove to dissolve the sugars.