Skip to content
Open menu Close menu

Feed your appetite for cooking with Penguin’s expert authors

penguin logo

Soy Sauce KFC Crispy Wings – Ganjang Yangnyeom Chicken

This irresistible recipe for soy sauce crispy fried chicken wings is the ultimate dish for fans of Korean fried chicken. Pair with an ice cold beer and a shredded white cabbage salad.


The first time I was introduced to this version of soy sauce wings, which was ordered by my brother-in-law from one of the well-known chicken delivery chains in Korea, I was blown away by just how light and fragrant the sauce was. The craggy skin was delicately crispy with the sauce just about coating the outside to give it a moist bite; it was so addictively moreish. While I am yet to convince myself whether I have achieved a respectful approximation of these iconic wings, I think this recipe successfully nods to them. Warming Chinese five-spice gently hums in the background of the luxurious, salty, sweet and silky sauce, which dresses the fried chicken gracefully so you can really appreciate the taste of the chicken and the crispness of its lightly crusted skin. It is wonderful served with White Cabbage Salad.

Read more Read less


8 - about 800g (1lb 12oz) chicken wings
vegetable oil, for frying
For the marinade:
½ onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
5 tbsp full-fat milk
1 tbsp golden granulated sugar
1 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp ground white pepper
For the soy sauce glaze:
300ml (10fl oz/1 ¼ cups) just-boiled water
3 tbsp soft brown sugar
2 tbsp jocheong (rice syrup) or clear honey
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 spring onions (scallions), cut in half to fit the pan
2 hot green chillies, kept whole with a small cut down the middle
2 tbsp cider vinegar
For the dry coating:
75g (2 ½ oz/scant 2⁄3 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
75g (2 ½ oz/scant 2⁄3 cup) rice flour or glutinous rice flour
½ tsp fine sea salt

Essential kit

You will need:


Prepare the chicken wings by jointing into three parts: drumette, wingette and wingtips. You can do this by stretching out the wing and running your fingertips around the joints to identify the ridge. Using a sharp knife, cut beside the ridge to separate: one between the wingtip and wingette, and another between wingette and drumette. If you are unsure, there are many tutorial videos available online; it is a lot easier than it sounds. Or ask your butcher to do this for you. Keep aside the drumette and wingette; wingtips can be reserved for making a homemade stock for another time.

Put the onion, garlic and milk in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pour the puréed mixture into a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and white pepper to combine. Add the jointed wings to the mixing bowl. Massage well to coat the wings evenly with the marinade. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour or preferably overnight.

To make the glaze, combine the water, sugar, jocheong, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and Chinese five-spice powder in a small saucepan. Don’t worry if the jocheong or five-spice powder don’t fully incorporate initially – it will melt as it heats. Add the garlic, spring onions and chillies to the pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until the flavours of the aromatics are infused and the sauce has reduced slightly. Remove and discard the aromatics. Stir in the vinegar. Increase the heat and continue cooking on a high simmer for 8–10 minutes to thicken the sauce. It should be reduced enough to be a pourable consistency but cling to the spoon. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

Remove the chicken from the fridge so it’s not fridge cold when you cook it. Lift out the wings from the marinade; discard the marinade.

Combine the plain flour, rice flour and salt in a bowl or large reusable plastic bag. Add the wings to the dry flour mix and coat them evenly by tossing them in the bowl, or shaking the bag with the top sealed if you’re using a bag. Transfer to a large tray in a single layer and rest for a few minutes, so the dry coating can settle.

Prepare a cooling rack set over a roasting tray.

Fill a large, heavy-based saucepan with enough vegetable oil to submerge the wings but come no more than three-quarters of the way up the pan. Heat the oil to 150ºC (300ºF). Carefully lower in a few of the wings and fry for about 4 minutes until the meat is cooked through and pale golden. Transfer to the cooling rack when they’re done to allow the steam to escape. Don’t put too many in at once. Continue until you have cooked all the wings. This first fry is to cook the wings through, so they shouldn’t take on too much colour.

Increase the oil temperature to 175ºC (347ºF) and fry in batches for the second time for about 2 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Make sure you don’t overcrowd the pan. When the batches are ready, transfer to the cooling rack to remove any excess oil. Don’t be tempted to sit the chicken on kitchen paper as it will just steam and lose its crispness.

Put the wings into a large mixing bowl and toss generously with the sauce to coat. Serve immediately with some cabbage salad and a few bottles of cold beer to create an old-school chimaek (fried chicken and beer) vibe.

GLUTINOUS RICE FLOUR Glutinous flour will give a finish that is lightly crispy, while rice flour gives a more crunchy finish. It is a subtle difference, both of which are equally good.

Pocha by Su Scott (Quadrille, £27), Photography by Toby Scott.

Please note: Moderation is enabled and may delay your comment being posted. There is no need to resubmit your comment. By posting a comment you are agreeing to the website Terms of Use.


Subscribe to The Happy Foodie email newsletter

Get our latest recipes, features, book news and ebook deals straight to your inbox every week