Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken

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Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken is marinated and coated in a cornstarch mixture to give it maximum crunch in the air fryer before being coated in a sweet and spicy Korean sauce.

Air fryer Korean Fried Chicken

I love this Korean fried chicken. Seriously. But who doesn’t love crispy crunches of fried chicken in an amazing sauce. And all of this without all the oil of deep frying. Give it a try and you’ll see why it is one of my favorite recipes.

If you like this sauce, you’ll always want to try our teriyaki chicken wings with a similar, though less spicy sauce. With these two together, you’re winning at air frying.

» You might also like these Korean style Air Fryer Short Ribs.

Why You’ll Love It

  • Korean Cuisine Made Easy: This recipe is a great introduction to the vibrant and diverse world of Korean flavors. It’s a fun way to explore new ingredients and expand your recipe cookbook.
  • Healthier Alternative: Air frying the chicken reduces the need for excessive oil, making this Korean fried chicken a healthier option than traditional deep-frying. You’ll still get that satisfying crunch without the guilt.
  • Customizable Heat: You can easily adjust the spiciness of the sauce to suit your preferences. Add more gochujang for a fiery kick or tone it down for a milder version that everyone can enjoy.

Ingredients You’ll Need

For the Chicken:

Ingredients for the chicken
  • Chicken Thighs – It’s best to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs that can easily be cut into smaller pieces.
  • Rice Vinegar – This gives the chicken a nice tangy flavor.
  • Soy Sauce – Use your favorite brand of soy sauce, I always prefer to use low-sodium to keep the saltiness down.
  • Ginger and garlic – Use fresh ginger and garlic, peeled and minced.
  • Salt & Ground Black Pepper – You can adjust the seasoning at the end to make it perfect for you.
  • All-Purpose Flour – The flour mixed with cornstarch helps give the chicken its crispiness.
  • Cornstarch – Cornstarch helps to crisp the chicken. You can use rice flour if you don’t have cornstarch.
  • Baking Powder – This also helps achieve maximum crispiness.

For the Sauce:

Ingredients for the sauce
  • Gochujang Paste – Gochujang paste is a key ingredient in Korean cooking and can be found in Asian grocery stores or online.
  • Ketchup – Use reduced sugar ketchup for a less sweet sauce.
  • Honey – Adjust the level of sweetness with more or less honey.
  • Soy Sauce – Use low-sodium
  • Rice Vinegar
  • Garlic – Minced
  • Garnish – Sesame seeds and green onions.

Equipment Information

  • Air fryer: I use this 4-quart basket-style air fryer. It’s large enough to fit a meal for 4-6. But some things need more space in the air fryer basket, so they cook evenly.
  • Kitchen tongs: It’s very easy to remove food from your air fryer with kitchen tongs. I use these kitchen tongs that are silicon coated so they don’t scratch the interior.
  • Meat thermometer: The only way to tell if meat is fully cooked to the right temperature is to use a meat thermometer. I use this Instant Read thermometer. It’s so quick to open the basket and check the temp.
  • Mixing bowl: Medium sized. It just needs to be big enough to hold the chicken while you toss it with the sauce.
  • Sauce pan: Small. The sauce recipe only makes about 1/3 cup.
  • Whisk
Air fryer Korean Fried Chicken

Helpful Tips

  • Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket. Cook the chicken in batches if necessary, as overcrowding can result in uneven cooking and less crispy results.
  • If you like your Korean fried chicken extra spicy, increase the amount of gochujang paste. Conversely, if you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the gochujang or balance it with a bit more honey.
  • Chicken thighs are recommended for their juiciness, but you can also use boneless, skinless chicken breast for a leaner option. Adjust cooking time slightly, as chicken breast tends to cook faster.
  • For the most flavor, allow the chicken to marinate for at least 20 minutes. If time allows, marinate for up to 2 hours in the refrigerator to let the flavors in the meat fully.
  • Make sure to spray the air fryer basket well before you add the chicken. You don’t want the coating to stick to the basket when you try to turn it over.

How to Make Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken

Step 1: Marinate the Chicken

chicken marinating in a resealable bag

Mix the rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a sealable plastic bag. Shake to mix well. Add the chicken pieces. Marinate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.

Step 2: Coat the Chicken

In another sealable plastic bag, mix the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder. Transfer the chicken pieces into the flour bag (first shaking off excess marinade). Shake the bag to completely coat the chicken, then place the bag in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

sauce ingredients in a sauce pan

Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes to thicken slightly.

Step 4: Prep the Air Fryer

Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes.

After 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Shake the bag again to coat the chicken with flour. 

Step 5: Cook the Chicken

Spray the air fryer basket well with cooking oil. Transfer the chicken pieces to the air fryer basket, not touching if possible. Spritz the chicken pieces with oil. Air fry at 400ºF (200ºC) for 8 minutes. Turn the chicken pieces over, spritz with more oil, and cook for another 5-7 minutes. The amount of time it takes will vary based on your air fryer and the size of the chicken pieces.

Step 6: Sauce the Chicken & Enjoy

air fryer korean chicken p8

When the chicken is done, transfer it to a bowl and toss to coat with the sauce.

Serve with sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.

Air fryer Korean Fried Chicken

How to Store & Reheat

Storing

Fridge: To store leftover Korean fried chicken, allow it to cool to room temperature, then transfer it to an airtight container. Refrigerate within two hours of cooking to keep it safe. Properly stored, it will remain good for up to 3-4 days.

Freezer: If you want to store it for longer, you can freeze Korean fried chicken. Place it in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag, removing as much air as possible. It will stay good for up to 2-3 months in the freezer.

Reheating

Air Fryer: For the best results, reheat Korean fried chicken in your air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 350°F , and then cook for 4-6 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through. This will help maintain the crispy texture.

Oven: If you don’t have an air fryer, the oven is the next best option. Preheat your oven to 350°F , place the chicken on a baking sheet, and reheat for 10-15 minutes or until heated through. Flip the pieces halfway through for even heating.

While it’s quick, using the microwave can make the chicken lose its crispiness and become soggy. If you have no other option, use the microwave sparingly and reheat it in short intervals.

Air fryer Korean Fried Chicken

What Side Dishes to Serve?

You can serve some really easy side dishes with your main dish cooked in the Air Fryer. Sometimes, you can cook them together in the air fryer to make it even faster.

Some of our favorite side dishes to serve include:

Here are 28 more air fryer side dishes to try

Air fryer Korean Fried Chicken

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between Korean fried chicken and traditional fried chicken?

Korean Fried Chicken is typically double-fried, resulting in an extra crispy exterior. It’s also known for its unique sauces, such as gochujang or soy garlic, which give it a distinct flavor profile.

What is gochujang, and where can I find it?

Gochujang is a Korean fermented red chili paste. You can find it in most Asian grocery stores, international sections of supermarkets, or online. If unavailable, you can use Sriracha or red pepper flakes as a substitute.

Can I reheat Korean fried chicken in the microwave?

While you can use the microwave to reheat, it may make the chicken lose its crispiness. Using an air fryer or oven is recommended for better results.

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Air fryer Korean Fried Chicken

Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken

Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken is marinated and coated in a cornstarch mixture to give it maximum crunch in the air fryer before being coated in a sweet and spicy Korean sauce.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Marinating and Resting Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 349 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
 

For the chicken:

  • 1 pound (454 g) chicken thighs cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) fresh ginger minced
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (31 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons (16 g) cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) baking powder

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons (32 g) gochujang paste
  • 2 tablespoon (30 g) ketchup
  • 2 tablespoon (42 g) honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7 ml) soy sauce low sodium
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic minced

Instructions
 

  • Mix the rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, salt and pepper in a sealable plastic bag. Shake to mix well. Add the chicken pieces. Marinate for at least 20 minutes or overnight.
  • In another sealable plastic bag, mix the flour, cornstarch, and baking powder.
  • Transfer the chicken pieces into the flour bag (first shaking off excess marinade).
  • Shake the bag to completely coat the chicken, then place the bag in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir well and simmer for 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
  • After 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the refrigerator. Shake the bag again to coat the chicken with flour.
  • Preheat the air fryer at 400ºF (200ºC) for 5 minutes.
  • Spray the basket well with cooking oil. Transfer the chicken pieces to the air fryer basket, not touching if possible. Spritz the chicken pieces with oil so that there isn’t any dry spots.
  • Air fry at 400ºF (200ºC) for 8 minutes. Carefully turn the chicken pieces over so that you don’t know the coating off, spritz with more oil, and cook for another 5-7 minutes. The amount of time it takes will vary based on your air fryer and the size of the chicken pieces.
  • When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165° F(74°C), transfer it to a bowl and toss to coat with the sauce.
  • Serve with sesame seeds and green onions, if desired.

Notes

  • Avoid overcrowding the air fryer basket. Cook the chicken in batches if necessary, as overcrowding can result in uneven cooking and less crispy results.
  • If you like your Korean fried chicken extra spicy, increase the amount of gochujang paste. Conversely, if you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the gochujang or balance it with a bit more honey.
  • Chicken thighs are recommended for their juiciness, but you can also use boneless, skinless chicken breast for a leaner option. Adjust cooking time slightly, as chicken breast tends to cook faster.
  • For the most flavor, allow the chicken to marinate for at least 20 minutes. If time allows, marinate for up to 2 hours in the refrigerator to let the flavors in the meat fully.
  • Make sure to spray the air fryer basket well before you add the chicken. You don’t want the coating to stick to the basket when you try to turn it over.

All air fryers have different wattage and may cook at different rates. You may need to adjust the time or temp for the best results.

Nutrition

Calories: 349kcalCarbohydrates: 24gProtein: 20gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 111mgSodium: 879mgPotassium: 321mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 144IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 48mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Chicken
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