Creating recipes isn't a pastime—it's a passion. And a lot of fun.

The rules are few: Use 99% fresh ingredients (or thereabouts); make the dish simple but flavorful; make the dish flavorful but simple; be creative, not silly.

With this blog, I want to share new recipes, along with tips on ingredients and preparation, and, hopefully, show new cooks (and non-cooks) the pleasure in setting the table with a delicious homemade meal. The Briny Lemon is about fresh, simple, flavorful ingredients and easy cooking methods that help you bring the best to your family table. Your comments are welcome!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Baked Chicken Wings with Spicy Korean Barbecue Sauce

I love spicy food with big, bold, pleasant flavor. That puts Korean cuisine on my list of favorites, and “gochujang” is one of the reasons. This warm, spicy, flavor-loaded Korean red pepper paste is a staple ingredient in Korean cooking, and it’s a delicious accompaniment to most meats and poultry, even stir-fried vegetables.

What’s in it? A variety of ingredients, depending on the brand you buy—or whose grandma is making it in her own kitchen—but common ones include ground rice, soy bean powder, hot pepper powder, red pepper powder, yeast powder, seed malt, and water. Cooking gochujang from scratch takes days because it needs to ferment awhile, but excellent pastes are available in Korean or general Asian markets.

One Brand of Gochujang  
In this recipe, I used gochujang as the main ingredient in a Korean-style barbecue sauce for chicken wings. Don’t brush the sauce on too early because it will burn, so bake the wings until they’re nearly cooked through, then toss them with the sauce and return them to the oven for a nice, smoky char to finish.

For another Asian-inspired wing recipe, check out Japanese-Style Chicken Wings with Miso-Sesame Glaze.

Serves 4-5

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tsp sesame oil, divided
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 10 large, whole chicken wings
  • 1/2 cup gochujang
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds, plus more for garnish
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
Barbecue Sauce Ingredients
  1. Combine 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a large, sealable plastic bag. Add the wings, seal, and turn several times to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours (may also be made a day ahead).
Chicken Wings in Marinade
  1. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil, gochujang, ketchup, vinegar, sugar, and 1 tablespoon sesame seeds in a large saucepan (large enough to toss the wings). Bring to a light simmer, reduce the heat to low, and cook, covered, 20 minutes. Set aside.
Sauce Beginning to Cook
Cooked Sauce
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Line a shallow baking pan with parchment paper. (The wings may stick to uncoated foil.)
  2. Remove the wings from the marinade, with some marinade still clinging, and place on the baking pan. (Discard marinade.) Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and bake until nearly cooked through, about 35 minutes, turning after 20 minutes.
Wings Ready to Bake
Wings before Turning 
Wings Nearly Baked
  1. Meanwhile, gently re-warm the sauce. Remove the wings from the oven (leave the oven on) and place them in the pan with the barbecue sauce. Use tongs to turn several times, coating completely.
  2. Place the wings back on the baking sheet and return to the oven. Bake until the sauce begins to char in spots and the wings are cooked through, 5 minutes, turning once.
Baked Wings
Transfer the wings to a large platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve hot. 

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