Wing it!

I love chicken, especially fried chicken. For those of you who don’t know, Korea is a chicken heaven. Their fried chicken game is on point! Compared to the Philippines where chicken is served with rice (and gravy baby!) as a complete meal, Koreans eat their fried chicken with beer. Hence the term “치맥 (chimaek)” (“chi” stands for chicken and “maek” for “maekju (beer)”. I still remember the time when I first came to know about Korean chicken. It felt like it was the best thing that happened to my life in Korea. It became my ultimate comfort food.

But when we arrived the “치킨집 (chicken jib)*,” I was a bit disappointed… they don’t serve rice. Like what?! “노 라이스? (no rice?)” Like, really now! For a country that boast of having different types of rice grain, you don’t serve rice in a chicken restaurant? What a joke! Well I guess the joke was on me. They were weirded out when I started asking for rice. It is dinner, fellas. I need my rice. This Pinay is rice hungry! But nope, they still didn’t give me my rice. Boo! Surprisingly, though, it was still a satisfying “meal”. Though I did not get to eat rice, I was happy to eat chicken and stuffed myself with more beer.

Fast forward to nine years later, I can proudly say that I am now an avid fan of “chimaek.” And yes, I don’t look or crave for rice anymore. Well, I still do… sometimes. Mr. Kim and I would have chimaek nights at least once a month. And that’s a lot of chicken by Korean standards.

From time to time when I want to eat chicken but I don’t want to eat a whole chicken, I usually resort to chicken wings. Soy sauce glazed chicken wings are my favorite. Plus, they are not fried. I bake them. Believe me, it’s much better than fried ones. The secret: baking powder. Yes! That’s right… baking powder. Adding a baking powder to your chicken gives it the same crispy texture as fried chicken. Don’t worry, you won’t taste the baking powder at all.

Here is my recipe for the oven baked soy sauce chicken wings:

Main Ingredients:

500g Chicken wings (cut for buffalo wings)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1 1/2 tbsp baking powder

Olive oil

Soy Sauce Glaze ingredients:

3 tbsp of soy sauce

1 tsp of sugar (caster or brown, it doesn’t matter)

1 tsp of sesame oil

1 tsp of vinegar

1 tsp of water

How to make:

1. Mix the flour and baking powder in a bowl.

2. Add the chicken wings to the flour mixture and mix. Make sure that the wings are well and evenly coated. You can put it in a ziplock bag and shake them. (Note: I did not put any salt in here because the soy sauce glaze is a bit salty.)

3. Prepare your baking tray. Make sure to use a baking rack this helps make the chicken wings crispy. Shake excess flour and then lay the prepped chicken wings on to the tray. Skin side should be facing upwards.

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4. Let the chicken dry out a little bit by putting it in the fridge. (I dried out mine for about 30 minutes but you can dry it a bit more. When I’m really in a hurry, I skip this part too. It’s less crispy but still crispy enough.)

5. While waiting, you can start making the sauce. Just mix all the ingredients until they are well combined. Set aside.

6. Preheat the oven to 220 C.

7. Drizzle the chicken with a bit of olive oil and then bake it for about 20 minutes.

8. Take out the chicken wings and then flip them over to crisp up the bottom side. Then continue baking for another 20 minutes.

*** If you feel that the chicken wings are not brown and crispy enough, continue baking for a couple more minutes until they are brown and crispy.

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9. When the chicken is completely cooked, toss it in with the soy sauce glaze. (Make sure that the chicken is hot enough so that the soy sauce glaze will be absorbed properly.)

10. Transfer it to a serving plate. Sprinkle some sesame seeds on top. Serve and enjoy!

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Tips:

1. You can buy baking powder at any supermarkets in Korea. Just look for “baking powdou” (베이킹 파우더).

2. Korea has many different kinds of soy sauce. For this recipe I used 진간장 (jin ganjang).

3. If you don’t have time to make your own soy sauce glaze, you can buy the oriental salad dressing that comes in bottle. They make a delicious alternative too.

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Happy eating!

(*literally translated as “chicken house” but actually means a fried chicken store)

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