Korean Style Fried Turkey Wings

korean style fried turkey wings

The Spruce / Pete Scherer

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 18 mins
Marinate: 60 mins
Total: 98 mins

Crunchy, juicy, spicy, sweet, and deeply umami, Korean turkey wings are a satisfying meal or appetizer. The ratio of meat to skin and bone is higher than with chicken wings, and turkey has a bit more depth of flavor, which stands up nicely to the strong flavors of a Korean-style sauce. This recipe is also fairly easy because there is nothing to debone, and no butchering besides separating the joints.

Look for turkey wings at kosher markets and delis or call ahead to your butcher. They're easier to find around the holidays. You'll need a heatproof thermometer suitable for deep frying to bring the oil up to temperature, and keep it there.

Ingredients

  • For the Marinade and Coating:
  • 4 turkey wings (8 pieces: 4 drumettes, 4 wingettes, about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons ginger (freshly grated)
  • 2 tablespoons green onion (white part only, chopped, greens reserved for garnish)
  • 1 cup potato starch
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Neutral oil (for frying)
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Sriracha (or gochujang)
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • For the Garnish:
  • Sesame seeds
  • Green onion tops (thinly sliced on a bias)
  • Red chile peppers (such as bird’s eye, thinly sliced on a bias)
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro (torn)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pat the turkey wings dry with paper towels. If you bought whole wings, separate the wingette and drumette at the joint using a sharp knife.

  3. Place the wing pieces in a large zip-close bag or a bowl. Add the rice wine, ginger, and green onion. Close the bag and toss everything together or mix everything in the bowl and cover. Marinate for at least one hour.

  4. Add the oil to a deep fryer or at least 3 inches to a heavy-bottomed large pot. Don't fill more than halfway with oil. Heat the oil to 325 F.

  5. Drain the wings. Add the potato starch and salt. Toss to coat well. Feel free to add more starch, if necessary, to achieve a thorough coating.

  6. Gently shake off any excess starch and add the wings one at a time to the hot oil. Depending on the size of your frying setup, you may want to fry in batches. Don't overcrowd the oil.

  7. Fry for about 8 minutes. Remove the wings to a wire rack over a sheet pan or place on clean paper towels to drain excess oil. Raise the temperature of the fryer oil to 360 F.

  8. Prepare the glaze. Add the honey, Sriracha, soy sauce, and sesame oil to a large bowl and mix.

  9. When the oil is up to temperature, fry the wings again for 1 to 2 more minutes. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature by inserting it into the thickest part of the drumette without hitting the bone. It should register at least 165 F.

  10. Remove wings from the fryer. Put them in the bowl with the glaze and toss to coat. Add the garnishes and toss again. Serve immediately.

Tip

Marinating time is flexible. We've marinated for as little as an hour and as long as 36 hours with fine results. Do what your schedule allows. For longer marinating times, cover and put the wings in the refrigerator. Remove them one hour prior to frying so they can come up to room temperature before frying.

How to Store Korean Style Turkey Wings

These turkey wings are very good the day they are made but will keep for 3 to 4 days, covered, in the refrigerator. You can eat them at room temperature or cold (try tossing the meat, taken off the bone, with some cooked rice), or reheat them. Simply wrap them in aluminum foil and reheat in a 350 F oven until warmed through.