This is my third month participating in the Secret Recipe Club, a club started by Amanda of Amanda’s Cookin’, in which everyone is secretly assigned another participants’ blog and you choose one of their recipes to make and post. On reveal day, which is today for my group, everyone posts their recipes and gets to see who had their blog and what recipe they chose! Fun stuff!
This month I was assigned to Koreafornian Cooking, which consists mainly of Tammy’s excellent cooking videos. All the recipes, whether on video or typed, are Korean fusion dishes. The blog’s tagline, “Korean cooking with California flare,” is quite apt!
Since football season is officially upon us, and chicken wings are a popular choice for game fare, I chose to make Tammy’s Chuncheon Chicken Wings. Chuncheon (pronounced Choon-chen, as far as I can tell by hearing Tammy pronounce it in the video) is the capital of Gangwon province in South Korea, and she was inspired by their popular dakkalbi dish to make these wings. According to Tammy, dakkalbi is diced chicken marinated in a gochujang (chili pepper paste) based sauce, and then stir-fried with sliced Chinese cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, onions and tteok (rice cake). So she used the sauce in this dish as a marinade for wings served with the typical blue cheese dressing and celery in America, and voila! Chuncheon Chicken Wings, a truly Koreafornian fusion recipe, was born.
Though I searched high and low, I could not find the gochujang (Korean pepper paste) anywhere! I asked the ladies at the Asian market what I could use instead, and they said sriracha wasn’t as salty or hot (whoa, Nelly, that stuff must be smokin’!), but it could work. I really wanted to use the gochujang, if not just to see what it tasted like, but the wings turned out really lovely even with the sriracha (a Thai chile sauce) that wasn’t intended.
I changed the recipe a bit more by replacing all the sweetener (she used sugar and honey) with honey and upping it by a couple tablespoons. Fearing the heat, I left out the chile powder, but wish I would have kept it in because we like spicy food and while these were spicy, we could have handled the extra heat. The heat using sriracha only is about as hot as regular buffalo wings, so if you want to make it spicier, do add the chile powder.
The last change I made was one that might not be necessary if you use the gochujang, but with the sriracha (or maybe it was the wings, which had been frozen, or maybe it was the extra honey), the sauce became watery after a few hours of marinating and didn’t stick well to the wings when I baked them. They were looking pretty pale and sad, so I dumped the remaining marinade to a saucepan and cooked it with some cornstarch to thicken it, then brushed the wings with it, which did the trick. They were red and pretty, just like Tammy’s Chuncheon wings!
While my spicy-sweet version probably tastes nothing like the dakkalbi served in Chuncheon that inspired Tammy’s original recipe, they still were very good. I detest buffalo wings, but I loved the flavor of these, and they were a winner with Dennis, my wing man, too. Meaning to only have a few before dinner, he ended up eating 14 wings and turning those into his dinner. So yeah, I’d say they were a success.
Chuncheon Chicken Wings
¼ cup gochujang (Korean pepper paste) or ¼ cup sriracha
2 tablespoons hot chile powder or hot paprika
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ cup honey
Put all the sauce ingredients in a gallon freezer bag, seal, and shake/knead to mix. If you purchased your wings in a bag and defrosted them in the fridge, be sure to pat/squeeze each one between paper towels to dry them. Add the the wings to the bag, seal, and massage to coat the wings with sauce. Refrigerate and allow to marinate for at least ½ hour (I did three hours). Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place wings on a foil-lined & greased baking sheet with a rim (reserve extra marinade). Bake for 25 minutes.
While wings are baking, wash celery and cut the ends off, then cut into strips. Chop strips into thirds. Place them on a large plate along with a bowl of dressing.
Pour extra marinade into a saucepan and whisk in a teaspoon of cornstarch. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer for a minute or two until thickened. When the time goes off for the wings, remove from oven and turn them over using tongs. Brush the wings with the thickened sauce and return to the oven to bake for another 10-20 minutes, or until no longer pink in the middle.
Once wings are done, arrange them with the celery on the plate and serve!
Recipe source: adapted from Koreafornia Cooking
Be sure to click the blue linky man below to see all other secret recipe club posts today! I know it says there are 0 links, he’s a big fat liar, don’t believe him! Just click and you will see the truth. :)