Korean Air Fryer Chicken
This is a healthy version of Korean Fried Chicken that is made using an airfryer. The chicken is crispy and coated in the most delicious sauce that’s the perfect balance of salty, sweet and spicy. This simple Korean spicy chicken recipe takes just 30 minutes to make and can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer or main meal. These Air Fryer Korean chicken bites is Paleo, Whole30, Grain Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free and Specific Carbohydrate Diet Legal.
WHY YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE THIS KOREAN AIR FRIED CHICKEN
- This Korean spicy chicken is super crispy and tastes fried but is actually made in the airfryer with barely any oil!
- The sauce is so good! It’s packed with sweet, spicy and salty flavours and really coats the chicken pieces
- This entire Korean Chicken recipe couldn’t be easier to make and comes together in under 30 minutes.
- This is sure to be a hit with the whole family!
WHAT IS KOREAN CHILI POWDER?
Gochugaru, which in English can also be known as Korean chili powder is a bright red chili powder that has slightly smoky yet sweet flavour. It is used in a lot of Korean cooking and can be found in everything from kimchi to stews. Compared to the chili powder most commonly found in stores here in North America, gochugaru has a much milder spice level. Gochugaru can be bought as a powder or as chili flakes and I have personally found that both would work in this Korean Fried Chicken recipe.
WHAT CAN I USE IN PLACE OF KOREAN CHILI POWDER?
If possible, I would recommend trying to source Korean chili powder for this Korean Fried Chicken dish. It can be found in most Asian markets or alternatively can also be bought online (Amazon to the rescue!). The korean chili powder can be substituted for 1 1/2 tsp chipotle powder + 1/2 tsp cayenne powder.
HOW TO MAKE THIS WHOLE30
To make this sauce Whole30, simply swap the honey for dates which have been soaked in hot water for 10 minutes (this will make them easier to blend). After soaking, place the dates in a blender along with all of the other sauce ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Pour the sauce into a sauce pan and heat through.
CAN I USE SKINLESS THIGHS OR BREASTS FOR THIS KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN?
For these Air Fryer chicken bites I highly recommend using skin on chicken thighs for the crispiest chicken pieces that will taste fried. If you prefer to remove the skin or use breasts, the chicken will still be very taste, it just won’t be quite as crunchy in texture. If using breasts I also recommend cutting the chicken into smaller sized pieces which should help them crisp up when cooked.
HOW TO DEBONE THE CHICKEN THIGHS
Deboning chicken thighs isn’t nearly as daunting as it sounds and it makes a big difference in these air fryer chicken bites. If you aren’t a fan of cutting up chicken then you can ask your butcher to debone the thighs for you, or they might even already have boneless skin on thighs available to buy. Don’t stress if you have to do it yourself though, it’s really simple to do, just follow these steps:
- Place the chicken skin side down on a cutting board.
- Run a knife down both sides of the bone, cutting it from the rest of the meat. Cut the meat away from the bone until it is completely detached.
- Run your hands over the chicken to feel for any sharp pieces of bone or cartilage that might have been left and cut them out. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs.
DON’T HAVE AN AIR FRYER?
If you don’t have an air fryer you can bake the chicken in the oven instead. Lay the chicken pieces skin side up on a greased sheet pan ensuring they don’t overlap. Bake the chicken at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and golden in colour. If the skin isn’t crisp enough, turn the oven to broil and broil for a few minutes.
WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH THESE KOREAN AIR FRIED CHICKEN BITES?
There are so many options! Enjoy a big bowl of this Korean Fried Chicken on its own, served over cauliflower rice, or with steamed veggies. I also like serving this chicken with a big salad for some added freshness.
CAN I MAKE THIS AIR FRYER KOREAN CHICKEN IN ADVANCE?
For maximum crispiness I recommend only cooking the chicken a few minutes before serving, but you can debone the chicken and cut it into pieces up to 2 days in advance. The sauce can also be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in the fridge. Simply warm it up in a pot on the stove or in the microwave before pouring it over the crispy cooked chicken.
WHAT ABOUT LEFTOVER KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN?
Leftover Air Fryer Korean spicy chicken will last for up to 3 days in the fridge. They will be incredibly tasty but unfortunately the chicken won’t retain its crispiness once put in the fridge. You can reheat the Korean fried chicken in the microwave, in a skillet on medium high heat for 4-5 minutes, or in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes until hot.
Here are other recipes using chicken thighs that you might enjoy…
- Air Fryer Firecracker Chicken Bites
- Seared Chicken Thighs in Garlic Herb Sauce
- Honey Garlic Chicken Thighs
- Garlic Mushroom & Bacon Chicken
- Spicy Orange Chicken
- Szechuan Chicken Thighs
- Sheet Pan Chicken Piccata
If you make this Korean Air Fried Chicken recipe let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear what you think or take a photo and tag me (@everylastbite_) on Instagram, I love seeing your photos!
Korean Air Fried Chicken
- 10 Skin on Chicken Thighs
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 shallot or 1/2 small red onion
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp honey (or 2 medjool dates for Whole30)
- 2 tsp Korean Chili Powder (Gochugaru)
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp chopped cashews or peanuts
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1 tsp sesame seeds
- To prep the chicken, lay the thighs on a cutting board, skin side down. Run a knife down both sides of the bone and then pull the bone up with your fingers and cut the meat away from the bone until it is completely detached. Run your hands over the chicken to feel for any sharp pieces of bone that might have been left and cut them out. Repeat with the remaining thighs.
- Cut the deboned chicken thighs into small bite sized pieces ensuring that the skin stays attached to eat piece.
- In a bowl toss the chicken pieces with olive oil, salt and garlic powder
- Lightly spray the basket of the air fryer with cooking spray and then place the chicken pieces skin side up in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Air fry at 390 degrees Fahrenheit for 18 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking make the sauce. In a blender combine all of the sauce ingredients and blend until completely smooth. Pour the sauce into a skillet and leave to gently simmer for 4-5 minutes until hot.
- When the chicken is done in the air fryer, transfer it to a bowl and toss it in the sauce. Garnish with the scallions, chopped nuts and sesame seeds.
- If you do not have an airfryer, preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly spray a baking sheet with oil. Lay the chicken pieces out evenly skin side up on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. If the skin isn’t crisp enough once done, turn the oven to broil and broil for a few minutes.
Hi! Korean American here. Thank you for using the Korean word for the chili powder and thoughtfully explaining it! And also pointing this out as Korean inspired. I see so many food bloggers and cooks just saying something is “Asian” so seeing this makes me happy 🙂 definitely will try this as I love healthy air fryer recipes!
Oooooh this was so good. My 4 year old even loved this (for him I did the sauce on the side to dip the chicken in). Will definitely make again, especially now that I have a big jar of the Korean powder.