It doesn’t take long before I start craving bright, East Asian flavours around Christmas time; crackling chilli mingled with lime’s fragrant acidity and the umami depth of soy. There’s only so much cheese, dried fruit and pastry a person can take and in and between it all I want my palate revived and excited.

These wings are perfect party food and the best thing is you can oven-bake them. Deep frying at home can be a hassle. It’s fine once or twice a year but there’s no getting away from the fact it makes your house reek. Instead, try sprinkling the wings with bicarbonate of soda and salt and leaving overnight in the fridge (or even a few hours) where they will dry out nicely, giving you ultra-crisp skin.

The sauce is straight-up addictive. I personally like a fair bit of acidity on my Korean wings as it balances the sweetness of the gochujang and sugar. The garnish is essential too; this is not a timid recipe. Slivers of spring onion and chilli, crunchy toasted peanuts and plenty of sesame seeds complete the dish. It’s an OTT mess, and all the better for it.

Crispy Baked Korean Chicken Wings Recipe

Makes 24 pieces

12 chicken wings, tips removed (put these in the freezer for stock!) and cut into drums and flats (jointed, basically – easy for your butcher but also easy at home with a sharp knife).
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon onion powder (not essential but fun)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (as above)
2 teaspoons sea salt

For the sauce

3 tablespoons gochujang
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
5 fat cloves smoked garlic, crushed or finely grated (obviously you could use regular, unsmoked garlic)
Juice of 2-3 limes

To garnish

Finely sliced spring onions
Finely sliced red chilli
Crushed, toasted peanuts
Black or white sesame seeds

Combine the bicarbonate of soda, salt and onion and garlic powders (if using) in a large bowl. Add the chicken wings and mix very well, to ensure all the wings are coated. Arrange the wings on a rack over a baking tray and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight (or for at least three hours). It’s fine to put the wings right next to each other but don’t stack them up or squidge them together too tightly.

When you’re ready to cook the wings, preheat the oven to 220C.

The best way to cook the wings is on a rack over a baking tray, although you may need to use two trays, so they’ve got space to crisp up nicely. If you don’t have racks, just do them on a baking tray brushed with a tiny bit of oil.

Cook the wings for 40 minutes, turning them halfway through.

To make the sauce, combine all the ingredients apart from the lime juice in a small saucepan and heat gently, stirring for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce is bubbling. Turn off the heat and squeeze in the juice of 1 lime to start with, then taste and add more if necessary.

Coat the wings with as much sauce as you like and fling all those garnishes over the top. Serve with extra wedges of lime and approximately 10000 napkins.

Sticky Rum and Scotch Bonnet Chicken Wings

I’m always thinking about the next thing I can sling on the BBQ. This weekend I fancied flavours of the Caribbean and my thoughts, naturally, turned to RUM. I used that as a boozy base for a marinade, then added a mixture of marmalade and honey, which caramelised on the grill and gave the stickiness I was after. Lime juice provided astringency, garlic and thyme fragrance and a scotch bonnet chilli, proper heat. A hint of allspice muddled nicely with the rum.

After playing around with a few variations, I’ve arrived at this recipe which makes a rather sexy pile of wings. The depth of a pirate-sized slug of Captain Morgan, sweet fruit, lip-tingling heat. Mmmm. Wings are excellent on the BBQ as they’re cheap, have a lot of surface area to hold marinade and they cook quickly, so you can get them nice and charred outside and juicy within.

I served this with a bowl of pineapple salsa, which compliments the booze, and a large kitchen roll. Sticky…

Sticky Rum and Scotch Bonnet Chicken Wings

(makes enough marinade for 10 wings)

10 chicken wings

2 tablespoons runny honey
2 tablespoons orange marmalade
A thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated
50ml dark rum (I used Captain Morgan)
Zest and juice of 1 large lime plus 1 more for serving
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 scotch bonnet, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, stirring until well mixed and the marmalade is no longer lumpy. Pour about 3/4 of the marinade over the wings, mix to make sure they are well coated then cover and refrigerate overnight. During the day time, try and move the wings around in the marinade a few times if you can, it helps to get them nicely coated.

Preheat your BBQ and cook the wings, turning them often and brushing regularly with the remaining 1/4 of the marinade. Do this until all the marinade is gone, the wings are sticky, charred and cooked through.