Whether you're a Chinese cuisine fan with a passion for Asian recipes or you just love delicious wings, Chinese Fried Chicken Wings Recipe with Secret Spices is for you. This recipe brings together the best of crispy textures, bold flavors, and juicy meat. These are not like the crispy wings you get when you order Chinese food at a Chinese restaurant. Those are deep-fried chicken wings. These wings offer a unique and memorable eating experience with a secret ingredient or two.
Andrew Zimmern shared a recipe for Chinese chicken wings in the "Tasty Travels" episode of the Food Network show, The Best Thing I Ever Made. I got my inspiration for my Chinese Fried Chicken Wings Recipe with Secret Spices from Andrew's chicken wings. Delicious!
WHAT MAKES THIS RECIPE SPECIAL?
What sets this Chinese Fried Chicken Wings recipe apart is its secret ingredient and the meticulous method of preparation. The use of Shaoxing wine and Sichuan peppercorns introduces a depth of flavor that's hard to find in other recipes. You do not have to deep fry these wings resulting in a pot of oil to discard.
These wings are not just fried; they are seared to golden brown perfection, simmered, and then glazed in a sauce that's rich, sticky, and packed with flavors of soy sauce, brown sugar, and sesame oil. The best part? Crispy Chinese chicken wings that are juicy on the inside and a little crispy on the outside.
For the full recipe with quantities, see the recipe card at the end of the post.
Key ingredients like potato starch or corn starch ensure the crispiest results, while peanut oil is chosen for its high smoke point, making it ideal for frying. The garlic powder, white pepper, and black pepper add a spicy kick that complements the sweet and savory sauce. Fresh ginger and a dried hot chili bring a warmth that's signature to many Asian recipes. Cornstarch is used instead of all purpose flour.
MARY'S TWO CENTS
This recipe falls into the "frugal" category, costing between $4.00 and $6.00 per serving. Shopping at Asian markets can save you money on ingredients like Shaoxing wine and Sichuan peppercorns, making this luxurious dish affordable without compromising on taste.
If you can't find Shaoxing wine, sake or dry white wine makes an excellent substitute, maintaining the authentic flavor profile. For those who might not have oyster sauce on hand, hoisin sauce can fill in, adding a similar depth and richness. Sesame oil is a must for the finishing touch, but if you're in a pinch, a neutral oil with a drop of toasted sesame seeds can work.
To tailor this dish to various tastes, consider adding a sprinkle of rice vinegar for a tangy twist or hot sauce for extra heat. For a sweeter version, increase the brown sugar slightly. These small tweaks can help make the recipe your own while keeping the essence of the Chinese fried chicken wings.
Step 1: Mix the cornstarch and baking soda in a large bowl. Combine chicken wings. Toss until the wings are coated.
Step 2: Place large pan or wok over high heat. Add the peanut oil. Heat until it glistens. Add the chicken and sear in the hot oil.
Step 3: Add the water, sake, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, oyster sauce, ginger, star anise, dried chili and cinnamon stick to a small bowl and stir to mix.
Step 4: Pour the sauce over the hot chicken in the pan. Bring back up to a simmer. Cook, covered, about 12 minutes at medium heat.
Step 5: Uncover and simmer another 10 to 12 minutes until the pan is almost dry. Toss frequently to coat the wings.
Step 6: Skim off the fat if you like or emulsify the chicken fat into the sauce by turning up the heat at the last minute to boil the fat into the other liquids.
Step 9: Remove the chicken wings from the heat. Allow to cool before garnishing and serving. If the wings are not crispy as you like them, place them on a sheet pan, no sauce, and heat at 300 degrees until they reach the texture you like. These sticky Chinese chicken wings are meant to be more stcky than crispy.
You'll need a large non-stick skillet or wok and paper towels to drain the wings after frying. These tools are essential.
For the best results, ensure the chicken wings are at room temperature before cooking. This helps them cook evenly. Drying them with paper towels before frying will lead to a better sear and crispier wings. Cooking in small batches ensures that each wing is perfectly cooked.
You can serve them as an appetizer, just like teriyaki wings or hot pepper chicken wings. If you want to make the wings a meal, serve them alongside a plate of white rice which has been cooked with a little rice vinegar in the water. Saute some shishito peppers until charred and you have a complete meal!
The secret is the spice profile of the recipe. The star anise, cinnamon stick, and Sichuan peppercorns set the recipe apart from the others. The ginger and hot chili round out the flavor profile and make this is unique wing experience. But, while unique, it is not too unfamiliar.
Grandmother's Chinese Chicken Wings
- Large non-stick skillet or wok
- Paper towels
- 1.75 pounds chicken wing parts wing tips removed
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch or potato starch, rice flour. Do not use all purpose flour. Leave it out if that is all you have.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup Shaoxing wine or sake, or dry white wine
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 5 tablespoons brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons mirin
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce or hoisin sauce in a pinch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 inch fresh ginger thinly sliced
- 1 clove star anise
- ¼ teaspoon sichuan peppercorns or white pepper or finely ground black pepper
- 1 dried hot chili or ½ teaspoon hot sauce
- 1 small cinnamon stick
- Sliced green onions for garnish
- Sesame seeds for garnish
- Mix the cornstarch and the baking soda in a large bowl.
- Add the chicken wings to the bowl and toss until the wings are evenly coated.
- Place a 14-inch nonstick sauce pan or large wok over high heat. Add the peanut oil and heat until it glistens. Add the chicken and sear to golden brown.
- Add the water, sake, soy sauce, brown sugar, mirin, oyster sauce, ginger, star anise, dried chili and cinnamon stick to a small bowl and stir to mix.
- Pour the sauce over the hot chicken in the pan. Bring back up to a simmer. Cook, covered, about 12 minutes.
- Uncover and simmer until the pan is almost dry, tossing frequently to coat the wings, another 10 to 12 minutes.
- Skim off the fat if you like, and serve, garnishing with scallion shavings and sesame seeds. Or emulsify the chicken fat into the sauce by turning up the heat at the last minute to boil the fat into the other liquids. .
- Garnish and serve.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
This Chinese Fried Chicken Wings recipe with secret spices is more than just a meal; it's an experience. With the right ingredients and a bit of care, you can bring the flavors of a Chinese restaurant right into your home. Whether you're new to Asian recipes or a seasoned pro, this dish is sure to impress.
CALLING ALL WING FANS...
If you like chicken wings, you'll love these chicken wings!
Leftover wings can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat them in the oven on a sheet pan to maintain their crispiness. Avoid microwaving as it can make the skin soggy.