These sticky Chinese Chicken Wings are braised in a savory sauce and require no marinating: they can be cooked whenever you have a crab ing without pre-planning! Fresh and zingy, they taste better than any from a Chinese restaurant and are on the table in 30 minutes!
⭐ Why This Recipe is a Star
- These Sticky Chinese Chicken wings are delicious: If you enjoy Chinese food, you'll love these braised wings which are better than Chinese takeout! (Healthier too!) The soy reduction sauce is gloriously sticky and fingerlicking good for Game Day!
- Quick and easy: no marination needed so you can make this Asian wings dish whenever you want to eat it! It's pretty much mix, rub, braise and enjoy in 30 minutes! Easy enough to make perfectly the first time!
Note: for more easy Asian appetisers, click here.
The main ingredients for this chicken wing recipe are:
- chicken wings: preferably separated in drums and flaps, so that the sauce can cover the meat. You can substitute wings with other parts of the chicken, such as skinless chicken thighs, but the cooking time will change. If using chicken breasts (not my recommended cut- so dry!), it is crucial that the sauce is simmering gently (on low heat) and not boiling to prevent the meat from becoming stringy.
- aromatics such as fresh garlic and fresh ginger, peeled and minced: you can also grate instead of mincing. Note that I have not tested this recipe with ginger powder or garlic powder.
- Hoisin sauce: You can buy hoisin sauce (and the other ingredients in this list) from most major supermarkets these days. If not, you'll have to check out your local Asian grocery stores or Amazon!
- Light soy sauce: this is regular soy sauce, not dark soy sauce, sweet soy sauce or thick soy sauce, which are different!
- Rice vinegar: you can substitute with white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- Shaoxing wine: you can use mirin, sake or dry sherry in place of this Chinese cooking wine.
- 5 spice powder: if you can, make your own Chinese 5 spice from star anise and Szechuan peppercorns as spices lose their aroma very quickly.
- Light sesame oil
- White sugar: you can use brown sugar, honey or maple syrup as a replacement, but note that heating honey reduces its health benefits!
- Sambal Oelek, optional but recommended, for spicy Chinese chicken wings: you can use Sriracha or 1 of these Sambal alternatives as well.
Looks like a daunting list, doesn't it? But, honestly, this Chinese wings recipe is super quick and simple!
📖 Variations & Substitutes
- Baked Chinese chicken wings: it's cheaper to braise where I live (than to bake) so I usually stew my Asian chicken wings for 20-30 mins (depending on the size of the wings.) However, you can also bake them- in a single layer on parchment paper- at 400 degrees f (204C) for 25 minutes (or till cooked.) If baking, I recommend marinating overnight for the savory flavors to really seep into the meat.
Note: For more baked chicken wing recipes, try this Pok Pok inspired baked-but-as-crispy-as-fried chicken recipe.
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
1a. Mix the ingredients for the sauce together in a large bowl.
1b. Take the chicken wings out of the fridge and place them in the sauce.
1c. Make sure all the wings are well-coated with the sauce. Once the wings are at room temperature- about 20 to 30 minutes-they're ready to go into the pot!
Note: letting the meat warm up and not cooking it fridge cold is essential for soft and tender meat, but don't let it sit out for too long (food safety.)
2a. Pour the liquid sauce- and not the wings!- into a wok or big pot and bring to the boil over high heat.
2b. Once boiling, add the wings, stir to coat, then turn down the fire to medium-low, keeping the sauce at a simmer.
2c. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or till the meat is cooked through (at an internal temperature of 165F or when the juices run clear after piercing through the thickest part of the meat.)
Optional Garnish: toasted white sesame seeds, sliced up red chilli and spring onion or coriander.
🥡 How to Store
Extras can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge and eaten within 2 days. (Make sure it doesn't spend more than 2hours out at room temperature!)
For longer storage, the wings can be frozen (although, preferably, for better meat texture, freeze the marinated wings before cooking, then cook them when you want to eat them.)
💭 Recipe FAQs
Asian people traditionally do- as did Julia Child- but the CDC advises against it, as water splashing can transfer raw bacteria and germs to other foods!
🥗 Other Chinese Recipes
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Sticky Chinese Chicken Wings (Braised)
- Knife and chopping board Substitute: grater
- Large pot or wok
- 2.2 lb chicken wings (1 kg, about 9-11 pieces depending on the size of the chicken!) Preferably separate into drums and flap so that it's easier to cover with the sauce when simmering.
- ½ Cup Light Soy Sauce Do not substitute with dark, thick or sweet soy!
- ¼ Cup Hoisin Sauce
- 3 Tablespoons tomato ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar Substitute: apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or fresh lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons shaoxing wine Substitute: dry sherry, mirin or sake
- 1 Tablespoons white sugar Substitute: brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon Dark sesame oil
- 1 bulb garlic peeled and minced
- 1 thumb ginger 2 inches long, peeled and minced or grated
- 1 Tablespoon Sambal Oelek Substitute: regular red pepper flakes or 1 of these Sambal Oelek Paste Substitutes
- 1 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice powder Click here for a homemade spice recipe
- Optional Garnish: toasted white sesame seeds, sliced up red chilli and spring onion or coriander.
- Mix the ingredients for the sauce together in a large bowl. Still well.
- Take the chicken wings out of the fridge and place them in the sauce. Make sure all the wings are well-coated with the sauce. Once the wings are at room temperature- about 20 to 30 minutes-they're ready to go into the pot!Note: not cooking cold meat is essential for soft and tender meat, but don't let it sit out for too long (food safety.)
- Pour the liquid sauce- and not the wings!- into a wok or big pot and bring to the boil over high heat.
- Once boiling, add the wings, stir to coat, then turn down the fire to medium-low, keeping the sauce at a simmer.
- Simmer for 25-30 minutes or till the meat is cooked through (at an internal temperature of 165F or when the juices run clear after piercing through the thickest part of the meat.)Optional Garnish: toasted white sesame seeds, sliced up red chilli and spring onion or coriander.
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