How To Make Chinese Chicken Wings – Just 5 Steps!

by Ella

Chicken wings are a beloved appetizer enjoyed by food enthusiasts around the world, and Chinese-style chicken wings offer a unique twist with their bold flavors and aromatic spices. Whether served as a crowd-pleasing party snack or a flavorful addition to a casual dinner, Chinese chicken wings captivate the palate with their irresistible combination of sweet, savory, and spicy elements. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the art of making Chinese chicken wings, exploring the diverse ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavor profiles that elevate this classic dish to culinary greatness.

Unraveling the Flavor Profile of Chinese Chicken Wings:

At the heart of Chinese chicken wings lies a harmonious blend of flavors and textures, each element carefully selected to create a memorable dining experience. Here are the key components that contribute to the distinctive flavor profile of Chinese chicken wings:


Sweet and Savory Marinade: Chinese chicken wings are typically marinated in a flavorful mixture that balances sweetness with savory and umami notes. Common ingredients in the marinade include soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, brown sugar, and Chinese five-spice powder, which impart depth of flavor and a rich, caramelized glaze to the wings.


Aromatic Spices and Herbs: The marinade is often enhanced with aromatic spices and herbs that add complexity and depth to the flavor profile of the wings. Ginger, garlic, star anise, and Sichuan peppercorns are frequently used to infuse the wings with fragrant and pungent notes that tantalize the senses.


Tangy Citrus Zest: A touch of citrus zest, such as orange or lime, brightens the flavor of Chinese chicken wings and adds a refreshing contrast to the rich and savory marinade. The citrus zest also helps balance the sweetness of the marinade, creating a well-rounded and vibrant flavor profile.


Crispy Coating: Chinese chicken wings are often coated in a light and crispy batter or seasoned flour mixture before being fried to golden perfection. This crispy coating adds texture and crunch to the wings, creating a delightful contrast to the tender and succulent meat inside.

Fiery Heat: For those who enjoy a spicy kick, Chinese chicken wings can be infused with fiery heat using ingredients such as chili paste, sriracha sauce, or dried red chili flakes. The addition of spicy elements adds depth and complexity to the flavor profile, creating a tantalizing sensation that lingers on the palate.

Mastering the Art of Making Chinese Chicken Wings:

Now that we’ve explored the essential components of Chinese chicken wings, let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making this delectable dish:

1. Prepare the Marinade:

In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, brown sugar, Chinese five-spice powder, grated ginger, minced garlic, and citrus zest (such as orange or lime).

Whisk the marinade ingredients together until well combined, ensuring that the sugar is fully dissolved and the flavors are evenly distributed.

2. Marinate the Chicken Wings:

Place the chicken wings in a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.

Pour the marinade over the chicken wings, making sure they are fully submerged in the mixture.

Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap, then refrigerate the chicken wings for at least 1-2 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the flavors to meld and penetrate the meat.

3. Coat the Chicken Wings:

In a separate bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, pepper, and any additional spices or seasonings of your choice.

Remove the chicken wings from the marinade, shaking off any excess liquid.

Dredge the chicken wings in the seasoned flour mixture until evenly coated, gently shaking off any excess flour.

4. Fry the Chicken Wings:

Heat vegetable oil in a deep fryer or large skillet to 350°F (180°C) over medium-high heat.

Carefully add the coated chicken wings to the hot oil in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan.

Fry the chicken wings for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until they are golden brown and crispy on the outside and cooked through on the inside.

Use a slotted spoon or tongs to transfer the fried chicken wings to a wire rack or paper towel-lined plate to drain off any excess oil.

5. Garnish and Serve:

Once all the chicken wings are cooked, transfer them to a serving platter.

Garnish the chicken wings with chopped green onions, sesame seeds, and a sprinkle of additional Chinese five-spice powder for added flavor and visual appeal.

Serve the Chinese chicken wings hot, accompanied by dipping sauces such as sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, or plum sauce for dipping.

Variations and Customizations:

While the traditional recipe for Chinese chicken wings is a timeless classic, there are countless variations and customizations that allow you to put your own unique spin on this beloved dish. Here are some ideas to inspire your culinary creativity:

Sticky Garlic Glaze: Toss the fried chicken wings in a sticky garlic glaze made with minced garlic, honey, soy sauce, and rice vinegar for a sweet and savory flavor sensation.

Spicy Sichuan Style: Add Sichuan peppercorns, chili paste, and dried red chili flakes to the marinade for a fiery kick that tingles the taste buds and leaves you craving more.

Honey Sriracha Drizzle: Drizzle the cooked chicken wings with a honey sriracha sauce made with sriracha sauce, honey, and lime juice for a sweet, tangy, and spicy flavor explosion.

Teriyaki Twist: Replace the traditional marinade with a teriyaki sauce made with soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, and ginger for a Japanese-inspired take on Chinese chicken wings.

Sesame Soy Glaze: Toss the fried chicken wings in a sesame soy glaze made with soy sauce, sesame oil, honey, and sesame seeds for a nutty and aromatic flavor profile that delights the senses.

See Also: Chicken Wings: Preparing, Freezing & Thawing


In summary, Chinese chicken wings are a delectable and satisfying appetizer that combines bold flavors, aromatic spices, and crispy textures to create a culinary masterpiece. By mastering the art of making Chinese chicken wings and experimenting with different marinades, coatings, and garnishes, you can create a personalized version of this beloved dish that captivates the taste buds and leaves a lasting impression on your guests. Whether enjoyed as a snack, party appetizer, or main course, Chinese chicken wings are sure to delight and satisfy even the most discerning of palates. So gather your ingredients, heat up the oil, and embark on a culinary journey through flavor and technique as you prepare to savor every crispy, flavorful bite of these irresistible chicken wings.



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