Best Chinese Chicken dishes
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OK, getting onto these Sticky Chinese Chicken Wings – these are so moorish, once you start you won’t be able to stop! This is my family recipe for Sticky Chinese Chicken Wings which has been tweaked and perfected over years, with input from everyone (mother, brother, sister and me) and many heated debates! We finally agreed this is The Recipe and have been loyal to it for years and I don’t see it changing soon. After all, why tinker with perfection?
The marinade for this recipe is a perfect balance of slightly spicy (very mild), salty, sweet with a touch of tang, and the subtle fragrance of Chinese Five Spice from hoisin sauce as well as five spice powder.
We have a rule that it is acceptable to omit one ingredient from the marinade, but if you are missing more than one, then don’t bother making it…….however, it IS acceptable to substitute with similar ingredients, and I’ve provided a fairly lengthy list of “acceptable” substitutions.
This is not my usual “15 minute” meal, but it’s really simple, and if you purchase chicken wings already split into drumettes and wingettes then it takes a mere 5 minutes to make the marinade and it’s pretty low maintenance to bake. The other great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need to make ahead and leave it to marinate overnight, you only need to leave it for 10 to 15 minutes.
I usually cook this in the oven but it also works well on the BBQ (on the grill side, not the plate side), but it needs to be grilled on low otherwise the sugar in the marinade will char and burn before the inside is cooked. It only takes about 15 minutes to cook on the BBQ. Also, when cooking on the BBQ, I recommend not basting while cooking but instead, right at the end, toss all the wings back into the bowl and coat with marinade then give them a final quick blast on the BBQ for a minute to make the marinade hot and sticky.
I must admit, the times I have enjoyed this the most have involved copious amounts of wine….this is the ultimate midnight snack. Forget kebab stands, we need chicken wings carts outside pubs and clubs, and definitely at every taxi queue!
My family recipe for the ultimate Sticky Chinese Wings, perfected over years with many heated debates! Many of the ingredients can be substituted and you'll still get a similar flavour - refer to the notes. The marinade for this recipe also goes really well with pork. Also, you can cook the wings on the BBQ instead of oven - do it on the grill side (not flat plate) on medium low.
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats
Recipe type: Appetizer, Finger Food, Party Food, Main, Snacks
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
- 1-1.5kg /2 - 3lb chicken wings, cut into drumettes and wingettes
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp brown sugar or honey
- ¼ cup ketchup or tomato sauce
- 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp sambal oelek
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped or minced
- ½ tsp five spice powder
- Finely sliced shallots/scallions
- Sesame seeds
- Coriander/cilantro leaves
- Finely sliced fresh chili
- Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl or in a ziplock bag.
- Add wings and coat well, then leave aside for 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
- Line baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Shake excess marinade off wings (but reserve the marinade) and spread on baking tray.
- Baste generously once or twice during baking, using up all the remaining marinade (usually for the 2nd baste I just pour the remaining marinade all over the wings).
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes until the meat comes off the bone fairly easily and the wings are just starting to char and are a sticky, dark red/golden colour.
- Optional garnishes to serve: coriander/cilantro leaves, sesame seeds, chilli, sliced shallots/scallions.
1. Lemon juice can be substituted with vinegar - preferably a white one, but even a dark one will be ok (except not balsamic which I think would taste strange).
2. Chinese Cooking Wine (Shao Xing Wine) can be substituted with sherry or sake. You could also sub with mirin, but if you do then reduce the sugar to 1 tbsp.
3. Hoisin Sauce can be substituted with oyster sauce but then you should add an extra ¼ tsp of Chinese Five Spice Powder.
4. Oyster Sauce can be substituted with Hoisin Sauce but if you do so then do not add the ½ tsp of five spice powder.
5. The Sambal Oelak can be substituted for any other Asian chilli sauce or paste, such as Chilli Bean Sauce or Sriracha.
6. Marinade time - it is best not to marinade for too long, 1 hour at most, because the salt in the marinade will draw too much moisture out of the wings (making them drier) and also the marinade will become watery making it harder to stick to the wings.