Crispy Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce

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crispy chicken wings fish sauce 2

My mother used to cook a lot with chicken wings when I was younger. I’m not sure if it was just because they were cheap, or if she merely enjoyed cooking them. I certainly enjoyed eating them. She would sometimes make soups and broths using just chicken wings, but often she would marinate them in lemongrass, chilli and garlic before grilling them until they were bronzed and crispy. Just how I would like them.

crispy chicken wings 4

I absolutely adore chicken wings and am guilty of inflicting them on my husband far too often. I’m always on the lookout for new recipes and this one from Real Vietnamese Cooking is our current favourite. The marinade is simply made of finely chopped garlic and fish sauce, and the chicken wings are given another hit of lip-smacking saltiness with a hot fish sauce syrup just before serving. Despite the few ingredients used in this recipe, the chicken wings are packed with flavour.

In Vietnam, dishes like these are often served as snack food, typically with an ice-cold beer or two. I like to serve chicken wings as part of a meal, often with some steamed Jasmine rice and a vegetable dish alongside. But with my kitchen garden springing into action recently with baby lettuce leaves, coriander and a newly acquired perilla plant, a fresh salad can make these fried chicken wings seem more virtuous.

The original recipe instructs you to coat the cooked chicken wings in all of the hot fish sauce syrup. However, depending on how big or small your wings are, the fish sauce syrup might be too salty, so I would instead recommend tossing the chicken wings through only some of the syrup, and to use the remaining syrup as a dipping sauce. Be prepared to lick your fingers.

CRISPY CHICKEN WINGS WITH FISH SAUCE
 
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Recipe adapted from Real Vietnamese Cooking by Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl
Author:
Serves: Serves 2-4 as part of a meal with rice
Method

Cook’s Notes

For some invaluable information on how to choose the right type of fish sauce, Tracey Lister and Andreas Pohl share their tips here in this special interview for ELB.

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If you have made this dish, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird

20 Comments

  1. I love fried chicken in any kind of cornstarch mixture. Just love the texture it gives. Those wings looks so crispy 🙂

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 8 June 2014

      Thanks, Farah! I agree – cornflour seems to give a certain crunch which normal flour doesn’t. These wings were definitely crispy!

      Reply
  2. Paula 5 June 2014

    Oh, Thanh, I love chicken wings!! As a child, I chose dinner on Wednesday, and were always fried chicken wings or pork ribs. Yummy!!

    Mum’s fried chicken had garlic, salt and pepper, no more!! Now, I cooked in different ways, and lemongrass, chilli and garlic is as simple as delicious!!

    I like the crunch that gives use a little cornstarch (my mother only learned that a few years ago :P).

    I have all ingredients, so I have no excuse!!! Or only one little big excuse: I hate frying!

    Have a nice day, Thanh!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 8 June 2014

      That’s so lovely that you got to choose your own dinner as a child! That’s a great idea … I might do something similar for our little boy when he’s older 🙂

      I’m also not a fan of frying so I use a small-medium saucepan, that way I’m not using too much oil. But I love fried food too much to avoid deep-frying altogether!

      Reply
  3. Rushi 5 June 2014

    My hubby enjoys chicken wings, he devours them with such gusto that it’s just too cute to watch. I on the other hand tend to hide from chicken wings or anything that has a bone stuck to it so when I make this recipe I’ll be using chicken breast for myself and the wings for hubby 🙂
    Lovely to see another simply recipe using storecupboard ingredients Thanh.
    xx

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 8 June 2014

      I have to admit that I don’t feel comfortable eating chicken wings in public, so it’s definitely a messy affair in private! 😉 I think this recipe could also work well with pieces of chicken breast or thigh, although I do think there is something tasty about meat on the bone … hopefully I can convince you once day!

      Reply
  4. Gourmet Getaways 6 June 2014

    “Crispy chicken wings”, “chillies”, “fish sauce” plus your excellent photo, I can imagine lip-smacking goodness for dinner! Chicken wings are the tastiest part of the bird, so your mum just probably wants to give you the best tasting dishes she could make :). Lucky you!

    Julie
    Gourmet Getaways

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 8 June 2014

      My mother used to by BBQ rotisserie chickens to make sandwiches in the bakery, and I remember devouring the chicken wings before the foil packets were even fully ripped open! I absolutely agree – the wings are the tastiest part of the bird 🙂

      Reply
  5. My favorite chicken wings recipe consists of marinating the wings in garlic, brown sugar, mustard and Worcestershire sauce, with a touch of cayenne and paprika to give heat. I love sticky, spicy wings, they don’t seem to last long in our house! Your recipe looks fab, I’ll definitely have to give it a try.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 8 June 2014

      Ooh your recipe sounds delicious! Love anything with Worcestershire sauce, too.

      Reply
  6. Nancy @ gottagetbaked 7 June 2014

    Thanh, your chicken wings are incredible! That crust! I can just imagine that satisfying shatter with eat bite. There are a few restaurants around town (Chinese, Taiwainese, Cambodian, Vietnamese) who do their own versions of super crispy, flavourful chicken wings. If its on a menu, I’m ordering it. Your photos here are gorgeous!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 8 June 2014

      Good to know of another chicken wing fan 🙂 There used to be a restaurant in Zurich which specialised in chicken wings. In fact, you could order all-you-can-eat baskets of wings and fries which would be refilled to your heart’s content! It was a sad day when the restaurant closed to make way for a new development.

      Reply
  7. Annie @Maebells 13 June 2014

    My husband would love these! I never make chicken wings, he loves them but I just never think of. Your photos are beautiful by the way! It is hard to make chicken wings look elegant, but you did! 🙂

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 13 June 2014

      Oh thank you! It was hard to photograph the chicken wings without scoffing them all! So you can imagine that the photo shoot was quite brief 😉

      Reply
  8. Carole 13 June 2014

    I love chicken wings too and though I don’t enjoy deep frying things, these definitely look like they are worth the trouble, yum!
    Can’t wait to try this recipe! We just came back from Seoul where we had some nice fried chicken but yours looks even lovelier and fish sauce just makes everything taste better!

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 13 June 2014

      Ooh I love Korean chicken wings!! Haven’t had those in ages though … don’t think I’ve seen them on the menu anywhere in Zurich. I’m also not a big fan of deep-frying so I do it in small quantities so I’m not overwhelmed by all of the oil. Hope you will enjoy this recipe 🙂

      Reply
  9. Riricuisine 23 June 2014

    I just discovered your blog through NotParisienne’s one and this crispy chicken full of crunchy herbs and fragrant sauce make my feel so hungry ^^ Have a good day, I’ll add your blog to my favorites list 😉

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 9 July 2014

      Thank you! I hope you will get a chance to try this recipe – it’s packed with flavour 🙂

      Reply
  10. Cecilia 6 July 2014

    I made these for lunch today. They were declared the best ever! The dipping sauce was a bit too salty so I added some lime juice to lighten it and it tasted great. I wouldn’t usually fry food, I find the smell distasteful, but these were fine and I have all the windows open now to dispel the odour! Thanks again for the inspiring recipes and thankfully my children’s palates are becoming quite multicultural the more I experiment.

    Reply
    • Eat, Little Bird 9 July 2014

      Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed this recipe! And that’s a great idea to add some lime juice to the dipping sauce – I will try that next time. I’ve made these chicken wings a few times now because you only need a few ingredients, and they always disappear so quickly. I’m also not a big fan of deep-frying food, but I find it manageable to do it in small quantities. I’m glad it was a hit with your kids! 🙂

      Reply

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