Spicy Fish Sauce Chicken Wings



Sounds a bit yuck, doesn’t it? Fish sauce and chicken… what a strange combination! At least that’s what I would have thought before my trip to Vietnam until I bravely sampled ‘Fish sauce chicken wings’ at a buffet one night while staying in Hoi An. I expected it would be awful but we were there to try new things, so why not? Turns out it was something amazing! And I made it a priority to find myself a similar recipe upon our return home. The closest I found was this great recipe over at the Food and Wine website – Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings. On first attempt, we did try and make it exactly as the recipe stated below: Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings

  1. 1/2 cup Asian fish sauce
  2. 1/2 cup superfine sugar
  3. 4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed and 2 minced
  4. 3 pounds chicken wings, split at the drumettes
  5. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
  6. 1 cup cornstarch
  7. 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  8. 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  1. In a bowl, whisk the fish sauce, sugar and crushed garlic. Add the wings and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 3 hours, tossing the wings occasionally.
  2. Heat the 2 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet. Add the minced garlic; cook over moderate heat until golden, 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
  3. In a large pot, heat 2 inches of oil to 350°. Pat the wings dry on paper towels; reserve the marinade. Put the cornstarch in a shallow bowl, add the wings and turn to coat. Fry the wings in batches until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels and transfer to a bowl.
  4. In a small saucepan, simmer the marinade over moderately high heat until syrupy, 5 minutes. Strain over the wings and toss. Top with the cilantro, mint and fried garlic and serve.

But it was not quite right! The version I had at that dreamy Vietnamese buffet was certainly not fried, and it had a nice bit of spice to it too. So I adapted it to our preferences… as fried food is really not a favourite of mine! What I did instead was skip step 3 and instead added the garlic to my marinade, along with a little bit of crushed chilli (depending on preferences) for a while before cooking.

Then I put my marinated fish wings in a baking dish in a moderate pre-heated oven until they started to brown. I turned the wings after about 10 minutes and added some more marinade using a basting brush and let them cook some more. I did step 4 with the marinade on the stop top then poured it over the baked chicken wings once they came out of the oven. My garlic was already cooked into the chicken so no need to add more over the top and the best bit… my chicken wings were not dripping in oil. I skipped the mint too (not a fan of fresh mint).
So depending on your preferences, this is a great recipe to use for either fried or oven baked Vietnamese style fish sauce wings. They really are amazing so I dare you to try 😉

7 thoughts on “Spicy Fish Sauce Chicken Wings

  1. This doesn’t sound too hard to make. Looking at the ingredients, most of them are available at the grocery store. I’m sure they have Asian fish sauce at Woolworths but I bet there are more varieties in the Asian groceries. Is this a savoury or sweet dish? Seems like a good load of sugar goes into it 😀


  2. Yummo!!! Anything asian inspired and I’m there! I can imagine this would be absolutely beautiful… so I’m definitely going to try it out! Love all of this cooking inspiration!! Thanks for sharing as part of our Fabulous Foodie Fridays! xx


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