These Asian chicken wings are crispy and sticky thanks to a secret (but simple) ingredient and sweet and (slightly) spicy sauce. They make a delicious addition to any game day spread but are easy enough to enjoy for dinner with a side of veggies.
Looking to add even more flavor to these wings? Use our everyday chicken wing brine to tenderize the meat and infuse extra flavor before you bake them.
There's no delicate or glamorous way to enjoy these Asian sticky wings, much like sweet potato nachos. You're meant to dig in, get messy and enjoy every minute of the crispy texture and bold Asian flavors. Trust me you won't want any of that extra sauce to go to waste. It's too good!
And the best part is they're simple to make. We pride ourselves on making great recipes that are approachable and delicious. Our healthy chicken pad thai is one of the most loved recipes on our site thanks to several ingredient options you likely have in your pantry or can easily find at the grocery store.
Why these Asian Chicken Wings are So Good
These Asian wings are similar to that because they're juicy and tender, baked to achieve the crispiest skin, and tossed in a sticky glaze, all with simple ingredients. This is one of my all-time favorite Chinese recipes you'll come back to often and here's why:
- Flavor profile: Asian (Korean) chicken wings are known for their bold and unique flavor that balances sweet and savory, spicy and tangy.
- Textural contrast: The wings baked chicken wings use a special (gluten-free) ingredient to create a crispy exterior while retaining a juicy interior.
- Versatility: enjoy them as a snack, as a meal, or as the best party food (so good with a cold beer!).
- A fusion of cultures: The blend of flavors and cooking techniques celebrates Asian culture, while the method of
- Comfort Food: The taste and smell of chicken wings evoke memories and comfort, making them a cozy and memorable recipe, especially when you add the spicy asian glaze.
- Healthy Option: Chicken wings can be a healthy option if baked or grilled instead of fried. The addition of spices and herbs also adds extra nutrition and flavor.
The Chicken Wings
A lot of the time you can purchase wings pre-cut into drumettes and wingettes. Our grocery store sells them whole so that's what you'll see in these pictures. Use this guide to cut chicken wings yourself if you buy them whole and want the drumettes and wingettes separate. However, it's totally acceptable (and delicious) to leave them whole.
Here are the ingredients for this delicious recipe. Most are pantry staples and easy (and affordable) to find at grocery stores. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
Chicken Wing Ingredients
- Chicken wings: you'll need close to 4 pounds of chicken wings to feed a small crowd. Grab more and double the sauce recipe for a large party! See section above about what chicken wings to buy.
- Baking powder: make sure to grab an aluminum-free baking powder to avoid any bitter taste. You cannot swap this for baking soda, but cornstarch is a great option. See FAQs below about the difference between baking powder and cornstarch for crispy wings.
- Seasonings: salt, black pepper, and garlic powder.
- Soy sauce: this is a salty, savory sauce made from fermented soybeans and wheat used in many Asian dishes. We always use coconut aminos or Tamari as a gluten-free option.
- Sesame oil: this is a rich, nutty-flavored oil made from pressed sesame seeds. You can swap this for another oil, but it won't have the same Asian flavor. We always keep this on hand for Chinese recipes like teriyaki glazed salmon and gochujang noodles.
- Rice vinegar: this mild and slightly sweet vinegar is made from fermented rice and adds tanginess and acid to balance the sweet and spicy flavors.
- Honey: this ingredient adds the sweet and sticky flavor and texture we're going for. You can use brown sugar or maple syrup if you have those on hand.
- Garlic: the pungent and aromatic flavor fresh garlic adds is key to the sauce and overall Asian flare.
- Fresh ginger: This is another pungent and aromatic flavor used in so many Asian recipes. In fact, it's one of my favorite ingredients to use if you couldn't tell by our sweet and spicy pork lettuce wraps or air fryer orange chicken.
- Sriracha sauce: This spicy Korean hot sauce has become a household name, which is why we chose to use it in this recipe, though gochujang (Korean chili paste) is a classic ingredient you can use too.
- Hoisin sauce: a thick, sweet, and savory sauce made from fermented soybeans, sugar, vinegar, and spices. It is used as a condiment and in marinades to add flavor.
- Cinnamon: adding a pinch of cinnamon gives this recipe that special something people won't be able to put their finger on. Always best to keep them guessing! According to The Flavor Bible, cinnamon is a very common ingredient in Asian recipes.
- Sesame seeds: I like to mix these into the sauce to evenly distribute them and make them a little toasty in the oven.
How to Make Asian Chicken Wings
This is an overview with step-by-step photos, to make these crispy Asian chicken wings. Full printable instructions are in the recipe card below.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and top it with a wire rack (we used a wire cooling rack). Spray the rack with nonstick spray then pat the chicken wings dry really well with paper towels (don't skip this step). Arrange the wings in a single layer on the wire rack. For best results, let the chicken wings sit out at room temperature for 30 or so minutes for even cooking.
Mix the seasoning in a small bowl and sprinkle over both sides of the chicken wings, using your fingertips to gently rub the seasoning and baking powder into the skin.
Bake the wings at 425°F for 40-50 minutes, turning the pan halfway through for even cooking. Start checking the internal temperature of the wings about 35 minutes into cooking because wing size and oven temperatures can vary.
Note that using a chicken wing brine will cook the wings 20% faster. The target temperature for chicken wings is 165 degrees f, so we want to pull the wings out at about 155 - 160°F to allow for carryover cooking.
While they're baking, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a large bowl. When the wings are done, carefully transfer the wings to the large bowl with the sauce and toss them to coat the wings fully. You could also dip each wing individually into the sauce and place them back on the baking sheet.
Return the wings to the oven for 5 minutes right before serving to help the sauce stick to the wings and caramelize/bubble slightly. Serve them with more sesame seeds, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro or sliced chili peppers.
The Secret to Crispy Chicken Wings
- Dry the wings thoroughly: Before cooking, make sure to pat the wings dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Excess moisture on the skin will prevent it from becoming crispy when cooked.
- Use a high heat: Cook the wings at a high temperature, this could be broiling, frying, or baking. A higher heat will help to create a crispy crust on the outside of the wings while keeping the inside juicy and tender.
- Use a dry coating: Use a dry coating such as baking powder or cornstarch to coat the wings before cooking. This will help to create a crispy crust on the outside of the wings.
- Cook the wings on a wire rack: Placing the wings on a wire rack will allow hot air to circulate around the wings, helping to cook them evenly and create a crispy crust on all sides.
The two types of chicken wings are drumettes and wingettes. Grocery stores sell them as whole chicken wings (you see in these photos) or separately.
The drumettes are drumstick-shaped, with a single main bone in the middle, and often have more meat compared to wingettes. Wingettes, also called flats, are flat and have two smaller bones that run the length of the wing.
My husband always orders "drummies only" from restaurants because they're often larger with more meat.
Both cornstarch and baking powder are used to achieve crispy chicken wings, but they work in slightly different ways. They both give you a crispy exterior, but baking powder has a slightly alkaline flavor, which can enhance the taste of wings. Because of this, I prefer baking powder (make sure it's aluminum-free!). It's also grain-free if that's important to you.
Keep this Asian chicken wings recipe gluten-free by using coconut aminos or Tamari instead of soy sauce. You'll also want to double-check the ingredients on the hoisin sauce to ensure the brand doesn't use any wheat or soy sauce to thicken it. Our generic grocery store hoisin sauce did not have gluten or wheat in it.
This sauce would make a great coating for crispy cauliflower wings. Use the base recipe for our cauliflower buffalo wings to bread the cauliflower then follow the ingredients and steps to make and toss the breaded cauliflower in the sauce.
You can swap the hoisin sauce for oyster sauce and 1/4 teaspoon of Chinese allspice. If you don't have either on hand, you can omit it and add in a bit more honey to sweeten and thicken the sauce, but it won't have the full Asian flavor profile.
Air fryer chicken wings are always a good idea! Follow the same directions to coat the wings then air fryer them at 400°F for 18-20 minutes, carefully flipping halfway through. Coat with the sauce and air fryer for another 3-5 minutes before serving.
How to serve these Asian Chicken Wings
A big platter of sticky Chinese chicken wings speaks for itself, especially with a few good garnishes like sliced scallions or cilantro. The sauce is so good you don't even need a dipping sauce as most wings require. Throw in some classic carrot sticks and celery sticks to balance the hot and sticky wings.
You can also serve them for dinner with coconut rice and air fryer asparagus.
More Wing Recipes
Asian Chicken Wings
- 3 1/2 - 4 lbs chicken wings (whole or separated into drumettes and wingettes)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder aluminum-free
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Sticky Asian Sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, coconut aminos or tamari (for gluten-free options)
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 teaspoons fresh grated ginger root (can sub 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
- 1 Tablespoon sriracha more or less to desired spice
- 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
- Wire rack
- Baking Sheet
- Parchment paper or foil
- Small and large mixing bowls
- Preheat the oven to 425°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and top it with a wire rack (we used a wire cooling rack) then spray it with nonstick spray.
- Pat the chicken wings dry really well with paper towels (don't skip this step). Arrange the wings in a single layer on the wire rack. For best results, let the chicken wings sit out at room temperature for 30 or so minutes for even cooking.
- Mix thebaking powder, salt, black pepper and garlic powder in a small bowl and sprinkle over both sides of the chicken wings, using your fingertips to gently rub the seasoning and baking powder into the skin.
- Bake the wings at 425°F for 40-50 minutes, turning the pan halfway through for even cooking. Start checking the internal temperature of the wings about 35 minutes into cooking because wing size and oven temperatures can vary. Note that using a chicken wing brine will cook the wings 20% faster. The target temperature for chicken wings is 165 degrees f, so we want to pull the wings out at about 155 - 160°F to allow for carryover cooking.
- While they're baking, whisk together the sauce ingredients in a large bowl. When the wings are done, carefully transfer the wings to the large bowl with the sauce and toss them to coat the wings fully. You could also dip each wing individually into the sauce and place them back on the baking sheet.
- Return the wings to the oven for 5 minutes right before serving to help the sauce stick to the wings and caramelize/bubble slightly. Serve them with more sesame seeds, sliced green onions, chopped cilantro or sliced chili peppers
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