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Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken Wings

It’s hard to beat a batch of fish sauce chicken wings!

One of my favourite dishes in Vietnam was fish sauce chicken wings. Although I loved all the noodle soup dishes, it was good to have something a bit different from time to time.

These fish sauce chicken wings make a great starter. You could also use chicken thighs if you want to make it a healthier main meal.

Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken Wings

Spicy, savoury, sweet, sour and delicious. Give these chicken wings a try!

About this recipe…

It’s great how something so simple can be so good. You can literally whip up these fish sauce chicken wings in minutes though a longer marination time will benefit the dish.

I learned the recipe at a hotel my wife and I were staying at in Hoi An. I wasn’t actually shown the recipe but had a good view of the kitchen and was able to see a few dishes being made.

The first time we tried them, they weren’t spicy at all. We soon realised they were being prepared with westerners in mind and are usually much spicier with lots of fresh chillies.

Cooking the garlic

The best fish sauce chicken wings we tried had loads of crispy fried garlic.

You need to be careful when frying the garlic as it will easily burn. Try frying your garlic first and then adding back into the sauce at the end just before serving. 

Step by step photos…

Ingredients for fish sauce chicken wings

Get all your ingredients together before starting. It’s easier that way.

Marinating chicken wings

Mix all the marinade ingredients together and cover the chicken with the marinade. If marinating a long time, place in a bag and move the wings around in the bag from time to time.

Flour coated chicken wings

When ready to cook, dust the wings with the flour mixture. Shake off any excess flour.

Frying chicken wings

Heat about 5cm (2 inches) of oil in a wok and bring to 200c/400f. Fry the chicken in small batches until nicely browned.

Frying garlic

Pour out all but about two tbsp of the oil and fry the garlic over medium heat until lightly browned. Be careful not to burn it.

Frying chillies

Transfer the garlic to a plate with a slotted spoon and then fry the chillies.

Simmering sauce

Add the prepared liquid sauce ingredients and simmer for a couple of minutes to thicken.

Completing fish sauce chicken wings

Return the chicken to the wok with the fried garlic and stir it all up to coat.

fish sauce chicken wings

Dig in! Great with a squeeze or two of lime juice.

If you like this Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings recipe, you might like to try some of these too…

Crispy Vietnamese Pancakes
Beef Pho
Duck Pho
Vietnamese pork and lemongrass skewers
Bun Cha

Yield: 4

Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken Wings

fish sauce chicken wings

Ingredients

  • 900g (2 lbs) chicken wings
  • 1 cup rice flour or corn flour (cornstarch)
  • Oil for deep frying
  • FOR THE CHICKEN WINGS MARINADE
  • 2 tbsp Chinese cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp Chinese chicken seasoning or MSG (optional)
  • FOR THE SAUCE
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green bird’s eye chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 red bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp coriander (cilantro), finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Whisk the marinade ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add the chicken wings and mix it all up to combine. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the dish or cover and place in the fridge to marinate for up to 24 hours. The longer the better.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade and retain whatever marinade is leftover. Dust the chicken with the flour and shake off any excess flour.
  3. Now heat about 5cm (2 inches) of oil in a wok and bring up to about 200c/400f. If you don't have an oil thermometer, stick a wooden chopstick or spatula in the oil. When bubbles form around the wood instantaneously, your oil is ready for frying.
  4. Fry the chicken in small batches for about 10 minutes or until the chicken is crispy and golden brown. Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and discard all but about a tablespoon of the oil from the wok. If the oil looks dirty from the flour, pour it all out, wipe your wok clean and start again with a tablespoon of fresh oil.
  5. Fry the chopped garlic over medium heat until lightly browned and crispy. Be very careful not to burn it. Transfer the fried garlic with a slotted spoon to a plate and set aside.
  6. Now add the chillies to the wok and fry for about a minute. Stir in the retained marinade, lime juice, fish sauce and sugar and bring to a simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
  7. Return the fried chicken wings and garlic to the wok and stir it all up to coat the chicken. Serve immediately garnished with the chopped coriander (cilantro).

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