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.
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…
If you like this recipe, you might like to try some of these Vietnamese favourites too!
Vietnamese Rotisserie Chicken
Vietnamese Tofu with Pork Stuffing
Vietnamese Grilled Scallops
Cha Ca – Fried fish with Dill
Bo Kho – Spicy beef soup
Bun Cha – Grilled Pork Patties in Sauce
Pork on Lemongrass Skewers
Ban Xeo – Crispy Vietnamese Pancakes
- 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
- 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.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and retain whatever marinade is leftover. Dust the chicken with the flour and shake off any excess flour.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 697Total Fat: 30gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 20gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 3044mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 5gSugar: 18gProtein: 20g