These simple Vietnamese chicken wings consists of some fish sauce, sugar and loads of crispy garlic. The Super Bowl is tomorrow! Fun fact – last year Americans ate 1.33 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday. Yes you heard that right… 1.33 billion!!! With that in mind, I’ve wanted to share this specific recipe for quite a while but have been holding off for this exact time.
So why am I sharing Vietnamese chicken wings on an American “holiday?” Because these are the best wings I’ve ever had! It actually goes back to when I first moved out to Portland. My mom actually helped me move out there and we were looking for a great place to eat. She had actually heard of a place called Pok Pok that was known for its Thai food. Not knowing much about wait times in Portland, we decided to head over there around 6 on a random weeknight. The wait was over 2 hours long! Luckily we were told that they owned the bar across the street called Whiskey Soda Lounge, specifically for people to wait to get into Pok Pok.
Once there we realized we could just order some appetizers that were on Pok Pok’s menu as well. So we decided to forgo going to Pok Pok and order a few different apps. Little did we know we were about to have the best wings ever! I found out afterward, that the wings were actually a part of what made Pok Pok famous. Whenever someone visited I took them to Pok Pok, specifically to have wings. Oh and I learned to get there early so I could actually eat at the restaurant.
A couple of years later I found out Pok Pok had a cookbook and had their wing recipe in there! I ended up buying one for my dad and he bought one for me. After making multiple times, I’ve changed one thing with this recipe. I bake them instead of frying them. You can obviously fry them, but I discovered this baked method with baking powder where the skin gets super crispy. So if you’re looking for a great wing recipe, this should be on the short list for trying. Enjoy!
Recipes Similar to Vietnamese Chicken Wings:
Vietnamese Chicken Wings
- 4 lbs chicken wings, cut into flats and drumettes
- 16 garlic cloves (about 2 whole garlic)
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 1 cup fish sauce
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 2 tbsp baking powder
- Finely chop the garlic, sprinkle with salt, then chop the two together for 15 seconds. Scrape mixture into small bowl and add 1/2 cup warm water. Let sit for a few minutes.
- Set a fine-mesh strainer over another bowl and pour garlic into strainer. Smooth garlic with spoon over same bowl to extract as much liquid as you can. Reserve the garlic. Add fish sauce and sugar to the bowl with garlic liquid water and stir until sugar is fully dissolved.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the chicken wings with about 1 cup of the fish sauce mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight, tossing every hour.
- While chicken is marinating, pour oil into a small pan to reach a depth of about 1 inch. Set over high heat until it shimmers. As soon as it reaches high heat, decrease to medium-low heat and stir a couple of times. Add garlic and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Strain the garlic over paper-lined plate and keep in airtight container at room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 250F. When wings are done marinating, transfer to a colander in the sink, shaking them occasionally. Let them drain at least 15 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel and then toss with 2 tbsp of baking powder, making sure every wing is coated.
- Line a baking sheet with foil, then place a cooling rack on the foil. Spray the rack with oil spray. Place wings on rack in a single layer with skin side up. Bake for 30 minutes at 250F. Increase the oven temperature to 425F and bake for an additional 50 minutes to 1 hour, rotating the tray halfway through. (If skin starts to brown too much, then flip them over)
- To finish wings, heat large skillet or wok over high heat. Add 1/2 cup of water to remaining fish sauce mixture from earlier and stir. Then add 1/4 cup of mixture to skillet and cook until mixture has reduced by half, about 45 seconds. Add half of the chicken and cook, tossing frequently until the chicken is coated and liquid has become sticky. Add 1/2 of fried garlic and toss. Transfer wings to serving plate.
- Wipe skillet and repeat same steps above, adding 1/4 cup of fish sauce mixture to skillet before finishing chicken wings. Enjoy!