Sunday, January 04, 2015

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 1

With how frequently I've dined at Hong Kong cafes through the years, and how often I order Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt (*Hint. Almost every time.), I don't know why it took me so long to get around to making them at home. If you like my Chinese Deep-Fried Pork Chops with Spicy Salt recipe, this is even easier.

I simply salted the wings, then lightly coated them in just enough flour so they'll be crispy when fried, and like the pork chops, tossed them with a mixture of sliced chili peppers, scallions, garlic, and Chinese 5-spice powder. The first time I made the wings, I didn't have the fresh aromatics on hand and used dried chili peppers. They were still good, but I wanted them look like in the Hong Kong cafes for the photos.

The second time I made them, my dad was in town and heading out the door to go to my youngest uncle's house. He said they looked so appetizing that he couldn't resist and sat down to eat several wings. Then he mentioned later that evening to my uncles that I made really delicious wings. Which, if you know how picky my dad is about food, is high praise indeed. I saved a few wings for lil' sis, who couldn't stop complimenting them while they were reheating in the toaster oven, while she was eating them, and again afterward.

Considering my dad is notoriously critical, I figured I'd make the wings again for him a few months ago before he returned to Oregon. For non-spicy eaters, you can omit the chile peppers if you wish, like I did for the niece and nephew. The just-a-touch of Chinese 5-spice powder sprinkled at the end is what elevates these chicken wings up a notch.

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 2

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt

For 2 lbs of chicken wings, you'll need:
2 tsps salt, plus a few sprinkles at the end
Oil for deep-frying
1/2 cup corn starch
1/2 cup rice or all-purpose flour
2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
A few sprinkles of Chinese 5-spice powder

Optional: Replace the fresh chile peppers with 1 tsp dried chile peppers

Clean 2 lbs of chicken wings, cutting off any excess fat. Slice them into sections if you wish. I cut between the drumette and the mid-joint. Toss with about 2 tsps of salt and set aside in a colander to drain. Ideally, let the wings sit for about half an hour so the salt has time to penetrate the meat. Give the wings a toss in the colander to shake off any excess salt and juices before frying.

When you're ready to cook, heat up the oil to medium-high for deep-frying.

Then in a shallow bowl, add about 1/2 cup corn starch and 1/2 cup rice or all-purpose flour. Mix the flours together and lightly dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off any excess. You just want a very light coating of the flour.

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 3

Deep fry all the chicken pieces until golden. Set aside to drain.

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 4

Meanwhile, thinly slice a few serrano or jalapeno chile peppers, a scallion, and a few cloves of garlic.

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 5

When the chicken is all fried, in a large pan drizzle a very small amount of oil and add the aromatics, sauteing until just softened and their fragrance gets released.

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 6

Add the chicken wings and sprinkle on just a few dashes of Chinese 5-spice powder and salt, not too much, just to give a hint of flavor. Toss until evenly mixed.

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 7

Plate and serve with rice if you wish.

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 8

Or just wolf down as an appetizer.

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 9

And if you don't have any fresh chile peppers or scallions on hand,  you can make due with dried chile peppers as well.

Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt 10


Other chicken wing recipes:
Basic Vietnamese Marinade for Chicken or Pork
Canh Ga Xa Xiu (Vietnamese Chinese Char Siu-Style Barbecued Chicken Wings)
Sriracha Buffalo Wings

1 year ago today,
2 years ago today,
3 years ago today,
4 years ago today,
5 years ago today, How to Season and Care for a Chinese Clay Pot.
6 years ago today, Mi Vit Tiem Chay (Vietnamese Vegetarian Chinese 5-Spice "Duck" Soup with Egg Noodles).
7 years ago today, Bo Nuong La Lot (Vietnamese Grilled Beef with Wild Betel Leaves).
8 years ago today, Porto's Bakery - Glendale.


  1. Oh my! This looks fantastic! My hubby will be face deep in this plate of wings!

  2. i love you. great recipe, definitely one i will be trying out. had been following religiously for the longest time years ago, had forgotten all about your blog, but recalled it after looking for a bun bo hue recipe. glad to see you are still posting!!

  3. Biki Hondo,
    This wings always disappear! I never have leftovers.

    What? How could you have forgotten me? :(

    Welcome back!

  4. How would you suggest converting the recipe for the tofu version? It's my mom's favorite but the one time I tried it it looked more like a tofu scramble.

    Tracie Chakraborty

  5. Tracie,
    I blogged a tofu version long ago. Look up Taiwanese Popcorn Tofu in my recipe index. The key is to press out excess moisture with paper towels so the tofu can take on the flour coating. Fold a few paper towels into a shallow bowl, add tofu, another few paper towels on top, something heavy to weigh it down for about 15 minutes. The pressing helps firm up the tofu so it won't fall apart when you fry it.


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