Can you imagine the complex flavors that hit your taste buds with every bite that crackles as your teeth pierce through the crispy coating? Simply delightful!
Where did the idea come from? Well, there was a time when we were experimenting with different ways to flavor and glaze fried chicken wings. We wanted to know which worked and which did not. And the idea of coating fried chicken with what is essentially a dipping sauce crossed my mind.
Is this dish difficult to execute? Not really. It’s just marinating, double frying and tossing with the glaze. But it essential that you have all the right seasonings to get the perfect blend of flavor.
The five-spice powder joins salt and pepper to form the seasoning for the chicken wings. To give the wings time to soak up all that goodness, they are left to sit in the fridge for several hours, preferably overnight. The next day, just before frying, the chicken wings are tossed with starch.
The frying consists of two parts. The wings are fried over medium heat the first time then over high heat the second time. The photo on the left shows the wings after the first frying. The photo on the right was taken after they had been fried a second time. You can see the difference in color and texture.
The ingredients list for the peanut glaze is longer than the list of ingredients for the seasoning. They’re all meticulously listed below. Suffice to say at this point that all those ingredients need to be heated and stirred until fully blended.
That’s how the fried chicken wings look after they had been tossed in the peanut glaze. All that needs to be done is to transfer them to a plate and sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds, scallions and chili flakes.
Peanut-glazed five-spice fried chicken wings
To fry the chicken wings
- ½ cup potato starch - or corn starch
- cooking oil
For the peanut glaze
- 2 tablespoons lime juice - (lemon juice is okay but you may need more)
- 2 tablespoons grated palm sugar - (dark brown sugar is an okay substitute but the flavor of the sauce will be different)
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- ¼ cup unsweetened peanut butter - (either smooth or chunky peanut butter will work)
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- 2 tablespoons finely sliced scallions
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
Marinate the chicken wings
- Wipe the chicken wings dry with paper towels.
- Divide each wing into halves by cutting through the joint that separates the drumette from the wingette.
- Place the chicken wings in a bowl, add the Chinese five-spice powder and salt, and mix well.
- Cover the bowl and marinate the chicken wings in the fridge for eight hours or overnight.
Double fry the chicken wings
- In a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- Toss the chicken wings in starch; shake off the excess.
- Over medium heat, fry the chicken wings in batches for about four minutes.
- Turn up the heat to high and fry the chicken wings a second time for two minutes to ensure extra crispness.
Glaze the fried chicken wings
- Pour off the oil from the pan (or use a clean one).
- Dump in all the ingredients for the peanut glaze.
- Cook the glaze, stirring often, until smooth and bubbly (a wire whisk is helpful to make sure there are no lumps).
- Add the double-fried chicken wings to the peanut glaze and toss to coat each piece well.
Garnish your five-spice fried chicken wings
- Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds and half of the scallions over the chicken, and toss to distribute evenly.
- Transfer the peanut-glazed five-spice powder fried chicken wings to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chili flakes and the rest of the scallions.
- Serve immediately as an appetizer or with rice as a main course.