Chinese Chicken Wings

Chinese Chicken Wings spice rubbed then baked until crispy and smothered in the most irresistible soy, balsamic reduction spiked with sugar and sriracha.

Chinese Wings have never been so irresistible.  The tantalizing marinade, the rub, the glaze.  They all come together to create the most epic Chinese Chicken Wings Recipe you will ever devour.   Move over Honey Buffalo Wings, there’s a new wing recipe in town!  

asian chicken wings on white platter

Chinese Wings

I am so IN LOVE with these Chinese Chicken Wings.  They are sticky, savory, slightly sweet and tangy. If you’ve never made chicken wings before, you will be AMAZED at how easy they are. In fact, baked chicken wings are one of the TASTIEST and EASIEST ways to prepare chicken.

I baked chicken wings for first time a couple years ago and I got hooked! I now consider myself a wing connoisseur: Chines Chicken Wings, honey barbecue, buffalo, chipotle, Thai – they are all SO GOOD!  Simply marinade/rub, bake, coat them in the sauce of your choice, then watch them fly of the plate.  The End.

For these Asian sticky wings, I chose to use Chinese 5 Spice as the main component in the marinade.  Chinese 5 spice is common in Asian dishes to create a balance of flavor, spice and heat that enhance the dish without overwhelming it.  It is thought to have come from ancient Chinese who were attempting to produce a “wonder powder” that encompasses all five tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and a spicy. They did this by combining szechuan peppercorns (a reddish brown berry), ground cloves, fennel, cinnamon, star anise and cinnamon.

The marinade also includes hints of brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, curry, ginger, and Sriracha which combine to make this Chinese Chicken wings recipe soar with flavor.

hand picking up a chinese chicken wing

Chinese Chicken Wings Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make the Asian wing sauce, spice rub, and marinade:

  • Chicken wings: The star of the show.
  • Brown sugar: Needed to balance the savory soy sauce and spicy chili paste.
  • Soy sauce: Use reduced sodium soy sauce otherwise your chicken will be too salty.  I recommend Kikkoman for the most rounded flavor.
  • Lime juice: Freshly squeezed will deliver the best flavor.
  • Chinese 5 Spice Powder: Found at most grocery stores.
  • Spices: Garlic powder, curry powder, and ground ginger round out the flavor of the rub.
  • Sriracha: You can sub your favorite Asian hot chili sauce, if desired.
  • Baking powder: Baking powder is used to crisp up the wings – you will NOT taste it as long as you use POWDER and not baking SODA!
  • Balsamic vinegar: Use a good quality balsamic.
  • Granulated sugar: Again, you need some sugar in the marinade to balance out the spicy, tangy flavors going on.

Do I Have to Use Baking Powder?

The simplified science behind baking powder (NOT BAKING SODA) is that baking powder is composed of an acid, which raises the pH level in the chicken, which draws moisture to the surface of the chicken skin where it evaporates.  The heightened pH level also causes the peptide bonds in the skin to break down which accelerates the browning process so your chicken can get nice and crispy!

chinese chicken wings on white platter

How to Make Chinese Chicken Wings

STEP 1 – Marinade: Combine Asian chicken wings marinade ingredients in a freezer bag, add chicken and marinade for 4 hours up to overnight.  I LOVE marinating because not only does it infuse the Chinese Chicken Wings with flavor, but then most of the work is already done!

STEP 2  – Prepare Pan: Line baking sheet with foil, parchment paper or nonstick slip mat for easy cleanup. Top baking sheet with baking rack and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.  Don’t forget to spray your baking rack or they Chinese wings WILL stick!  The baking rack elevates the chicken so heat can circulate all around the chicken and help the skin get crispy.

STEP 3 – Dry Chicken:  Drain excess marinade from chicken and pat dry with paper towels.  You want your chicken to be as dry as possible in order to achieve crispy skin.  If your skin is still seeping with moisturize, it will not crisp up.

STEP 4 – Baking Powder:  Add chicken to a clean freezer bag and add baking powder.   Toss until evenly coated.   Trust me, you will NOT taste the baking powder but it is essential for crispy skin.  Baking powder is composed of an acid which draws moisture to the surface of the chicken skin where it evaporates, accelerating the browning process so your chicken can get nice and crispy.

Step 5 – Bake:   Bake Chinese Chicken Wings on the upper middle rack for 40 minutes. Turn oven to broil and broil for approximately 5 minutes or until crispy, watching closely so they don’t burn.. Flip chicken over and broil the other side until crispy.  Baking the Chinese wings on a rack, at high heat, with baking powder, guarantees crispy, golden wings every time.  When they emerge from the oven you can eat them as is (they are THAT GOOD!) or the last 15 minutes of baking, make a tantalizing glaze that makes them even exponentially more delicious.

Step 6 – Glaze:  When chicken has been baking 35 minutes, begin the wonderfully sweet, tangy, sticky glaze. Combine water, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a large skillet (NOT SAUCEPAN or it will take much longer to reduce) and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until reduced to a sticky glaze. The sauce thickens rapidly at the very end, so watch closely so it does not burn. Stir in Sriracha to taste.

Step 7 – Coat:   Remove chicken from oven and add to large bowl.  Add glaze and toss to coat with a spatula until evenly coated.  Note that as soon as you add the glaze the chicken will not be as crispy – but it provides a structural yummy base.

Step 8 – DIG IN!  And enjoy the best Chinese Chicken Wings of your life!

asian wings on wire rack on baking sheet

How Long to Bake Chicken Wings?

These Chinese soy sauce chicken wings need to bake at 400 degrees F 40 minutes, then they need to crisp up under the broiler for 5 minutes.

HOW TO AIR FRY Chinese cHICKEN WINGS

I honestly don’t find air frying these Chinese Chicken Wings beneficial because they get plenty crispy in the oven – which is all we need before drenching them in the sauce. Using the oven method, you can cook all of the chicken at once, verses the air fryer which will require several batches. It is best to save the air fryer for when you really need that crackling crunch.

  1. Grease 2 racks for the air fryer oven.  If your air fryer only has a rack and a basket, grease the basket instead.
  2. Place the wings on the greased racks in a single layer so they aren’t touching.  You will need to cook in multiple batches.
  3. Cook for 15 minutes at 250 degrees F.
  4. Flip the wings over and switch the position of the trays, so that the top is on the bottom and the bottom tray is on the top.  
  5. Increase temperature to 450 degrees (or the highest your air fryer goes).  Air fry for 15- 20 minutes or until the chicken are wings cooked through and crispy.

Tips for the Best Asian Chicken Wings

  • Dry chicken wings.  Don’t just pat the wings dry with paper towels, but squeeze them VERY DRY . The drier the wings, the crispier they will get. Dry skin also helps the rub stick. You can even refrigerate your wings for up to 6 hours on a baking rack for the skin to dry out even more. If you do refrigerate the wings, be sure to bring them to room temperature before baking.  This should only take about 15 minutes on the counter.
  • Use a baking rack. Line a regular size baking sheet with foil for easy cleanup and then top with a baking rack. Spray baking rack with cooking spray – don’t forget this step or your wings will stick! The baking rack elevates the chicken wings so the air can circulate under the wings for crispier skin.  It also lets the fat drip off the chicken instead of the wings sitting in a pool of grease.
  • Broil chicken. Bake chicken wings at 400 degrees F until baked through, about 35 minutes, depending on size. The high heat allows the fat to render, the chicken to cook and the skin to get crispy. The wings will already be crispy after baking but for even crispier skin, you can move the oven rack 6-8 inches from broiler and broil away to desired crispiness. Just watch closely so they don’t burn!
asian wings on wire rack

Can I Prep Chinese Chicken Wings in Advance?

Yes! These Asian sticky wings can easily be prepped ahead of time. 

  1. Prepare the chicken up to baking, then refrigerate for up to 12 hours – you can cover for 6 hours then uncover for the last 6 to help dry out the skin. 
  2. Whisk the Asian wing sauce ingredients together and store in the refrigerator until it’s time to bake the wings. You can also simmer and thicken the sauce ahead of time and store in the refrigerator but you will need to whisk in some water to thin over heat as it will thicken in the refrigerator. 
  3. When it’s time to bake the wings, let them rest on the counter for 15 minutes then proceed to bake according to directions and simmer the sauce until thickened.  

How to Store Chicken Wings

Chinese chicken wings should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  When properly stored, chicken wings are good for days.

How to Reheat Chinese Chicken Wings

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup) and spray rack with cooking spray.
  • Line wings on baking sheet so they aren’t touching.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until heated through.

Can I Freeze Chinese Chicken Wings?

These Asian wings freeze well because they are “sticky” wings verses “crispy” wings.  To freeze:

  • Line chicken wings in a single layer on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Place in the freezer to flash freeze until solid, about 1-2 hours.  Flash freezing allows the chicken wings to be placed together in a freezer container without freezing together.
  • Transfer frozen wings to a freezer safe container or freezer size plastic bag, squeeze out excess air to prevent freezer burn.
  • Freeze for up to three months.
  • When ready to serve, line a baking sheet with foil (for easy cleanup) and top with baking rack. Spray rack with cooking spray.
  • Line frozen wings on the baking rack and transfer to the refrigerator to thaw.
  • Once thawed, bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes or until heated through.
chinese chicken wings on white platter

What to Serve with Chinese Chicken Wings

You can serve Asian sticky wings as a main course or an appetizer.  If serving as an appetizer, serve with other Asian favorites such as Egg Rolls,  Wontons, Crab Rangoons, PotstickersChicken Wraps, or  Chinese Chicken Egg Rolls.

If serving as a main dish, here are some delicious options:  

close up of an asian sticky wing

Looking for more chicken wings recipes?

Looking for More Chinese Chicken Recipes?

WANT TO TRY THIS CHINESE WINGS RECIPE?

Pin it to your ASIAN, CHICKEN or DINNER BOARD to SAVE for later!

Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes!  I am always pinning :)!

©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Wings With Soy, Balsamic Reduction Glaze

Chinese Wings spice rubbed then baked until crispy then smothered in the most irresistible soy, balsamic reduction spiked with sugar and sriracha.  Hello addictingly deeeeelicious! Chinese Wings have never been so irresistible.  The tantalizing marinade, the rub, the glaze. 
Servings: 3 -4

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs chicken wings (about 10-12 chicken wings)

Marinade

Rub

  • 2 tablespoons baking powder

Sticky Soy Balsamic Reduction Glaze

Instructions

  • Combine marinade ingredients in a freezer bag, add chicken and marinade for 4 hours up to overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line baking sheet with foil, parchment paper or nonstick slip mat for easy cleanup. Top baking sheet with baking rack and lightly spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Drain excess marinade from chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Add chicken to a clean freezer bag and add baking powder (makes them extra crispy but you will NOT taste the baking powder). Toss until evenly coated.
  • Bake on upper middle rack for 40 minutes. Turn oven to broil and broil for approximately 5 minutes or until crispy, watching closely so they don't burn.. Flip chicken over and broil the other side until crispy.
  • Meanwhile, when chicken has been baking 35 minutes, begin glaze. Combine water, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar in a large skillet (NOT SAUCEPAN or it will take much longer to reduce) and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until reduced to a sticky glaze. The sauce thickens rapidly at the very end, so watch closely so it does not burn. Stir in Sriracha to taste.
  • Remove chicken from oven and add to large bowl. Add glaze and toss to coat with a spatula until evenly coated.
  • Dig in!

Did You Make This Recipe?

Tag @CarlsbadCravings and Use #CarlsbadCravngs

Leave a Review, I Always Love Hearing From You!

Carlsbad Cravings Original

Reader Interactions

leave a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

72 Comments

  1. Jen says

    Just made these and they were DELICIOUS! Both the hubby and the kids devoured these. I only regret not recording the baby (15 months) signing “more” enthusiastically after every batch of chicken (bones removed of course) that I put on her high chair so you could see for yourself how much we love your recipe. The Four Year old loved them too. Will be making these again and again (and probably putting that sauce on a bunch of other stuff too!)

    • Jen says

      Hi Jen, LOVED your comment! I even read it to my husband 🙂 I can totally visualize your baby signing “more” in her high chair – so cute! And you are right, that sauce is so delicious, I want to put it on everything too! Thanks for taking the time to bring a smile to my face today!

  2. Laurie says

    Absolutely awesome! I substituted pineapple juice for the water in the glaze and added the chunks as well as lime zest! OMG!!!!!!

  3. Taysha R says

    Amazing recipe!! Just tried this after pinning it awhile ago and it didn’t disappoint. Now I may tried adding some ready made sauces to the end, but that’s just out of laziness 😉

    • Jen says

      I am so happy you loved it! Its always a happy day when a recipe you’ve pinned doesn’t disappoint :)! I hope you find more here!!

  4. Suzanne says

    These look delicious, but I don’t know what Chinese 5 powder spice is. Is this something you make or buy?

    • Jen says

      Hi Suzanne! It is a mix of 5 spices that you buy. Any grocery store should have it. You can click HERE for an example. Enjoy!

  5. Deborah says

    OMG, These are the best wings I have ever eaten! I made these for Daddy’s Day Weekend, and everybody LOVED em! These will be in my wing recipe book forever, and thank you so much about the tip on the baking powder!!

    • Jen says

      WAHOO! “the best wings” is the ultimate compliment – thank you!! What a fun meal to make for “Daddy’s Day” weekend! I am so happy everyone loved them and they made it into your recipe book. YAY! I hope you find more recipes to love here – like my Sticky Honey Buffalo Hot Wings 🙂

  6. ViCharlotte Juarez says

    Hi.
    Im a new follower. I love your site. I taught my husband to cook about 12 years ago and he has become a excellent cook, griller and smoker. He cooks 5 or 6 nights a week (LOL) I love it. He recently dislocated his shoulder and can not use his right side. So I have been literally used your recipes for 1 week solid and he is loving it. Probably loving the break (not really cuz he really enjoys cooking) but is really loving your recipes.. Thanks for being so awesome. Grateful from San Jose California. xo

    • Jen says

      Your comment made my day, thank you!!! I am sorry your husband dislocated his shoulder but so happy you have been cooking my recipes and more importantly loving them – yay! 🙂 I hope you continue to find more recipes to love here!

  7. Trish says

    Just made wings and sauce waiting to broil them and for the sauce to thicken. Can’t wait to eat them, I will keep you posted and let you know how they were.

    • Jen says

      Hi Trish, I hope you loved them! I haven’t made his recipe in a while but your comment has me craving them 🙂

  8. Ang says

    HI Jen

    Just wondering if I can just add the spices with the baking powder and put straight in oven like your other wing recipie?

    Thanks

    • Jen says

      Hi Angy, you can definitely eliminate the marinade – it adds a depth of flavor and I haven’t tried it without it, but I am sure the rub and sauce would still be delicious. Enjoy!

  9. Therese says

    HI Jen! Made these last night and the balsamic glaze never thickened. 🙁 Not sure what happened. Followed the directions exactly as stated. The wings turned out perfect!!!! So crispy! meat was juicy! Family LOVED the flavors that came from the marinade. I ended up coating the wings in Franks hot wing sauce. Not complaining cause we Love our heat!!!! Definitely want to try this again. Any ideas on what I could of done wrong on the Glaze? Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Therese, I’m glad you liked the wings but sorry the glaze didn’t thicken! As far as making it again, there is no way the glaze can’t thicken if simmered long enough so my guess is the heat needs to be turned up and it needs to simmer for longer – as long as it takes to thicken. Also be sure to use a large skillet so there is more surface area to heat. Hope this helps!

  10. Debbie says

    what brand of sirachi asian chili sauce did you use. Went to 3 stores and couldn’t find it. Thanks Debbie

    • Jen says

      Hi Debbie! I use Huy Fong Foods Brand but any brand should work great!

  11. Natalie says

    My family can’t get enough of these! My 6 and 4 yr old sons ask for these to be made a couple times a week. Delicious!

    • Jen says

      Awesome Natalie, I’m so happy this is a hit with your kids too! So nice to find a recipe that everyone loves! Thank you!

  12. Edward says

    This is on my to-do list it looks appetizing

    • Jen says

      YAY! I am excited for you to try it – SO good!

  13. Emily Carter-Dunn says

    Oh my goodness, these were fabulous!

    I didn’t have 5 spice and used regular hot sauce but they were still amazing. Can’t wait for the hubby to try them. I know he will love them.

    • Jen says

      yessss! I’m so happy you loved these wings so much! Thanks Emily!

  14. Mary says

    Hi i was wondering if you think these would be ok heated up in a crock pot for a pot luck at work . I would add the sauce after heating them up . I’ve made them many times aat home and everyonr loves them. I’ve made many of your recipes and they all come out great.

    • Jen says

      Hi Mary, I’m so happy you love this Chinese Chicken Wings recipe! Yes, I think these wings would heat up and keep warm in the crockpot – great idea!

  15. Liz says

    Yummy and crispy! A nice change from other types of wings

    • Jen says

      Thanks Liz, I’m so pleased you liked them!

  16. Babs says

    Just made these! Really great recipe. Next time I’m going to do the wings in the airfryer to crips them, rather than the oven! I didn’t have balsamic vinegar so used red wine vinegar instead!
    Thank you ❤

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome! I’m relieved (and surprised!) it worked with red wine vinegar because the balsamic reduces and becomes sweeter. So glad they were still tasty!

  17. Liz says

    I’ve made these a couple of times before and again last night. So tasty and tender and a nice change from buffalo or teriyaki. Five spice is so good on chicken. I should make these more often!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Liz, I’m so pleased you’re enjoying them! I should make them more too!

See More Comments