We are a huge fan of chicken wings in this household, whether it's wet wings such as my gochujang air fryer chicken wings recipe or dry Chinese salt and pepper chicken wings. These wings are marinaded in a generous mixture of ginger, garlic, salt, pepper and Shaoxing wine, then deep-fried for a delicious crispy result. Topped with a buttery coating of chilies and scallions, you get the perfect Chinese crispy chicken wings.
- Chicken wings: You're free to use any type of chicken meat. You will have to adjust the cooking time, if you do so. Boneless chicken will likely require shorter frying time. I would not recommend using chicken breast for frying.
- Shaoxing wine: I am always a fan of using Shaoxing wine when I cook any type of meat. Shaoxing wine helps to remove any gaminess and to enhance the aromatics in the dish.
- Ginger and garlic: Necessities for the marinade!
- Potato starch: You'll find that many fried Asian recipes use potato starch instead of cornstarch because it provides the lightest and crispiest results. Potato starch can be found at all Asian grocery stores. If you can't find any, you can always sub for cornstarch. Bob's Mills also has a potato starch product now.
- Unsalted butter
- Red chilies, scallions (green onions), garlic: The final aromatics that are lightly sautéed in butter before tossing with the fried chicken.
- Pat chicken wings dry. Marinade in ginger, garlic, Shaoxing wine, salt, and black pepper mixture for at least 30 minutes. I'd highly recommend marinading for more than 30 minutes, even overnight if you can, to really let the flavors set in. If you don't have Shaoxing wine, you can sub with dry sherry.
- Heat up pot of oil to prepare for frying. While waiting for oil to heat up, prepare potato starch. You can sub with cornstarch if you don't have potato starch on hand. Don't coat the chicken wings in the starch until the oil is ready for frying. The chicken will absorb the starches if you let them sit for too long before frying.
- Once oil is 350 F, lightly dredge chicken wings in potato starch, dust off excess and drop into oil. Fry 7 minutes on each side. If you're using a smaller pot to fry and the chicken is fully submerged, then let fry for 13-15 minutes total.
- Remove chicken and place on paper towel to remove any excess oil.
- In a separate pan, add unsalted butter until melted. Stir-fry red chili peppers, chopped scallions, and minced garlic until fragrant.
- Add fried chicken wings to the buttery sauce and give it a quick toss to evenly coat.
- You’re ready to serve! I like to serve on parchment paper to absorb any extra oil. Make a hot dipping sauce to complement the wings if you're looking for something with an extra kick!
Can I make salt and pepper chicken with boneless, skinless chicken?
Absolutely. You can follow this recipe using any part of the chicken that suits you. I would highly recommend going with fattier cuts of chicken such as the wings or thighs so your final result is still crispy and juicy. The low fat content in chicken breasts will end up extremely dry once fried.
If you're using boneless, skinless chicken thigh, you can cube the meat and follow this recipe accordingly. Shorten the frying time by a couple of minutes.
What type of oil can I use for frying chicken wings?
We always have canola oil on hand, which is a great neutral oil. However, any neutral-flavored oil with a high-smoke point will be ideal for deep-frying such as vegetable, peanut, or corn oil.
Do not use olive oil the flavor is too overpowering and will overtake anything else.
Can I sub starches with all-purpose flour?
Potato starch is popular in Asian recipes when it comes to deep-frying (seen in my air fryer Taiwan popcorn chicken recipe) as it results in a light but extremely crispy texture. Potato starch can be harder to find sometimes so you can easily sub with cornstarch.
However, if you have neither and only have all-purpose flour, you can still make this recipe. Keep in mind that the gluten content in flour will not yield as light or crispy results!
Is it hard to deep-fry at home?
Trust me, I used to be terrified of deep-frying at home. The thought of a bubbling vat of hot oil wasn't my cup of tea. However, I've found that having this splatter guard has given me more peace of mind and made clean up a lot easier.
Additionally, I prefer using these long chopsticks when placing and removing food from the hot oil.
Chinese Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- 1 inch ginger (minced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- ¾ cup Shaoxing wine
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup potato starch (sub cornstarch)
- 2 cups canola oil
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 red chilies
- 3 stalks scallions
- 1 clove garlic
- Pat chicken wings dry. Marinade in ginger, garlic, Shaoxing wine, salt, and black pepper mixture for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat up shallow pot of oil to prepare for frying. While waiting for oil to heat up, prepare potato starch.
- Once oil is 350° F, lightly coat chicken wings in potato starch and drop into oil. Fry 7 minutes on each side.
- Let chicken drain on paper towel after to remove excess oils.
- In a separate pan, melt unsalted butter. Stir-fry chili peppers, chopped scallions, and minced garlic until aromatic.
- Add fried chicken wings and give it a couple quick tosses to evenly coat.
- You’re ready to serve!
Wow! I was looking for a new way to make wings and these turned out fantastic! Thanks so much!
Megan Ellam says
This is my absolute favourite way to make and cook chicken wings!
Salty, crispy and spicy; just the way I like my wings! Easy recipe and so flavorful.
Tried this recipe and the only mistake I made was I only cooked one batch! My family tore through the chicken wings like they hadn't eaten for days! It was fantastic. Bookmarked for me to make it again.
Brianna May says
These are so crispy and full of flavor! Will be making again
I can't believe how crispy these wings are and I love that they are gluten-free. Thanks for sharing!
These look amazing, but can anyone tell me if you pat the chicken dry again after being in the marinade, or do you dip it in the starch while still wet before frying?
I don't pat the chicken dry after the marinade!
Looks so delicious!
These wings are so very tasty!
Emily Flint says
I love the simple salt and pepper flavor yet they are so delicious!
Amanda Scarlati says
Love these wings! My new favorite snack!
I love these wings happy now I can make them at home using your guidance thanks!
Amber Powell says
Yes!! Potato starch makes the crispiest wings!
Where did you find the potato starch & that shaoxing wine?
Hi Norma, you can most typically find these in Chinese grocery stores!
This sounds like the perfect flavor profile. It is nice to have something a little different from our usual wings.
Loved these wings. So crispy and tasty. Great recipe.
These chicken wings are so tasty!
I didn't know that about Shaoxing wine! How cool. I'll have to get some and try it out first with your recipe. It looks great!
Definitely a stable in an Asian kitchen, but if you don't have, you can always sub with dry sherry!
Luke Ratford says
These chicken wings were amazing, fantastic why watching the football and a few beers 🙂
Thanks for sharing!!
Jacqueline Debono says
We eat wings a lot and I'm always on the look out for different ways to make them. Love how easy these look and super crispy too. Can't wait to try them!
I am always looking for great chicken wings recipes, and yours look so good! Hubby loves wings and will go bananas over these. Thanks so much for the recipe.
Great tip about not coating the wings in cornstarch too far in advance! These came out perfectly!
These look incredible! That crispy coating is absolutely perfect!
Enriqueta E Lemoine says
I know somebody at home will love these Chinese salt and pepper chicken wings! Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration.
Amanda Dixon says
These wings turned out so perfectly crispy, and I love the flavor the ginger added from the marinade. Makes for such a delicious weekend snack!
Bland Rooker says
Kick it up a notch and use the classic double fry method, first fry at 330 degrees for 7 minutes, drain, then second fry at 350 degrees for another 7 or so minutes.
Hi Julia, can these be cooked in an air fryer instead?
Hi Deirdre, definitely! I'd replace the cornstarch with baking powder (1/2 tbsp per 1 lb of chicken) and then air fry at 375-400 F (depends on your air fryer. My air fryer is quite weak and I usually amp it up to 400). Air fry for 15 minutes on one side, flip, and then 10 minutes on the other side.
these wings are so tasty and love how crispy they are