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These sweet and sticky fish sauce chicken wings are absolutely delicious and totally addictive!
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These sweet and sticky fish sauce chicken wings were inspired, of course, by the infamous Pok Pok fish sauce wings. Ever since I had those delicious, delicious wings, I have dreamed of replicating the recipe. OK, so I didn’t replicate it. But I believe this version is absolutely amazing, and so incredibly easy to make.
The sugar and garlic water used in the recipe caramelize the wings, giving them that sweet stickiness. Instead of using garlic in the marinade, I used the garlic water from a jar of chopped garlic. I find this method enables the wings to soak up the garlic flavor, as well as adding touch of vinegar to the marinade.
And of course we add a bit of sugar to offset the intense flavor of the fish sauce and garlic. The tempura flour gives the wings a light crispy coating. For these wings, I prefer a very light coating as to not distract from the flavor of the wings.
And of course the fish sauce. The star of the show. It’s important to use a good one here as it will be the main flavor to your wings. I’ve tried a few different kinds, and have settled on my favorite, Red Boat 40.
I find this has the best flavor, deeply intense, without being overly fishy (as if a fish sauce cannot be overly fishy?). Made with only 2 ingredients, black anchovies and sea salt, there is no added MSG or preservatives.
Combine all marinade ingredients and mix together with chicken wings. Let sit overnight in the fridge.
Remove wings from the refrigerator a couple hours before cooking to bring them to room temperature. If you put the cold wings in the hot oil, you will bring the temperature of the oil down, which could cause the wings to become soggy and oily instead of crisp.
Heat oil in a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Oil should be about 400 degrees for frying. Drain chicken wings and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge the wings in the tempura flour and place in the hot oil.
Cook about 4-5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
Remove the wings and sprinkle with fried garlic and green onions immediately while they are still sizzling. Enjoy! Well….let them cool first, then enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? Leave a comment below and let me know what you think 🙂
Pok Pok Wings Recipe
- Combine all marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
- Add the chicken wings, mixing well to ensure they are fully coated Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for tossing with the wings after they are fried. Let the wings marinade for at least 24 hours.
- Remove wings from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking to bring them to room temperature.
- Dip each wing in the cornstarch and place on a wire rack until ready to fry. Continue until all wings are coated.
- Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet or dutch oven (less messy) until it reaches 350F.
- Fry the wings (in batches) for 4 minutes each side. Remove and drain on a wire rack.
- Place the wings in a large bowl and toss them with the reserved marinade.
- Place them on a plate and sprinkle them with the fried garlic, chopped cilantro and diced Thai chilies.
- Let the wings stand out for 30 minutes before frying them. If cold wings are added to hot oil, it can bring the temperature down too much and the wings will become soggy instead of crispy.
- When adding the oil, it should cover at least the bottom inch of the skillet or dutch oven. Add more or less as necessary.
- Use a thermometer like this Thermapen to check the temperature of the oil and the chicken wings. The wings should be 165F when done.
- Be sure to reserve the 1/4 cup of marinade as it will be used to glaze the wings at the end.
- The Thai chilies are optional, but add a wonderful spicy bite to the wings.