Vietnamese Fried Chicken Wings

Vietnamese Fried Chicken Wings

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1580 Calories
166g Fat
26g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1580
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 166g 213%
Saturated Fat 13g 65%
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 743mg 32%
Total Carbohydrate 26g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 34mg 171%
Calcium 48mg 4%
Iron 4mg 21%
Potassium 433mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

People all around the world make fried chicken wings, and while the seasonings and dipping sauces may vary, almost all agree: those wings have got to be crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. When it comes to Vietnamese-style fried chicken, the legendary (and dearly missed) Portland restaurant Pok Pok nailed it. So this recipe follows their batter and deep-frying technique. The marinade, however, is our own.

Loved by children and adults alike, fried chicken is comfort food—familiar and uncomplicated. Eating it (with the hands, of course!) requires no fancy tools. Try this recipe and we think you'll agree.

"It all comes down to the rich flavors of the marinade in this delicious recipe—an umami mixture with pops of brightness from lemongrass and fresh lime juice. Everything comes together in no time for a show-stopping plate of crispy, tender wings. Everyone will be asking for the recipe." —Lauryn Bodden

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 10 whole chicken wings

  • 2 stalks lemongrass , lower portion only, finely sliced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 bird's eye or Thai chilies, chopped

  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped

  • 2 tablespoons nuoc mam (fish sauce)

  • 1 large lime, juiced, plus wedges for serving

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour, or cornstarch

  • 2 to 3 cups neutral vegetable oil, as needed for deep frying

  • 1/3 cup nuoc mam pha, Vietnamese dipping sauce, for serving

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vietnamese Fried Chicken Wings ingredients

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  2. Pat dry the chicken wings with a paper towel.

    Pat dry the chicken wings with a paper towel

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  3. Cut through the joints so that each wing becomes three pieces. Discard the wing tips (or set aside for another use to making broth).

    cut the wings

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  4. Prepare the marinade. Using a mortar and pestle or mini food processor, grind the lemongrass stalks, garlic, chilies, and ginger to a paste. Mix the spice paste with the fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar.

    grind the lemongrass stalks, garlic, chilies and ginger to a paste, and combine with fish sauce and lime juice

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  5. Place the chicken in a shallow container. Pour in the marinade. Mix well, working the marinade into the meat. Cover, refrigerate, and leave to allow the meat the absorb the flavors for about half an hour.

    chicken wings in a marinade in a container

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  6. Heat a wok or frying pan and pour in enough cooking oil to a depth of two inches. 

    oil in a wok

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  7. Drain the chicken wings. Place in a clean bowl, add the flour or starch, and toss to coat lightly. Alternatively, you could toss the wings and flour in a zip-close plastic bag.

    marinaded chicken wings tossed in cornstarch

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  8. When the oil is hot (350 F if you're using a thermometer; otherwise, wait for fine wisps of smoke to appear), deep fry the chicken in two batches. Cook all the little drumsticks (drumettes) together.

    chicken wings cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  9. When the undersides are golden brown and crisp, about 2-4 minutes, flip them over and cook the opposite side for an additional 2-3 minutes. Scoop out and drain atop a strainer. Cook the remaining pieces. Because the meat is not as thick, the second batch requires a shorter cooking time. Scoop them out and move to the strainer.

    chicken wings cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack

  10. Fill a small bowl with nuoc mam pha and place at the center of the serving platter. Arrange the chicken drumettes on one side and the rest on the other side. Scatter lime wedges. Serve at once.

    Vietnamese Fried Chicken Wings

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack