This quick & easy recipe gives you chicken wings reminiscent of the kind served at sports bars, with barely 25 mins of effort! This appetizer has got just the right amount of heat from ginger and as much freshly ground black pepper as you like, and is best served with your choice of cool, cool beverage!
Bonus: We make them in a pan, with no more than 3 tsps of oil! They’re ridiculously healthy in comparison to the battered, deep fried versions that you’re likely to order at most restaurants.
Recipe: Ginger & Black Pepper Chicken Wings
- A non-stick pan
- A mortar& pestle OR a pepper grinder
- 400 gms Chicken Wings [These were about 9 – 10 whole wings in total, each cut into half at the joint, and the wing-tip removed]
- 3 tsps Sesame Oil [Alternate: Sunflower, Peanut or Vegetable Oil]
- 0.25 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground Pepper [half for the marinade and half for the sauce, but use more if you like!]
- 0.5 tsp Paprika
- 0.25 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tiny piece Star Anise [Optional]
- 2 Cloves [Optional]
- 1 heaped tsp finely minced Garlic [Alternate: half a tsp of ginger & garlic paste for the marinade and skip any while frying the wings]
- 0.5 tsp finely minced Ginger
- 1 Green Chili [Optional]
- 1 tsp Oyster Sauce [Optional]
- 0.5 tsp Light Soy Sauce [Alternate: Regular Soya Sauce]
- 0.5 tsp Vinegar
- 2 tsp Water
- 0.5 tsp Honey
- Green Onion / Chives
- Wash and drain the chicken wings; pat dry with kitchen paper/ a clean cloth to ensure you remove all moisture1.
- Grind the green chili, the piece of star anise and 2 cloves to a coarse paste in a mortar and pestle2. (you can totally skip this step and the ingredients if you don’t have them)
- Combine the wings with a tsp of sesame oil, 1/4th tsp of salt3, half a tsp of pepper, half a tsp of paprika, 1/4th tsp of ground cinnamon, half a tsp of finely minced garlic, 1/4th tsp of finely minced ginger and the chili-clove-anise paste. It works best if you massage the spices into the wings with your hands; but you can use a spoon or spatula to mix it all up. Allow the wings to marinate in the refrigerator for 15 mins.
- Add 2 tsps of sesame oil and the remaining half tsp of garlic to a non-stick pan; spread this evenly around the entire surface area of the pan.
- Once the oil is really hot, lay the chicken wings in, skin side down (yes, there could be skin on both sides, choose the side that appears to have more skin than flesh).
- Allow the wings to cook on high heat for about 5 mins. This step helps the skin brown and take on a delicious colour. Press down with a spatula to help the wings sear! Here’s what they should look like when you turn them over:
- Turn the pieces over; cover the pan with a lid and allow them to simmer on really low heat for 10 -12 mins. This will ensure that they are cooked through, but still tender. Here’s what they will look like after 10 mins of simmering:
- While the chicken cooks, combine the oyster sauce (Optional), soy sauce, vinegar, water4 and honey5 in a bowl and stir well. Next, add the remaining 1/4th tsp of chopped ginger into the sauce and let it rest. You can bump the ginger up to half a tsp if you want an intense ginger flavor.
- Once the chicken is cooked through, remove each wing from the pan and place in a bowl; don’t forget the crispy garlic bits! You’ll see at least a couple of tsps of oil/ chicken fat left behind in the pan. Discard this excess fat! (Or store it for later in a little container)
- Pour the sauce mix into the pan and bring it to a boil (should take less than a minute). When bubbling, add the wings back into the pan and stir to ensure they are well coated with the sauce.
- Allow it to cook on high heat for about a min so that the sauce caramelizes and chars! Finally, sprinkle about half a tsp6 of freshly ground black pepper over the wings and stir again, before turning the heat off. Serve hot, garnished with finely chopped chives or green onions.
1Patting the wings completely dry is essential to getting a good sear on the skin. Equally important is pressing them down onto the pan to ensure a nice brown char; listen for that extra sizzle when you press down!
2The cloves and star anise add a Chinese 5-spice type flavor to the dish, but you can totally skip it. Likewise, the green chili is for added heat and can be avoided altogether if you prefer.
3You’ll notice that we use very little salt in the marinade! This is because we’re using soy and oyster sauce in the wet mix at the end, both of which are fairly salty. If you are skipping the oyster sauce, just use a half tsp more soy for the sauce.
4We’re only adding water to help the liquid come to boil without losing too much volume; it also helps cook the ginger just a tiny bit.
5The sole purpose of the honey is to provide a slightly sticky glaze; we DO NOT want this dish to taste sweet! This is why we limit the honey to only half a tsp. The salt and vinegar balance out its sweet taste until its almost imperceptible. Here’s the consistency that we’re looking for before we add the chicken wings back into the sauce:
6Adjust the amount of pepper based on how much spice you want in this dish. You can either make it really peppery or have a good balance of pepper and ginger flavours.
I’m also including a picture of the measuring spoons used, so that you know what 1 tsp or half tsp should amount to. These are standard tsp measures that you can order online or buy at a cooking utensils store. They hold a little more that what our usual metal tea-spoons would!
Here’s to you grabbing your favorite weekend beverage, and making some of these tasty wings to go along! 🍻