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.