Sticky Fish Sauce Chicken Wings With Peanuts & Herbs

April 28, 2021
11 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg. Prop Stylist: Amanda Widis. Food Stylist: Anna Billingskog.
  • Prep time 24 hours
  • Cook time 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Serves 2 to 4
Author Notes

Want the tenderest chicken wings with a sticky glaze and glassy skin? First, start by dry-brining for at least 6 hours, preferably 24. This seasons them to the bone, dries out the skin, and begins breaking down their fat. Next, go for a two-stage roast, starting with moderate heat to render all the fat, then increasing the temp to caramelize the sticky glaze. This all takes time but, aside from a couple flips and tosses, the action is mostly hands off.

These wings are inspired by the Vietnamese fish sauce wings originally sold at a roadside stand in Ho Chi Minh City and later brought to Portland, Ore. via Andy Ricker’s restaurant Pok Pok. They have big punchy flavors: perky from lime juice, funky from fish sauce, and full of tongue-tingling spice from lots of chopped chiles and garlic. Finish with a shower of chopped peanuts, cilantro, and mint.

Want a variation? Try Sticky Pomegranate & Black Pepper Chicken Wings and read more about this chicken wing technique here—so you have the confidence to take it off-script. —Sohla El-Waylly

What You'll Need
  • Dry brine
  • 2 to 2 1/4 pounds chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon MSG (optional)
  • Fish sauce glaze
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • 6 tablespoons palm sugar or granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 8 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • 4 to 6 Thai green chiles, finely chopped
  • 4 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro, lightly packed
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped mint, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • Flaky salt (optional)
  1. Line a sheet pan with foil (for easy cleanup) and set an ovenproof wire rack inside. If your wings are whole, use a sharp knife to separate them into three parts: drumette, flat, and tip. Reserve the wing tips for stock down the road.
  2. Brine the wings: Pat the wings dry with a paper towel and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the salt, sugar, baking powder, and MSG (if using). Sprinkle this mixture over the wings and toss until evenly coated. Arrange the wings on the wire rack and refrigerate uncovered at least 6 hours or preferably overnight, flipping the wings halfway through. (Wash the bowl and keep it handy—we’ll be using it again.)
  3. When you’re ready to roast, heat the oven to 350°F.
  4. The first roast: Transfer the wings to the big bowl, toss with the oil until evenly coated, then return them to the wire rack. Roast the wings, flipping them once halfway through, until the skin is lightly browned, the flesh of the drumettes is starting to pull away from the bones, and the fat from the skin has mostly rendered, about 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the glaze: Wash the large bowl. Add the sugar and pour 2 tablespoons of boiling water on top, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Add the fish sauce, garlic, chiles, and lime zest (not juice!), whisking until combined.
  6. The second roast: Remove the wings from the oven and increase the temperature to 375°F. Transfer the wings to the bowl with the glaze and toss to coat. Use tongs to return the wings to the rack, reserving any remaining glaze in the bowl, and roast until lightly charred and glossy, about 20 minutes.
  7. Whisk the lime juice into the remaining glaze. Once the wings are out of the oven, transfer them to the bowl and toss again in the glaze. Transfer the wings to a platter and garnish with cilantro, mint, and peanuts. Sprinkle with flaky salt if desired. Pour any remaining glaze into a small dish and serve alongside.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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Sohla El-Waylly is a Food52 Resident, sharing new riffable recipes every month that'll help you get creative in the kitchen. Watch her cook on YouTube in her new series, Off-Script With Sohla. Before she started developing fun recipes for home cooks, she worked as a chef in N.Y.C. and L.A., briefly owning a restaurant in Brooklyn with her husband and fellow chef, Ham El-Waylly. She lives in the East Village with Ham, their two dogs, and cat. Find out what else she's up to on Instagram @sohlae

14 Reviews

amy January 29, 2024
These took a minute to make, but the payoff is super crispy, fall off the bone, deliciously glazed wings. I made half the recipe without the glaze, just in case. The plain wings were an excellent vehicle for any number of dipping sauces. The glazed wings were devoured in minutes! I am already planning a double batch of these fish sauce glazed wings for a birthday dinner next week. Try them!
CallieO December 11, 2021
I wanted to like this but it was a lot of work and the flavor was just ok for me. To be fair, I used jalapeno instead of Thai chilis which are hard to find where I live but otherwise I followed the recipe exactly. It was fun to try but I probably won't make it again.
MaryEllen D. August 9, 2021
This recipe looked so interesting that I tried it right away. Lots of work and has the potential to be great BUT it is so incredibly salty that it is nearly inedible.
Lots of good parts to it though. Very tender meat. Crispy skin. Excellent meld of flavors with some serious changes to proportion of fish sauce (reduce by 1/2) and cut the salt in the brining process by 1/2 as well. I will also rinse the chicken after it has dry brined overnight before oiling it. Note: every time I kosher a chicken, I always rinse it thoroughly before proceeding with cooking. Otherwise it is too salty. Ditto with this.
Will also reduce the cooking time a bit. Bordering on dry as stated in recipe.
Jonathan D. March 12, 2021
I never leave reviews but good god was this delicious. 10/10, will be making regularly from now on.
Jonathan D. March 24, 2021
I just realized that I used baking soda instead of baking powder when i made these. Oh well, guess the recipe is foolproof 'cause they turned out perfect anyways!
marrrrrrrrrv March 2, 2021
Hands down the Best. Wings. Ever. Standing ovation. I followed the recipe exaaaaactly and I know it’s intended to be riff able, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
tosacem February 9, 2021
I don't have access to Thai green chilies, can anyone suggest substitutes?
Susan H. February 10, 2021
I used a medium sized jalapeno and but you could use more as there was very little heat.
Bronxman February 8, 2021
These were awesome. I took a different approach and used gadgets and honestly cooked these in less half the time... I also used only a pound of chicken for a single man and half everything. Brined for 6 hrs, used an air fryer to do the chicken, it we’d a mini food processor to make the glaze. Star to finish about 40 min. Downside is you can only do small batches. These were amazing and deliciously sticky! 😀❤️🏳️‍🌈
Ricky B. February 7, 2021
Awesome technique... thanks! The meat was tender and the skin blistered up and came out crunchy.
Also, omitted the MSG and subbed about 1/2 of the fish sauce for thin soy sauce. Good call on holding the lime juice till the end. Will definitely be using this method from now on. Thanks Sohla!
Susan H. February 7, 2021
Eating these right now while watching the Super Bowl! Thank you Sohla! This will be my go to recipe for wings now. Will follow this up with your Vanilla Pound Cake which I made yesterday. Keep the videos coming!
Lizzy February 7, 2021
This was my first time making wings, I was a little nervous. They were the best wings I’ve ever had, worth the extra efforts of dry brining overnight. A few modifications: I didn’t have Thai chilies so I substituted with Lil Mama’s peppers put in the blender with the garlic & fish sauce. Also I didn’t have peanuts so toasted & chopped walnuts, which gave it a great nutty crunch. Sohla knocks it out of the park again!
austindoughs February 5, 2021
SO TASTY! I admit I don't make meat much these days, and I still get nervous with raw chicken, but wow were these so so good. I haven't made wings before, but this recipe convinced me that it wasn't too complicated! The chicken comes out nicely browned after first roasting, and the sauce is something I need to incorporate everywhere. Amazing balance of palm sugar, fish sauce, lime, Thai chili, and garlic. My roommate said that it was great before the added lime juice too. Only thing I forgot was peanuts on top, but I wish I had made another batch! Definitely will be making many times again!
stickerbook February 4, 2021
Delish! I made the chicken exactly as you described (no MSG) and man, they were so good, I didn’t think they actually needed any sauce. And my kids agreed! Next time I’ll have to convince myself to not just pick them off tray and eat them plain, cause I’m sure the sauce is good too :) Thank you for this recipe!