These crispy five-spice wings were an amazing combination of sweet, savory and a hint of spice! The marinade keeps the chicken incredibly juicy and they’re double fried to get them EXTRA CRISPY! If you like your wings flavorful but not sauced, this recipe is definitely for you.
Watch the Crispy Five-Spice Wings Recipe Video Below!
This Five-Spice seasoning blend is the secret to giving these wings that sweet, spicy, aromatic flavor! Here are the spices you’ll need:
- Five-Spice Powder
- Szechuan Chili Powder
I get asked all the time if you can sub black pepper for white pepper – and my answer is, it depends BUT you need to watch the ratio. White pepper has a milder flavor profile than black pepper, so it’s a 1-1 substitute. I would start with less black pepper and add as you go. (But really, you should have white pepper in your pantry! It’s a staple in mine!)
FLOUR + CORNSTARCH + BAKING POWDER
My not-so-secret tip to the best fried chicken is a combination of FLOUR, CORNSTARCH, and BAKING POWDER. When mixed with the flour, the cornstarch makes the flour coating crispier and gives it that golden brown color! (It has to do with prevention of gluten development.) The baking powder reacts with the oil and creates tiny air bubbles, which also helps form a crispy coating. Traditionally, some cooks will recommend using sparkling water or egg but I think my mix works even better (and saves you time & extra steps!)
FIVE SPICE MIXTURE
Five Spice Powder is a commonly used spice in Chinese cooking – you can make your own at home but it’s also easily obtained at most grocer stores. I took the Five Spice Powder and kicked it up a notch by adding spice (chili powder), salt, and sweetness (sugar & paprika)!
REST AFTER DREDGING
Once your wings are dredged in the seasoned mixture, let them rest for 10-15 minutes! I have found that this additional time allows the batter to stick to the chicken better when frying!
WATCH THE OIL TEMPERATURE
It is crucial that you keep your oil temperature as close to 350F as possible! If they drop in temperature, you will find your wings are not as crispy and can even taste soggy/oily. My first tip is to use a thermometer, to keep an eye on the temperature. My second tip is to fry your wings in batches if you find that you cannot keep the oil hot enough – it’s likely due to crowding.
I love to double fry my wings, as this ensures my wings are both well-crisped AND cooked thoroughly. I know it’s a little bit extra work but I guarantee it’s worth it! If excess batter pieces are floating in the oil, strain them out with a strainer to prevent them from burning during the 2nd fry.
You will want to toss your wings in the spice mixture immediately – so make sure your spice mixture is ready to go!
Crispy Five-Spice Wings
- 2 lbs chicken wings
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 4 cloves garlic grated
- 1 inch ginger grated
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tbsp white pepper
- 1/2 tbsp baking powder
- 2 tsp five-spice powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp szechuan chili powder (can sub regular chili powder)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
Neutral oil for frying
- Marinate chicken wings in salt, white pepper, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil for 1-2 hours or overnight for best results.
- In a large bowl, add flour, cornstarch, kosher salt, white pepper, and baking powder. Mix together until combined, then add any leftover marinade (or 1-2 tbsp of water) into the seasoning mix. With your hands, rub the mix together with the liquid to create craggily bits in the seasoning mix.
- Coat your wings into the seasoning mix, and pack in the dredge well making sure to leave no dry spots. Shake off any excess and let rest on a sheet pan for 10-15 minutes while you heat up your frying oil.
- Fry the wings in batches at 350F for 6-8 minutes. Remove and set on a rack or paper towel to drain while you fry the rest of your wings.
- Fry the wings a 2nd time at 350F for 1-2 minutes. This will get the exterior super crispy.
- In a small bowl, mix together five-spice powder, paprika, szechuan chili powder, salt, and sugar.
- Immediately toss the wings in the spice mixture while hot. Serve immediately and enjoy!