Soy Garlic Wings
Feb 04, 2023, Updated Dec 29, 2023
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These Soy Garlic Wings are INCREDIBLE – they’re double fried to crispy perfection and covered in a sticky, spicy, sweet sauce that is irresistible! Trust me: when you try one, you won’t be able to get enough!
Watch the Air Fryer Soy Garlic Wings Recipe Video Below!
History and Origin of Soy Garlic Wings
Soy garlic wings are thought to have originated in Asian cuisine, but the exact origin is unclear. Some believe that soy garlic wings were first created in Korea, while others claim that they were developed in other Asian countries such as China or Japan. Regardless of their origin, soy garlic wings have become a popular dish in many countries and have been embraced by people of all cultures.
Variations of Soy Garlic Wings
While soy garlic is the most common flavor for this dish, there are many other variations that you can try. Some popular options include:
- Sweet chili wings
- Buffalo wings
- Honey mustard wings
- Barbecue wings
Ingredients for Sticky Soy Garlic Wings
I love this chicken wing recipe because only a few ingredients will make crispy, juicy chicken! Firstly, here are the ingredients you will need!
- 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
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar can sub with corn syrup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 7-8 dried red chilies optional
- 2 tbsp neutral oil
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp water
Neutral oil for frying
Soy Garlic Wings: Recipe Instructions
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken wings, salt, white pepper, grated garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil.
- Mix well to ensure that the chicken wings are evenly coated with the marinade.
- Cover the bowl and let the chicken wings marinate in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours or overnight for best results.
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!)
SUGAR or CORN SYRUP
This recipe is traditionally used with corn syrup but for those who don’t have it on hand, I’ve found that a 1-1 sub with sugar works just as great!
DRIED RED CHILIS
These are OPTIONAL but I like to add them to my final sauce for a little extra kick of spice! You can always adjust to your own preference – if you want to reduce the heat, you can use less chilis OR remove the seeds. (To be clear, the seeds don’t contain the chemical that make the peppers hot BUT they are oftentimes coated with the oils that make peppers hot.)
My favorite neutral oil is avocado oil, but you can also use canola or vegetable oil! I don’t use olive oil when cooking Korean food for two reasons: 1. It has a low burning point and 2. I find that the flavor profile does not usually go with the dish.
A cornstarch slurry is a mixture of cornstarch and water that is used in cooking to thicken sauces WITHOUT powdery lumps or additional flavors/colors! My #1 tip is make sure your cornstarch slurry has not separated before adding it in – I always try to re-stir right before!
Preparation of the seasoning mix
- In a large bowl, add the flour, cornstarch, kosher salt, white pepper, and baking powder.
- Mix together until well combined.
- 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.
Frying the chicken wings
- Coat the marinated chicken wings in the seasoning mix, making sure to pack the dredge well and leaving no dry spots.
- Shake off any excess and let the chicken wings rest on a sheet pan for 5-10 minutes while you heat up the frying oil.
- Fry the chicken wings in batches at 350F for 6-8 minutes.
- Remove the chicken wings from the oil and set on a rack or paper towel to drain while you fry the rest of the chicken wings.
- Fry the chicken wings a second time at 350F for 1-2 minutes to get the exterior super crispy.
Preparing the Soy Garlic Wing sauce
- In a large wide pan, heat 2 tbsp of neutral oil over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and chili and fry for 30-45 seconds until fragrant.
- Add the soy sauce, sugar, brown sugar, garlic, and vinegar.
- Stir until the sauce bubbles and the sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cornstarch slurry and mix until thickened.
MARINATE YOUR WINGS
Marinate your wings for at least 1-2 hours before cooking – for best results, I would marinate them overnight. I know this extra step might feel tedious but trust me – it is worth it!
Make sure to spoon some of the leftover brine to your seasoning mix (flour/cornstarch/baking powder) and rub them together to create the craggily bits we all love! They’ll stick to the chicken and create the perfect texture!
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.
This was the final result – look just how incredibly crispy that chicken is! You can see the puffed skin from the baking powder, which results in a beautiful paper thin and crisp exterior that holds up in the sauce. You can also watch the video for audio evidence as well 🙂
If you liked this Sticky Soy Garlic Wings recipe, check out some of the most popular fried chicken recipes on the blog!
Sticky Soy Garlic Wings
- 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
- 3 tbsp water
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 5-10 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 large wide pan, heat 2 tbsp of neutral oil over medium heat. Add your garlic and chili and fry 30-45 seconds until fragrant, then add soy sauce, sugar, brown sugar, garlic and vinegar. Stir until the sauce bubbles and the sugar is dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Then add the cornstarch slurry and mix until thickened.
- Add the wings to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately and enjoy!