Salt & pepper chicken wings, also often called ‘salt & chilli wings’ or ‘salt & spicy wings’ are a deliciously savoury, spicy and salty Chinese takeaway dish which are amongst the most popular on takeaway and restaurant menus. Finished with the traditional salt & pepper ingredients (onion, carrot, spring onion, garlic) and a generous amount of Chinese salt & pepper mix, they are deliciously addictive.
Most supermarkets sell chicken wings in 1kg packs – this recipe reflects that, however you can easily turn a whole pack of wings into crispy wings in batches and then finish them in individual portions of 7 wings as needed. Here’s how to make them at home:
- 1 kg chicken wings
- 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
- 1/4 teaspoon msg optional
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch white pepper
- 1 egg
- 150 grams plain flour
- Oil for deep frying
- 1/2 small onion finely sliced
- 1/2 carrot finely sliced
- 1 spring onion finely sliced
- 1 garlic cloves finely sliced
- Chinese salt & pepper mix to season see notes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine
If your wings are in one piece, remove the wingtips and discard, then joint the wings to form drumettes and wingettes. This step is optional but the wings cook better and more evenly when jointed. Add the Shaoxing rice wine, Chinese 5 spice, msg, sea salt, black pepper and white pepper. Mix well, cover and set aside in the fridge for 1 hour.
Add 1 egg to the marinated chicken wings. Mix well. In a separate bowl, prepare 150g of plain flour. Heat the oil for deep frying to 180c. Press each chicken wing into the plain flour, shake off any excess and drop carefully into the hot oil. Cook the wings for 10 minutes until golden and crispy (for a 1kg batch you'll have to cook the wings in 2-3 different batches – either keep warm in a low oven as each batch cooks, or fry the wings now and drop them back into hot oil for 1-2 minutes later when ready to eat. The wings can be prepared and fried up to 24 hours in advance and finished in hot oil when needed).
In a separate dry wok over a medium heat, stir-fry sliced onion, carrot, spring onion and garlic for around 1 minute until fragrant. Add the crispy chicken wings and season generously to taste with the Chinese salt & pepper mix & dried crushed chilli flakes (I use around 1/2 teaspoon – 1 teaspoon of salt & pepper mix and 1/4 teaspoon of dried crushed chilli flakes for a batch of 7 wings). Mix well for around 30 seconds, finish with Shaoxing rice wine and serve.
If you like this Salt & Pepper Chicken Wings recipe, you might be interested in buying my book: The Chinese Takeaway Secret is packed full of over over 120 takeaway & fast-food recipes and is available to buy in kindle or paperback form here.