Chinese Braised Chicken Wings
Chicken wings come in a variety of flavours. Some restaurants and pubs even boast of their large selection of flavours. But there is one type of chicken wing that you probably haven’t seen and that’s this Chinese Braised Chicken Wings recipe.
What is Braising?
Braising is a cooking style where the food is typically first sautéed or seared at a high temperature, then finished in a covered pot with liquid at a low temperature. In Chinese cooking, braising is called “red-cooking”. It gets its name from the reddish-brown colour it leaves on the food when it’s done cooking.
The most common ingredient used in red-cooking is soy sauce, which is what gives the food the signature colour. Meats and vegetables are slow-cooked in a soy sauce mixture which allows the food to soak up the flavour. It’s essentially marinating and cooking put together!
Soy sauce is not the only ingredient used in Chinese braising though. Other popular ingredients used to flavour the food include fermented bean paste, rock sugar, a combination of spices and Shaoxing cooking wine.
This means there is an almost endless variety of Chinese braised chicken wings. Depending on the region and people’s preferences, the flavour changes.
About This Chinese Braised Chicken Wings Recipe
In this Chinese braised chicken wings recipe, we use soy sauce, Shaoxing cooking wine, rock sugar and whole spices. The combination of these ingredients creates a slightly sweet but savoury flavour similar to honey garlic wings. The spices are what gives this recipe a unique taste.
Something important to note before beginning this Chinese braised chicken wings recipe is to use whole spices instead of powdered. Powdered spices tend to have a more potent taste which can overpower the other ingredients. The slow-cooking process will also naturally draw out the aromas from the whole spices.
This recipe also calls for two types of soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is often used in cooking for colouration rather than taste. Using too much dark soy sauce can ruin the beautiful red colour. This is why a combination of light and dark soy sauce is recommended.
Chinese braised chicken wings are great as finger food or as a side with steamed rice. You can even save some of the sauce to use in stir-fries or in another braising recipe.
Chinese Braised Chicken Wings Recipe
- 8-10 chicken wings
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 1-inch knob ginger
- ½ tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 whole star anise
- One small section of cinnamon
- ½ tsp Sichuan peppercorns
- 3 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tsp rock sugar
- Peel and slice both the garlic cloves and ginger. Half of the ginger will be for marinating and the other half will be used for stir-frying.
- In a bowl, mix the salt, Shaoxing cooking wine, and half the ginger slices together to create a marinade. Put the chicken wings in and stir to evenly coat them. Let it marinate for 10 minutes.
- Once the wings are finished marinating, heat the vegetable oil in a wok and sauté the wings until both sides become golden brown.
- Remove the wings from the wok and set aside. Leave the oil and remaining liquid in the wok and add the ginger and garlic slices. Stir-fry them for 1-2 minutes before adding in the star anise, cinnamon and Sichuan peppercorns. Continue to stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add the chicken wings back in along with the light and dark soy sauce. Stir to evenly coat.
- After, add in enough water to slightly submerge the wings and bring it to a simmer stirring occasionally.
- If your rock sugar is in large pieces, break them up before adding to the wok. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook for another 5 minutes. The sauce should start to thicken.
- Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for 5-10 minutes. Add more water if the sauce thickens too much.
- Turn off the heat and scoop the chicken wings out. Try to avoid scooping out the spices. Put the chicken wings on a plate and they’re ready to serve. You can drizzle some of the sauce on top too. Enjoy!