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VIETNAMESE CARAMEL WINGS

Sticky sweet, salty savory Vietnamese caramel chicken wings are packed with umami flavor from the caramel, lime and fish sauce baked until golden brown and crisp in the air fryer!


Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time18 mins
Additional Time1 d
Total Time1 d 33 mins
Course: Appetizers
Servings: 4 -5
Author: the communal feast

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs chicken wings depends on how many your feeding
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • For the Caramel Glaze
  • 5 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 limes juiced
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup butter chilled and cubed
  • 2 tsp garlic chili sauce sambal
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • Dry mix
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup of rice flour can use regular flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Garnish:
  • Fresh chopped mint
  • Fresh chopped cilantro
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Red chilies

Instructions

  • Marinade the wings
  • 1. Clean wings by rinsing them under water
  • 2. Add wings to a large bowl
  • 3. Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and pour over wings. Massage the marinade into the wings with your hands, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • To make the caramel glaze
  • 1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, begin to toast star anise, cinnamon until fragrant.
    Set aside.
  • 2. In a separate sauce pot, again over medium-low heat, add the brown sugar along with a splash of water and lime juice. The sugar should start to melt and start to caramelize whisking occasionally.
  • 3. Once the sugar appears dark brown, the caramel has formed. This takes about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and slowly add in the fish sauce while continuously stirring. Slowly add the chilled butter cubes a few pieces at a time and continue to whisk. Add in the reserved toasted spices, hot sauce and garlic chili paste to the caramel sauce, pour into a heat safe container, cover, and chill overnight to allow the flavours to steep.
  • Air fryer
  • 1. Remove the wings from the refrigerator along with the caramel glaze
  • 2. Pre heat your air fryer
  • 3. Discard just over half the marinade from the wings, ensuring there is about 1/3 left of the marinade still sitting in the bowl. (Literally pour some out over the sink)
  • 4. In a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch, flour and salt. Dump the dry ingredients over the wings. Using the hands mix the batter together forming a wet batter over the wings. Place the wings in the air fryer and fry at 400 degrees for 9 minutes.
  • 5. Give the tray and wings a good shake, you want the bottoms to fry golden and crispy and fry again for another 9 minutes.
  • 6. The should look dark brown/red and crispy on the edges.
  • 7. While the wings are frying, place the caramel glaze in saucepan and re heat discarding the spices using a mesh strainer.
  • 8. Keep the sauce warm on low heat.
  • 9. Once the wings are fully cooked, dip each wing into the caramel sauce and place on a wire rack letting the excess glaze drip off

To serve:

  • Place the wings on a tray, drizzle with extra caramel glaze if desired, sprinkle with fresh chopped mint, chopped cilantro and crushed peanuts. Enjoy!

Oven baking:

  • 1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  • 2. When the wings are done marinating, transfer to a colander, and let drain for 5 minutes. Mix the cornstarch and flour with salt together and toss the wings in the dry mixture until coated.
  • 3. Line a baking sheet with foil and oven safe wire rack overtop and spray nonstick cooking spray. Bake the wings for 24 minutes, flipping halfway through. Halfway through the cooking time, start to make the glaze.
  • 4. Place the caramel glaze in saucepan and re heat discarding the spices using a mesh strainer
  • 5. Keep the sauce warm on low heat.
  • 6. Once the wings are fully cooked, dip each wing into the caramel sauce and place on a wire rack letting the excess glaze drip off

To serve:

  • Place the wings on a tray, drizzle with extra caramel glaze if desired, sprinkle with fresh chopped mint, chopped cilantro and crushed peanuts. Enjoy!