NOTE: This post contains affiliate links to products I regularly use and love. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Tangy. Sweet. Salty. Sticky baked chicken wings!
Tropical, sour tamarind paste, pleasantly mellows with sweet mirin, pure cane and brown sugars, and a majestic blend of Asian seasonings over crispy baked wings. Then, culinary confetti made of fresh herbs, sesame seeds, and dried chilies makes these bad boys THE party! (I can already hear “This Is How We Do It” playing in the background!) These wings are the perfect eye-popping, mouthwatering appetizer to celebrate proper witcha’ peeps! (There’s a little 90’s slang for you, lol!).
First of all, what is tamarind and how do I use it to make sticky wings?
When seeking adventure in the kitchen, use tamarind to take a trip with your taste buds lickety-split! It’s a brown pod-like, tart and sticky fruit that grows from the tamarind tree. Native to the Caribbean, Latin America, and Asia, you will typically find it in desserts, drinks, ethnic dishes, and even Worcestershire sauce!
In this recipe, I use tamarind paste for its dark, syrupy consistency–perfect for hugging onto crispy chicken skin. However, tamarind pulp, puree, concentrate, or even candy are also welcomed. (NOTE: If using the candy, melt it down and skip adding the other sugars in the recipe or add just enough to make the sourness more palatable, if needed.)
To find this unique treat, look in a tropical foods store, farmer’s market, or Whole Foods. Grocery or online stores also stock it in a variety of forms that may be more convenient to use and store over time.
How to make tamarind baked sticky wings: Step-by-step
1. What you will need: Ingredients List
Okay, so…this ingredients list is a little extensive, but it’s totally worth the effort…I promise! Luckily, it contains some great Asian condiment staples to have in your pantry to make more delicious recipes in the future. And most of these items have a very long shelf-life.
Here’s the lineup:
- About 4 lbs chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats (about 3 dozen pieces)
- Fish sauce
- Cornstarch (optional)
- Tamarind paste
- Garlic cloves or dried minced garlic
- Ginger paste/minced (or grated ginger)
- Sesame oil
- Sriracha or gochujang sauce
- Pure cane sugar (or white sugar) + Dark brown sugar
- Crushed red pepper
- Mirin (or substitute with 1 tsp sugar + 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar)
- Soy sauce
- Roasted sesame seeds
- Fried shallots (optional)
2. Bake the wings until crispy and golden
As a health-conscious foodie, I figured I could save a few calories by baking the wings instead of frying them. What’s beautiful about baking wings at a high temperature is that they get almost as crispy as if they were fried.
Simplify Your Life (S.Y.L.) Tip: Make a Light Batter
To make the wings even crispier, mix 1 TB of cornstarch + 1 TB fish sauce for every 2 pounds of wings in a large bowl. Add the dried wings to the light batter and toss to evenly coat them prior to baking. This method just adds more flavor and gives the wings a more textured surface for the sauce to really stick to them. I have made these wings with and without doing this step, and you can still achieve crispy wings without the light batter.
2. Make tamarind sauce for the sticky wings
Delicious Asian flavors–tamarind, fish and soy sauces, sesame oil, mirin, chilies, and ginger–really shine in this party pleaser. Just combine them together and microwave until they create a thick glaze (see recipe instructions).
3. Coat the wings and bake one last time
Yes, one more time in the oven and then your wings are ready to party! This last bake allows the glaze to caramelize on the wings for even more flavor. We are not playing around over here!
4. Make it rain with culinary confetti!
To make these sticky wings extraordinary, sprinkle them with a vibrant and colorful confetti of fresh scallions, cilantro, toasted sesame seeds, crushed red pepper, and fried shallots (if you’re feeling like a party animal!).
Woo-hoo! You’ve done it! Now it’s time to party on, people…party on!!!
Another fun confettied party food (click the pic!)
|Homemade Flatbread Pizza with Cherry Peppadew Sausage
Pin this recipe
- 4 lbs chicken wings, cut into drumettes and flats (about 3 dozen pieces)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce (optional)
- 1 tbsp cornstarch (optional)
- 1 tsp tamarind paste
- 2 garlic cloves, grated OR 2 tsp dried minced garlic
- 1 tsp ginger paste (or minced or grated ginger)
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp sriracha or gochujang sauce
- 1 tsp ketchup
- 2 tsp dark brown sugar
- 2 tsp cane sugar
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp mirin (or substitute with 1 tsp sugar + 1 tbsp of rice wine vinegar)
- 3 tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- ¼ cup scallions, diced
- ¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- fried shallots (optional)
- Preheat and prep. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Pat the wings with paper towels to remove any excess liquid. Grab a large baking sheet and line it with foil, then lightly coat the surface with cooking spray. (NOTE: You can add the cornstarch and fish sauce mixture onto the wings before baking, if desired. See Notes below). Arrange the wings on the baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart.
- Bake the wings for 20-25 minutes on the middle rack of the oven. After 20 minutes of cooking, flip the wings over and cook an additional 15-20 minutes or until they are deep golden brown and crispy on the edges. Then, place the wings in a large glass bowl.
- Make the sauce. In a small glass bowl, combine the first nine (9) Tamarind Sauce ingredients. Next, add the fish sauce, soy sauce, and mirin. Stir to combine. Microwave the mixture on high for 30 seconds. Stir, and microwave an additional 30 seconds to thicken the sauce. Stir again.
- Coat the wings and bake again. Pour spoonfuls of the wing sauce onto the hot wings. Stir the wings to evenly coat them, adding more sauce as you stir. Dump the wings back onto the baking sheet and bake an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove the wings from the oven and place them onto a serving dish to prepare for the confetti topping.
- Make it rain. Sprinkle the confetti toppings all over the wings. Serve and party on!
See blog post for Recommended Products list (contains Amazon Affiliate paid product links to products I use and love.)
Simplify Your Life (S.Y.L.) Tip: Make a Light Batter for Crispier Wings
To make the wings even crispier, mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch + fish sauce for every 2 pounds of wings in a large bowl. Add the dried wings to the light batter and toss to evenly coat them prior to baking. This method just adds more flavor and gives the wings a more textured surface for the sauce to really stick to them. I have made these wings with and without doing this step, and you can still achieve crispy wings without the light batter.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 770Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 20gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 186mgSodium: 1261mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 39g
The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used. I am not a doctor, nor a certified nutritionist and make no claims to the contrary. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. Please consult your personal physician with any questions you may have regarding your own health and diet.