Ready to elevate your chicken wing game? These are crispy air fryer chicken wings with the perfect blend of Vietnamese-inspired mix of flavors: sweet, savory, tangy, umami, and spicy. These wings are very succulent and only take less than 20 minutes to cook. From game day to a quick weeknight dinner, they’re easy to make as an appetizer or meal.
Why This Works
Chicken wings have always held a special place in my heart. The dish reminds me of the meals my dad used to prepare for me as a child. I can still recall the aroma of his homemade deep-fried wings which he often served with frozen crinkle cut fries prepared in the same batch of oil. When he was short on time, we would grab wings from a local Chinese take-out and enjoy them on the go.
While the air fryer wasn’t a kitchen appliance we had growing up, it’s an appliance that I use very regularly as an adult. With an air fryer, you can achieve the same crispy texture and delicious flavor as deep-fried wings without the excess oil. It’s a game-changer for anyone who loves chicken wings.
What is an air fryer?
The air fryer is a versatile kitchen appliance that circulates hot air around food. It produces a crispy texture similar to deep-frying, but with little to no oil. From unexpected uses like baked potato to hard-boiled eggs, the air fryer can cook a wide range of foods to perfection. I purchased my first one in 2019 and have been using it daily ever since to prepare delicious meals at home. With various sizes available, the air fryer is an excellent option for individuals, couples, or families who want to enjoy healthier versions of their favorite foods.
Is air frying chicken wings a good method?
Air fryer chicken wings offer a healthier alternative to deep-fried wings. These wings are cooked in the air fryer resulting in a crispy texture that is similar to deep frying, but without the need for oil. Compared to traditional deep-fried wings, air fryer chicken wings require less oil and cook in a shorter amount of time.
How long should I air fry chicken wings?
To make delicious air fryer chicken wings, start by seasoning them with a dry rub or marinade before cooking. For best results, let the wings rest for at least an hour or overnight. When it’s time to cook, place the seasoned wings in the air fryer basket and set the temperature and timer accordingly. The cooking time will vary across different air fryers but mine typically takes 8 minutes on each side at 380-425°F or 193-218°C.
What is the secret to crispy chicken wings?
With these simple tips, you can make perfectly crispy air fryer chicken wings every time!
- Dry the wings before cooking. This will help the skin to crisp up.
- Toss the wings in your favorite sauce after they are cooked, as the sauce can burn if cooked with the wings.
- Use a baking rack to allow air to circulate around the wings and prevent them from sitting in their own juices.
- Bake the wings at a high temperature (around 380-425°F or 193-218°C) to seal the skin and prevent juices from escaping.
- To prevent the chicken skin from sticking to the basket, I recommend using an air fryer liner during the first half of cooking. Once the wings are halfway cooked, remove the liner and flip them over, pale side up, to achieve a golden-brown finish.
- Let the wings rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, making the wings juicier and more flavorful.
- Whether you are air frying or baking, it is important to space the wings properly to prevent them from steaming and becoming soggy.
What are party wings?
A whole chicken wing has three sections: a wing tip, wingette, and drumette. Party wings referring to the wingette and drumette. The drumette resembles a small drumstick and is meatier than the wingette. The wingette (flats) has two bones and more skin. Like any other part of the chicken, they are great baked, fried, or grilled. I prefer party wings over whole wings since they’re easier to handle.
What is fish sauce?
Fish Sauce (Nuoc Mam) is a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine and is known for its dark brown, clear appearance. This fermented liquid seasoning is made from fish and is characterized by its strong, pungent aroma. It has a distinct taste that is a blend of sweet, salty, and slightly briny flavors. In cooking, fish sauce is used to add saltiness and a rich umami flavor to dishes. It is commonly used as a seasoning in pho broth, as a dipping sauce in Vietnam, in marinades and sauces for Thai cuisine, and to enhance the flavor of various dishes.
How do I buy fish sauce? With many different brands available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right nuoc mam. However, my Southeast Asian grandmother prefers the Three Crabs Brand pictured below which is reputable. Please note that there may be brands that have very similar names that are of poorer quality. When purchasing, consider the following:
- Read the ingredients: Look for a high percentage of anchovy extract and salt, as this is an indication of high quality. Some lower-quality fish sauces contain added sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
- Consider the color: Fish sauce should be amber-brown in color and relatively clear. If the sauce is very dark, it may indicate over-processing or the addition of caramel color.
- Choose a reputable brand: Look for well-established brands with a proven track record of producing high-quality fish sauce. You can also ask for recommendations from friends or family who have used fish sauce before.
Air Fryer Chicken Wings Vietnamese Style
- 1.5 lbs fresh chicken party wings
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp fresh ginger peeled, grated
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp honey
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 Red Serrano pepper sliced (optional)
- Cilantro or scallions optional
- 1 cup Vietnamese Dipping Sauce
- Season | Open the package of fresh wings and drain out the liquid. Place the wings on a pile of paper towels and pat dry. Next, transfer the wings to a large bowl and add fish sauce, vinegar, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika. Mix everything well until the wings are evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate it for at least one hour or overnight, tossing at least once in between.
- Cook | Add a liner to the basket of the air fryer and arrange the wings, making sure to space them at least 1 inch apart. Set the air fryer to 380°F / 195°C. Cook the wings until browned and crispy, 8-12 mins. Discard the soggy liner paper, flip the wings pale side up, and cook for an additional 8 mins. The wings should look evenly browned on both sides and have an internal temp of 165°F/74°C.
- Assemble | Transfer the cooked wings into a large bowl. Drizzle honey over the wings and sprinkle with fresh black pepper. Plate and garnish with sliced red peppers and cilantro. Finally, serve the wings with Vietnamese dipping sauce on the side.If you've tried this recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments below! Your feedback is greatly appreciated and it helps me improve my recipes for future cooking adventures. And if you enjoyed it, don't forget to give it a thumbs up or share it with your friends! You can help my channel by tagging @vocabularyoffood in your cooks. <3