Kung Pao chicken wings are an awesome, delicious alternative to the traditional hot wings or honey bbq wings you see all over the place. The spicy, tangy sauce, oven “fried” chicken wings (I have a fool-proof method that will get you really crispy wings in the oven!), and the easy preparation make for the ultimate fusion food.
If you’re familiar with our traditional Kung Pao Chicken, you’ll find this recipe is a more tangy and slightly sweeter version of the authentic sauce, perfect with wings. You can follow the recipe as-is or tinker with the sauce until it meets your taste preferences. Of course, I’d suggest following the recipe the first time, and then customize the second time (believe you, me, it’s not a “one-time” kind of dish). You will make this one over and over again for dinner, snacks, super bowl parties and friendly gatherings, and you WILL receive kudos!
Okay, so for wings, we have to deep fry them right?
You could do that, but why deal with the mess of deep frying and the added unhealthiness of it all? After the sauce, the next best part about this recipe is the oven-fry method used to crisp up the wings. Every time I use this method, I’m convinced that it’s the only way it should be done.
On with the recipe! The ingredient list is a bit long, but I promise everything has a purpose and adds to the flavor of the dish! Can you tell I’m excited about this one? Go for it!
Kung Pao Chicken Wings: Recipe Instructions
Toss the chicken wings in a large mixing bowl along with the ground Sichuan peppercorns, white pepper, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, cornstarch, and flour. Ensure the wings are evenly coated. Set aside for at least 20 minutes.
I added some notes on making these Kung Pao chicken wings since I got a good question from one of our readers and this is why we love comments! We want to hear how things are going in your kitchen so we can continually improve our current and future recipes,
If you patted your wings dry, then the mixture may be a little dry but during the marinade process, the dry ingredients will be absorbed as the soy sauce will bring some liquid out of the chicken wings. This is especially true if you just thawed your wings from the freezer. The moisture level of the chicken wings when you start the recipe is quite variable, so adjust to get a light coating on your wings!
If the mixture still looks a little dry, then add a dash of wine or water just to moisten the wings.
If they look a little wet, then you could add a touch more flour if you like a crust on your wings, otherwise, just leave the excess liquid behind.
Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with heavy duty foil for easy clean-up and add a layer of non-stick foil or parchment paper so the wings don’t stick. Lay the wings on the sheet pan spaced 2 inches apart, ensuring that as much of the marinade coating is on the wings as possible.
Bake in the oven for 16 minutes, flipping them halfway through roasting. Both sides of the wings should be crispy. Halfway through this process (i.e. after you’ve flipped the wings), make the sauce.
To make the sauce, add the oil and ginger to a wok or saucepan over low heat. After 15 seconds, add the garlic, dried whole red chili peppers, and crushed red pepper flakes. Toast another 10 seconds and stir in the Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, chicken stock, sugar, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and spicy bean sauce/paste. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
Stir in the cornstarch slurry until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon.
Add the scallions. By now, the wings should be done cooking.
Toss them into the Kung Pao sauce.
Serve your Kung Pao Chicken Wings garnished with chopped peanuts and cilantro!
We had these Kung Pao chicken wings without any dipping sauce, but if you’d like to cool off the wings slightly, you can serve with some plain yogurt, mixed with a bit of salt and and chopped cucumber.