I've got the best method for grilling chicken wings so that they come out super crispy and fall-off-the-bone tender every time. Add a delicious sweet and sticky Asian-inspired marinade/sauce to that, and you've got the BEST Asian grilled chicken wings!
First, the chicken wings are marinated to impart a flavor that penetrates the meat and tenderizes it. Then, they're slow-cooked in the marinade that later doubles as a sauce.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- The super flavorful marinade does double duty as a marinade and a sauce. It's the perfect balance of sweet, salty, acidic, and umami. A total joy for your tastebuds!
- The combination cooking method of slow cooking + grilling ensures the wings come out perfectly. First, cook over low heat until fall-off-the-bone tender, and finish with high heat sear to crisp the skin.
Here's what you need to make this recipe:
- Split chicken wings - look for "party wings" or a mixture of wingettes (also called flats) and drumettes (a.k.a. drums, drummies). You can also buy whole chicken wings and split them yourself.
- Soy sauce - I recommend low-sodium soy sauce since you can always add more salt if you want to but can't really go back if it's too salty. You likely won't want to add any extra salt to the marinade-- the soy sauce and other ingredients provide enough salt.
- Honey - for sweetness and gives the sauce a great sticky texture.
- Hoisin - also a sticky, syrupy consistency for the sauce, Hoisin sauce is made primarily from fermented soybeans. It's sweeter and thicker than soy sauce but has a similar flavor profile.
- Mirin - a sweet Japanese rice wine used for cooking (so you can usually find it with other Asian ingredients in the grocery store rather than with alcohol). You can substitute sake, white wine, or leave it out.
- Ginger - I recommend using a paste rather than fresh ginger so it doesn't burn. You can also substitute 1 teaspoon of dried powdered ginger.
- Sesame oil - I use toasted sesame oil for its depth of flavor, but you can also use regular (not toasted).
- Garlic - like ginger, I recommend using a paste rather than fresh garlic so it doesn't burn. You can also substitute 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Rice wine vinegar - unseasoned, since seasoned rice wine vinegar contains additional salt and sugar. You can substitute white wine vinegar.
- Lime juice - fresh lime juice is best, but bottled works too.
- Sriracha (optional) - You can substitute any hot sauce or leave it out if you don't like spicy. You could also add red pepper flakes instead, or in addition.
- Scallions and/or sesame seeds - both optional garnishes.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Asian Grilled Chicken Wings
First, make the Asian grilled chicken wings marinade by combining all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Add the chicken wings to the marinade (or pour the marinade over the wings), cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
If you're pressed for time, marinating for any length of time will do. But I recommend at least 6 hours (or overnight) for maximum flavor benefits.
After marinating, preheat the grill to 300 °F and transfer the wings and marinade to a large aluminum pan and cover with foil. To maintain a low grill temperature, keep 2 burners on low heat and the other 2 off.
Place the covered aluminum pan on the grill and close the lid. Allow the wings to cook for at least 1 hour, or to an internal temperature of 180 °F for the most tender chicken wings.
When the wings are fully cooked, turn up the grill to high heat. Then, place the wings directly on the grill grate to char and crisp the skin.
Meanwhile, bring the marinade to a boil to let it reduce and thicken (you should see it bubbling) until it's about 1 ½ cups.
When the sauce is thickened, strain it through a fine mesh colander. Then, toss the crispy chicken wings with the strained sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds if using, then they're ready to serve!
If you prefer dry grilled wings, you don't have to toss the wings back in the sauce at the end. Cooking them in the marinade still imparts a lot of Asian flavors without the need for sauce. You can either discard the marinade left in the pan or serve the sauce on the side.
If you don't have a grill, or don't want to use the grill, you have a few options:
- Oven/ stovetop: Cook wings in a covered pan at 300 °F until tender. Then, transfer the wings to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Place in a hot oven (425 °F) or use the oven's broiler setting to crisp the skin. Meanwhile, transfer the marinade to a small pot and bring it to a boil on the stovetop to reduce, then strain and toss with the wings.
- Oven/ grill pan: Cook wings in a covered pan at 300 °F until tender. Then place the wings on a preheated and greased grill pan to crisp the skin and create grill marks. Follow the same instructions above to reduce the marinade.
Here's everything you'll need to make this Asian grilled wings recipe:
- Grill - I have a 4-burner gas grill, but you can also use a charcoal grill if that's what you have. Either make sure you're stocked up on charcoal or have a mostly full propane tank!
- Grill brush - The marinade can cause sticking if the grill grates aren't clean. So it's a good idea to quickly brush the grill clean before and after grilling these wings.
- Disposable aluminum pans - I like to stock up on these at the beginning of grilling season! They are usually cheap at dollar stores or buy in bulk at the grocery store or online.
- Aluminum foil
- Tongs - long 12" tongs are best for grilling so you don't burn yourself over the high heat of the grill.
- Mixing bowls - I love these mixing bowls with lids. I was able to mix up the marinade, and then cover the bowl with a lid to store it in the fridge. Love saving dishes!
- Whisk - or fork to mix the marinade.
- Mesh strainer - to strain the reduced marinade for a super smooth wing sauce.
- Oven mitts - you'll want heavy-duty oven mitts to transfer the hot pan of wings on and off the grill.
Storage & Reheating
You can refrigerate leftover wings and they will keep for at least 3-4 days.
The best way to reheat these wings is in the oven (on a wire rack over a baking sheet) or air fryer to keep the skin crispy. Reheat at a moderate temperature of 350 °F for about 10 minutes or until warm.
I recommend saving some extra sauce on the side. This way, you can toss them in sauce again if the wings dry out after storing and reheating. The Asian wing sauce will also stay good for at least 3-4 days in the refrigerator.
Whole wings are the whole wing part of the chicken which includes the drumette, the midjoint, and the tip. They are pretty large and form a Z shape.
Party wings are what we think of as chicken wings-- a mix of drumettes and flats (the midjoint). They have already been broken down into 3 parts (and the small wing tips are discarded).
These Asian grilled chicken wings are super crispy and fall-off-the-bone tender, coated in a deliciously sweet and sticky Asian-inspired sauce.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Marinating Time: 6 hours
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Total Time: 7 hours 15 minutes
- Yield: 20-24 wings (approx.) 1x
- Category: Grilling, Chicken
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: Asian
- 2 lbs. split chicken wings (party wings)
- ½ cup hoisin sauce
- 5 tablespoons honey
- ¼ cup soy sauce, low-sodium
- 2 tablespoons mirin, or substitute white cooking wine
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ginger paste, or substitute 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic paste, or substitute 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil, toasted
- 2 teaspoons sriracha (or any hot sauce or red pepper flakes to taste)
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- Scallions, sliced and/or sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
- Trim chicken wings if necessary and pat them dry.
- Make marinade: In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (except the scallions and sesame seeds) and whisk until smooth. Then, pour the marinade over the chicken wings and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.*
- Slow cook wings on the grill: Preheat the grill to 300 °F. Transfer the chicken wings and marinade to a large shallow aluminum pan and cover with foil. Then place the covered pan on the grill and close the lid. Allow the wings to cook for at least 1 hour, or to an internal temperature of 180 °F, while maintaining the grill temperature at 300 °F.
- Char wings on the grill: Once the wings are fully cooked and tender, turn the grill to high heat and place the wings directly on the grill grate* to char and crisp the skin (about 3-4 minutes on each side).
- Reduce wing sauce: Bring the marinade in the pan to a boil to let it reduce and thicken (you should see it bubbling, the bubbles will slow as it thickens)*. Reduce the flame under the pan once the mixture is bubbling to prevent it from burning. Once the sauce is reduced to about 1 ½ cups, remove it from the heat and strain through a mesh strainer.
- Toss and serve: toss the grilled wings in the Asian sauce mixture. Garnish with sesame seeds and sliced scallions (if using) and serve warm.
- If you don't have time to marinate the wings for a full 6 hours, that's ok. 6+ hours is recommended but any amount of time will help tenderize and impart flavor.
- Allow excess marinade to drip back into the pan before placing the wings on the grill. This will prevent flare-ups from the sauce dripping onto the grill.
- If the sauce is taking a long time to reduce, you can move the chicken wings to the top rack of the grill once they are well-charred and crispy to keep them warm and prevent them from burning.
- If you don’t have a grill, you can make this recipe using your oven and/or stovetop (see instructions in the blog post above).
Keywords: asian grilled chicken wings marinade, asian grilled wings
A quick note on using the chicken marinade as a sauce-- don't worry! As long as you bring the marinade to a boil after removing the raw chicken, it is safe to eat. The boiling temperature is hot enough to destroy any potentially harmful bacteria.