Last year when I visited Portland I got the chance to stop by Pok Pok to try their chicken wings, which were very good, and I remember thinking that I would have to try making them at home. When I made the buffalo wings the other day I recalled this thought and I could not resist making them for snacking on while watching the game. As it turns out there are several versions of the recipe online and they reminded me of a Vietnamese style savoury caramel sauce which I use fairly frequently and spicy caramel chicken wings sounded fantastic! The Vietnamese style savoury caramel sauce weaves a perfect blend of salty, sweet, sour, spicy by making a caramel and instead of adding cream or water it uses salty fish sauce, sour lime juice and spicy chilies or chili sauce along with some garlic for flavour. For the recipe, I decided to go with this simple savoury caramel sauce which I marinated the chicken wings in and then reduced it to thicken to toss the wings in and glaze them after baking. When I think chicken wings, I think spicy so I loaded up on the sriracha and the wings turned out super tasty and perfectly hot and spicy! The only real problem that I had was that the thick caramel sauce was a little sticky and messy but hey, they wouldn’t be chicken wings without a little mess! These Vietnamese style spicy caramel chicken wings will make an excellent addition to my lineup of snacks for the big game!
Vietnamese Style Caramel Chicken Wings
Chicken wings in a salty, sweet, sour, spicy Vietnamese caramel sauce inspired by Pok Pok chicken wings.
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce (or soy sauce)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (~1 lime)
- 2 tablespoons chili sauce (such as sriracha) or to taste
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 pounds chicken wings, rinsed and pat dry
- Simmer the water and sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat until it turns a deep amber, about 10-15 minutes.
- Mix the fish sauce, lime juice, chili sauce, and garlic and carefully add it to the pan, then heat until the caramel dissolves.
- Marinate the chicken wings in the sauce for 30 minutes to overnight.
- Place the chicken wings on a rack, on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400F/200C oven until golden brown and crispy, about 25-30 minutes.
- Meanwhile place the marinade in a sauce pan and simmer over medium heat to thicken, about 7-10 minutes.
- Toss the wings in the caramel sauce and enjoy.