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Sticky Air Fryer Honey Garlic Fish Sauce Wings

These saucy and sticky restaurant-worthy baked honey garlic fish sauce wings are ready in less than 30 minutes in your oven or your air fryer.

jess-web-Air fryer honey garlic fishsauce wings

When friends are over or you’re entertaining, nothing beats a platter of sticky air fryer honey garlic fish sauce wings. This dish blends sweetness, heat, and savoury flavours. Whether you prepare them in an air fryer or the oven, these wings will be the star of your snack spread.

Vietnamese Fish Sauce Caramel

Fish sauce caramel is a cornerstone of Vietnamese cuisine, adding a unique depth of flavour to various dishes.

In vietnamese cuisine it traditionally it involves melting sugar until it becomes a deep amber color, then carefully adding fish sauce and sometimes additional ingredients like garlic, chili, or lime juice.
The rich umami of fish sauce with the sweetness of caramelised sugar, creates a complex and savoury-sweet profile that enhances everything from meats to seafood.

Making a sugar caramel can be daunting if you don’t have experience with the method,  so in this recipe we replace the sugar caranel with honey. Honey naturally caramelizes at lower temperatures, reducing the risk of burning and ensuring a smoother, easier preparation. This method still achieves a rich, sweet base that complements the savory depth of the fish sauce perfetly

Why Add Water When Boiling Honey?

Adding water when boiling honey helps control the caramelization process and prevents the honey from burning. Once the honey starts to take on a darker color at the edges, add water to stop the cooking process. This allows the honey to darken and develop its rich flavor without becoming too bitter or burnt.

As the honey cooks and colors at the edges, water will evaporate, causing the honey to thicken. By adding water back into the mixture, we gain the flavor of the caramelized honey while ensuring the honey and fish sauce mixture does not over-reduce. This results in a smoother, more manageable consistency for your glaze, making it easy to coat your wings.

Marinating the Chicken

Marinating the chicken in fish sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, and garlic enhances the flavor and tenderness of the wings. Fish sauce and salt work together to penetrate the meat, breaking down proteins and making it more tender. This process, known as denaturation, allows the chicken to retain more moisture during cooking, resulting in juicier wings.

The sugar in the marinade helps balance the saltiness of the fish sauce, adding a subtle sweetness that enhances the overall flavor profile. It also aids in caramelization, giving the wings a beautiful, appetizing color when cooked. Garlic adds a robust, aromatic depth, infusing the meat with its distinct, savory goodness..

Marinating for at least 15 minutes allows these ingredients to start working their magic, but allowing the chicken to marinate overnight provides even more time for the flavors to meld and intensify. This results in wings that are not only more flavorful but also more tender and succulent.

Air Fryer vs Oven Cooking

The air fryer is a fantastic option for cooking honey garlic fish sauce wings, as it provides a crispy exterior with minimal oil. Scroll to “Shop The Equipment” to see which air fryer I used in this recipe. Preheat your air fryer to 190°C (375°F) and cook the wings for about 17-18 minutes, flipping halfway through. This method is quick, and efficient, and results in evenly cooked wings.

Cooking wings in the oven is equally doable, especially if you need to prepare a large batch. Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F) and set a wire rack over a baking sheet. The wire rack allows air to circulate around the honey garlic fish sauce wings, ensuring they cook evenly and become crispy. Bake the wings for about 16-20 minutes, flipping halfway through.

jess-web-Air fryer honey garlic fishsauce wings 1

Same-Same but Different

If you need to substitute some ingredients to make your sticky air fryer honey garlic fish sauce wings, you can try these:

  • Cornflour: Substitute with all-purpose flour or potato starch.
  • Red Chilies: Replace with sriracha sauce for a different kind of heat or use red pepper flakes for a milder option. Adjust to taste
  • Peanuts: Use cashews or almonds if you prefer a different nut. You could also use sesame seeds to avoid nut allergen.
  • Fish Sauce: If unavailable, soy sauce can be a substitute, though it will alter the flavour profile. If you’re sensitive to gluten, check the ingredient list of your fish and soy sauce carefully.

How Was Your Sticky Air Fryer Honey Garlic Fish Sauce Wings?

If you made these sticky air fryer honey garlic fish sauce wings, let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so I can see what you come up with.

Want to try some other snacks?

Candied Bacon Dates

Perfectly Pink Deviled Egg Recipe

Air Fried Olives with Spring Onion Yoghurt Dip

Happy snacking!

Shop the Equipment

These are Amazon affiliate links of the products I personally love and recommend. If you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

Instant Vortex Plus VersaZone Dual Air Fryer

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can marinate the wings overnight and prepare the sauce in advance. Cook the wings just before serving for the best texture.

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven until warmed through.

Can I use boneless chicken for this recipe?

Yes, boneless chicken thighs or breasts can be used. Adjust cooking times as needed to ensure they are fully cooked.

How can I make the glaze thicker?

Reduce the amount of water added to the glaze, but keep in mind this might make coating the wings more difficult.

What if I don’t like spicy food?

You can omit the chilies or replace them with a small amount of sriracha to control the heat level to your preference.

Can I substitute some of the ingredients?

  • Cornflour: Substitute with all-purpose flour or potato starch.
  • Red Chilies: Replace with sriracha sauce for a different kind of heat or use red pepper flakes for a milder option. Adjust to taste
  • Peanuts: Use cashews or almonds if you prefer a different nut. You could also use sesame seeds to avoid nut allergen.
  • Fish Sauce: If unavailable, soy sauce can be a substitute, though it will alter the flavour profile. If you’re sensitive to gluten, check the ingredient list of your fish and soy sauce carefully.
jess-web-Air fryer honey garlic fishsauce wings-2
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Sticky Air Fryer Honey Garlic Fish Sauce Wings


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  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 12 portions

Description

These restaurant-worthy sticky air fryer honey garlic fish sauce wings are ready in less than 30 minutes!


Ingredients

Units

For the Wings:

  • 12 chicken winglets (6 full-size wings separated at the joint)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 lime (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour (or cornstarch)

Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 23 red chillies, sliced (adjust for heat preference)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce

To Finish:

  • 30 grams peanuts, chopped
  • A few slices of red chilli (optional)
  • 2 spring onions, sliced

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine chicken wings, fish sauce, white pepper, salt, sugar, and grated garlic, Toss to coat evenly.
  2. Add the zest of one lime (optional) for extra brightness. Marinate for at least 15 minutes, or ideally overnight for maximum flavour penetration.
  3. While the wings marinate, heat a saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add honey and cook until it bubbles and starts to darken around the edges. Be careful not to burn the honey.
  5. Add sliced red chillies according to your desired heat level. For a milder option, substitute red pepper flakes.
  6. Reduce heat slightly and let the chillies cook in the honey mixture until they become softened and slightly sticky.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in the fish sauce and water (2-3 tablespoons until desired consistency). This will prevent the glaze from becoming too thick as it cools. The consistency should be slightly runnier than honey so that the wings can be easily coated.

Cook:

Air Fryer: Preheat your air fryer to 190°C (375°F). Arrange the wings in a single layer in the air fryer basket, ensuring they don’t overcrowd. Cook for 10 minutes, then flip the wings and cook for another 7-8 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Adjust the cooking time slightly depending on your air fryer model.

Oven: Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F). Set a wire rack over a baking sheet, and arrange the wings on the rack in a single layer. Bake for 8-10 minutes on one side, then flip the wings and bake for another 8-10 minutes on the other side or until golden brown and cooked through.

  1. Transfer the cooked wings to a clean bowl.
  2. Pour the hot honey fish sauce glaze over the wings and toss to coat evenly.
  3. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and garnish with additional sliced red chilli (optional) and sliced spring onions.
  4. Serve immediately and enjoy the explosion of flavours!

Notes

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer or oven until warmed through.
  • Reduce the amount of water for a thicker glaze. However, this might make coating the wings more difficult.
  • Check out our FAQs for a list of substitutions.
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 15 min
  • Category: Snacks
  • Method: Air fryer or oven
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