We have an amazing Japanese takeaway near our house which is fortuitous because I love Japanese food. They do the most delicious salt and pepper chicken wings.
Why you’ll love them
I’m too chicken (pun totally intended) to ask that restaurant for the recipe so I recreated them at home. These are totally worthy of joining my ever increasing library of chicken wings.
These salt and pepper chicken wings don’t mess around. They’re salty, they’re peppery and they have great depth of flavour from the chilli, garlic and spring (green) onions they are fried with at the end.
So often when ordering salt and pepper anything from a restaurant, they hold back on that flavour and it makes no sense to me. If it’s in the name, you want to taste it right? Well the wings these were inspired by are fantastic and sot are these. The flavour is bold and punchy and you won’t be confused what flavour they’re meant to be.
Ingredients you’ll need
- Chicken wings: Use large chicken wings and free-range if you can.
- Cooking saké: Similar to the sake you’d drink, cooking saké is a Japanese rice wine. You can also use Chinese shaoxing rice wine. Both Japanese cooking saké and shaoxing wine are available in large grocery stores.
- Sesame oil: I love this stuff. Full of umami and sesame flavour, sesame oil adds something bold and punchy outside of the spice in this recipe.
- Flour: Adding plain flour / all-purpose flour, gives these wings a crispy coating.
- Salt: Of course, we need salt in salt and pepper chicken wings. There’s enough here to give the flavour we’re after without being too salty.
- Pepper: Another necessity for this recipe, the pepper is ground white pepper, so often used in Asian cuisines. You can also use ground black pepper or for Chinese salt and pepper wings, substitute half of the pepper for cracked szechuan pepper.
- Chilli: I use a long red chilli in this recipe. Thai red chillies will also work.
- Spring onions: Also known as green onions or scallions, spring onions add a light onion flavour but loads of umami.
- Ginger: Use fresh ginger. It adds a touch of sweetness, tang and heat.
- Garlic: Another umami rich ingredient, garlic adds loads of flavour to these wings.
- Vegetable oil: Use a vegetable oil like canola or sunflower oil or use rice bran oil. These all have high heating points so they’re great for deep frying.
Now normally I like to bake my chicken wings, like these Oven Baked Barbecue Chicken Wings and my Crispy Honey Soy Chicken Wings, mainly because I don’t like the smell of oil in the house. But sometimes, just sometimes, frying is totally worth it and this is one of those times.
These Crunchy Korean Chicken Wings recipe also uses the deep frying method but again, totally worth it. It works because the coating goes on at the start and needs that very hot oil to get all crispy whereas I find oven baked chicken wings are best to have the flavour added at the end.
How to make salt and pepper chicken wings
- Prep the wings: Cut the wings through the joints into tips, flats and drumettes. Discard the tips and dry the rest with paper towel. Now toss them in the saké and sesame oil and set aside.
- Make the dredging mixture: Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl and set aside.
- Prep the oil: Heat the oil in a wok or some type of deep skillet until a sprinkle of flour sizzles.
- Start cooking: Toss the wings in the seasoning mixture then deep fry in batches for 4 minutes each until golden brown. Set them aside on a baking paper lined baking sheet, try or plate to drain while you cook the rest.
- The second fry: Tip away the frying oil into a heat proof dish. Now fry up the flavourings – chilli, onions, chilli, garlic and a touch of salt and pepper. Once they’re smelling gorgeous (only a minute or so), add the wings and toss to coat them in the mixture.
Serve immediately. Garnish your perfect crispy wings with some extra sliced chilli and spring onion.
As these salt and pepper wings are based on my local Japanese restaurant version, I serve them with Kewpie mayonnaise (so so good) but you can also serve them just on their own or with a lovely chilli dipping sauce, like the Thai nam jim sauce.
All I know is, these salt and pepper chicken wings fry up like a dream. Super easy to make and even easier to devour.
If you try this salt and pepper wings recipe, please take a moment toleave a rating and comment below. I love hearing from you and it helps other readers too! You can also take a photo and tag @sugarsaltmagic on Instagram.
More recipes you’ll love
- Honey Lemon Pepper Wings
- Crispy Korean Fried Chicken Wings
- Crispy Honey Soy Chicken Wings
- Honey Pepper Pork Stir Fry
- Karaage Chicken (Japanese Fried Chicken)
- Air Fryer Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks
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Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings
- 6 chicken wings (cut into flats and drumettes, tips discarded)
- 1 tablespoon cooking sake (notes 1)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ⅓ cup plain (all purp) flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ⅓ red chilli, finely sliced
- 4 spring onions (green onions), finely chopped
- 2 inch piece of ginger, finely grated (notes 2)
- 3 cloves garlic crushed
- 500 ml vegetable oil for deep frying
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil for frying
- Kewpie mayonnaise to serve
- Coat the wings in the sake and sesame oil and set aside.
- Set up 2 plates both covered with a few layers of paper towel.
- Prepare the coating by combining the flour, salt and pepper.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over high heat until dropping some crumbs in sizzle straight away. Drop the heat to med-high.
- Coat 4 wing pieces in the coating then carefully place in the hot oil (don’t drop them). Let them sizzle away, turning now and then for about 4 minutes, then transfer to one of the paper towel covered plates. Repeat with remaining wings.
- Top up the oil a little and deep fry the wings a second time until golden and crisp (another 4 minutes). Transfer to the second plate with paper towel. Repeat with remaining wings.
- Tip the hot oil away into a heat proof pan or dish and wipe the wok out with paper towel.
- Heat the peanut oil in the wok until very hot and add the chilli, onions, ginger and garlic, plus another small pinch of both salt and pepper. Stir fry for a couple of minutes until very aromatic.
- Add the wings to the wok and toss to coat in the aromats, then tip out onto a serving plate.
- Serve with kewpie mayonnaise.
- I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon (4 teaspoons worldwide)
- There is no need to peel the ginger.
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