This post has been updated for photos and content since its original publication in 2015.
Looking for the best wings for your next movie night or game day? These Asian style honey sriracha chicken wings are amazing! They’re tangy, sweet, spicy, meaty, juicy, and just sticky enough that you’ll want to lick your fingers afterwards. The secret is the simple soy, lime, honey sriracha sauce, which gets brushed on the baked wings towards the end of cooking. Save some sauce for drizzling or dipping your sriracha honey wings into. So good!
I don’t like to fry wings at home… it’s the mess — and how the “fry smell” can linger in the house for days on end. Instead, I leave the frying to the restaurants and make baked chicken wings at home. It’s easier, less messy and if you cook them at a high enough heat, you’ll end up with a nice, crispy skin that’s just begging for some sticky honey sriracha sauce.
Prepping and baking the chicken wings
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Don’t even think about putting the wings in the oven until it’s preheated, otherwise you risk flabby wings… eww…
- Some stores sell flats and drums already separated, but if you buy whole wings, it’s pretty simple to break them down with a good knife at the joints. Don’t toss the wing tips, you can use them in your next pot of chicken stock.
- Line a sheet pan with tin foil (to catch the drips — it’s gonna save you a lot of clean up time later) and rest a rack over the pan. Transfer the flats and drums, skin side up, to the rack. Arrange them so they aren’t touching.
- Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper and par bake the wings for about 15 minutes.
This first bit of cooking starts to firm up the skin and cook the wing meat. It’s not until after that first 15 minutes that you add the honey sriracha sauce. If you sauce the wings too early, the sriracha honey wings could burn, while never achieving that crispy stage. So while the wings are on the first bake, assemble the tangy honey sriracha sauce.
Though a relatively short list of ingredients, each one is potent and powerful in this funky, tangy, spicy sauce.
Ingredients for tangy honey sriracha sauce
- Fish Sauce
- Soy Sauce
- Reserve a bit of sauce in a separate bowl for drizzling and dipping later. (You don’t want to cross contaminate with raw poultry).
- This honey sriracha sauce makes enough to dress about 4 pounds of wings, but if you don’t have that many, you can cut the amounts in half.
Taste map for your tongue
Though the original taste map of your tongue you may have learned about in school has been debunked, the 5 basic taste receptors (salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami) are alive and well in Asian cuisine, which is famous for simultaneously triggering them all at once.
- Salty – Soy sauce is the main salty component in this sauce, but it has more flavor than plain salt and works well in these Asian stye honey sriracha chicken wings.
- Sweet – Honey adds sweetness and makes these sriracha chicken wings a bit sticky and lip-smacking.
- Sour – The lime (both zest and juice) gives this glaze and dipping sauce a bright tangy finish.
- Bitter – On their own, raw garlic and sriracha can be bitter, but in this simple sauce they also add a layered spice and heat.
- Umami – Umami is the fifth taste — the savory taste of glutamate. Fish sauce adds an umami funk that’s irresistible (if you’ve never worked with fish sauce before, it does smell weird — but trust me, it’s the stuff that ties the whole honey sriracha glaze together. Just be mindful, because its potent.
Cooking and glazing the honey sriracha chicken wings
- After the first 15 minutes in the oven, remove the pan and liberally brush the tops of the chicken with the garlic honey sriracha sauce.
- Return the sriracha honey wings to the oven and cook for another 5-8 minutes. (Note, the time varies depending on how large your wings are. I’ve made this several times with poultry I’ve gotten at Costco — and they seem to be bigger and meatier. Regular grocery store wings can be smaller, and thus can be cooked slightly less… about 5 minutes. Use your best judgement.
- After the initial 5-8 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and flip the drums and flats over. Brush them with more sauce and return them to the oven to finish baking for another 5-8 minutes.
You can see in the photos (above and below) how the skin starts to crisp and the color changes from a pale yellow to a burnished, crispy amber. That’s how you know it’s getting GOOD. Also, check out the tin foil beneath the wire rack that collects the honey sriracha sauce, saving you a lot of scrubbing time later. You’re welcome.
Lacquer Asian-style wings under the broiler
Flip the wings one last time and brush them again with the lip-smacking tangy honey sriracha sauce. For the last bit of cooking, put the honey sriracha wings under the broiler for just a minute or two to fuse the sauce to the chicken and give the wings a deeper color.
It’s completely up to you, but after you pile them on a serving platter, you might want to add a little garnish for color, freshness and pizzazz. Here’s what I recommend.
Extras for the best wings
- Fresh Chopped Cilantro
- Lime Wedges
- Toasted Sesame Seeds
- Black Sesame Seeds
- Extra Drizzle of Honey Sriracha Sauce
So, how do they taste?
In a word… Amazing. The chicken is cooked to crispy, meaty perfection, but the real “wow” is definitely the tangy honey sriracha sauce. Every part of your tongue dances with that first bite. These wings are crispy, too. They’re not sad, flabby, meh wings. No. They are crusty and tender and utterly satisfying. Lordy… mere words don’t do justice…
Can we eat now?
As I was making (and photographing) this recipe, my husband, Scott, kept popping in and out of the kitchen asking, “Are you done yet? Can we eat?” Poor guy hasn’t had a hot meal in 6 years… but I digress… He inhaled this batch and declared them the best wings, ever! He loved the punchy flavors in these honey sriracha wings and this platter didn’t last long between the two of us. Be sure to have a supply of napkins or wet-naps on hand! You’ll need ’em.
More wings and Asian chicken recipes you might like:
- Hatch Chile Hot Wings
- Rosemary Garlic Chicken Wings
- Juicy Asian Style Chicken Thighs
- Asian Chicken Salad
Honey Sriracha Lime Wings
- 4 pounds chicken wings
- sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons garlic finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons sriracha hot sauce
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce nam pla
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 limes zested and juiced
- 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
- fresh cilantro leaves
- Set oven rack to the top third of your oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Cover a large baking sheet with tin foil. Set a wire rack on top of the baking sheet (I used a cooling rack) Set aside.
- Cut the chicken wings into sections: drums, flats and tips. Use a sharp chef's knife to cut between the joints of the drums and flats, and flats and tips. Save tips for making stock.
- Lay the drums and flats on the wire rack, so they are not touching. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
- Bake the wings for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile assemble the sauce. In a small bowl combine the garlic, sriracha, fish sauce, honey, soy sauce, lime zest and juice and stir to combine. Reserve 1/4 cup of marinade for dipping.
- Remove the wings from the oven and brush them with the marinade. Return them to the oven and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes. Remove them from the oven and flip them over. Brush with marinade and cook for an additional 5-8 minutes until crisp and browned.
- Remove the honey sriracha wings from the oven and flip them one last time. Brush with remaining sauce.
- Set the oven to the broiler setting. Place the wings about 6" from the heating element and cook for 1-2 minutes or until they start to take on color and the honey sriracha sauce lacquers to the meat. Watch carefully so they don't burn.
- Transfer wings to a serving platter. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro. Serve with reserved marinade for dipping or drizzling over the wings.
You can also grill the wings instead of baking them (I've done it both ways - just wait until the wings are almost cooked before glazing them with the sauce, to prevent flare ups
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