Grandmother's Chinese Chicken Wings

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 45 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 35 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 as an appetizer
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16 whole chicken wings, flap segments removed and saved for stock

1/3 cup sake 

1/3 cup soy sauce

4 tablespoons brown sugar (see Cook's Note)

3 tablespoons mirin

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

4 large thin slices fresh ginger

2 cloves star anise

1 dried hot chile

1 cinnamon stick

Shaved green onions, for garnish

Sesame seeds, for garnish


  1. Place a 14-inch nonstick saute pan over high heat. Add the chicken and dry-sear to lightly brown the chicken. Add the sake, soy sauce, 1/3 cup water, brown sugar, mirin, oyster sauce, ginger, star anise, dried chile and cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer. Cook, covered, about 12 minutes. 
  2. Uncover and simmer until the pan is almost dry, tossing frequently to coat the wings, 10 to 12 minutes. Skim off the fat if you like, and serve, garnishing with scallion shavings and sesame seeds. I like to emulsify the chicken fat into the sauce by turning up the heat at the last minute to boil the fat into the other liquids.

Cook’s Note

If you like it sweeter, add more. You can check the flavor of the sauce at any time and I encourage you to do so.