Blue Ginger Fried Chicken Wings: These ultra juicy, flavour-packed chicken wings are marinated overnight in freshly extracted blue ginger juice, then fried to golden perfection. Top with cilantro, chilli flakes and Thai sweet chilli dressing, and serve piping hot!
Who doesn’t love to eat juicy fried chicken wings, hands up? Perhaps only the most health-conscious among us would be able to resist the temptation to indulge once in a while. And others may prefer healthier options such as baking or air-frying when it comes to chicken wings. However when I tried these methods, I find the chicken wings end up a tad too dry for my liking and (sadly!) doesn’t quite satisfy my fried chicken wing craving.
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My absolute favourite chicken wings are crispy BBQ grilled wings (using the same marinade as this recipe), but we don’t always have access to a barbecue pit, so whenever the craving for chicken wings hit, my go-to-recipes are either this Blue Ginger Fried Chicken Wings recipe or my Shrimp-Paste Chicken Wings recipe!
Blue Ginger (or Galangal) is an ingredient that is pretty unique to Southeast Asia, and it is commonly used in Thai, Indonesian, Singaporean and Malaysian cooking, for example its a key ingredient when making Penang Laksa (recipe here). Contrary to its name, blue ginger isn’t blue at all, but pink on the outside. The inside looks like yellow ginger, but unlike yellow ginger, blue ginger has tougher and dense fibres, making it harder to cut. The taste of blue ginger after cooking is very aromatic and mildly sweet (not pungent like yellow ginger), making it an essential part of any Southeast Asian ‘spice’ pantry.
This Blue Ginger Fried Chicken recipe is a dish that I came up, because I love fried chicken wings and I love the sweet aromatic qualities of blue ginger, so why not combine the two? Blue ginger is CRUCIAL in this recipe because that’s the star ingredient that gives the fried chicken wing its unique flavour, so I highly recommend that you use freshly extracted blue ginger juice to marinate the wings for at least 6 hours (overnight is better!). I used my trusty ceramic grater (great for making fresh baby food too) to grate the blue ginger, and then extract the juice from the pulp.
I’ve been cooking this Blue Ginger (Galangal) Fried Chicken Wing dish for my friends and family for many years and they always give me two thumbs up for this. Even my 7-year-old grand-daughter (normally a very small eater) and 3-year-old grandson are able to easily down 2-3 wings each!
Suggested Modifications for Special Diets
- Child-Friendly: No modifications needed.
- Egg-Free: No modifications needed.
- Fish-Free: No modifications needed.
- Gluten-Free: Skip the Chinese Wine, or use a gluten-free brand.
- Nut-Free: No modifications needed.
- Shellfish-Free: No modifications needed.
Blue Ginger Fried Chicken Wings
- 1 kg Chicken Wings About 8-9 whole wings
- 2 tbsp Coarse Salt For washing the chicken
- 2 bowls Oil For deep frying
- 3/4 - 1 tsp Salt
- 100 ml Blue Ginger (Galangal) juice
- 1 1/2 TBsp Chinese Wine (Hua Tiao Chiew / Shaoxing Wine)
- 1 dash Pepper
Garnishing & Seasoning
- 3 Limes Large
- 1 tbsp Cilantro (Coriander) Finely chopped
- 3 tbsp Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce
PREPARATION FOR BLUE GINGER FRIED CHICKEN WINGS (20 mins, start the day before)
- Rub the chicken wings with coarse salt to remove the yellow membrane on the skin of the wings, then wash clean.
- Use a knife to cut the chicken wing at the joint between the drumlets and mid wing.
- Use the knife to make a slit on the joint between the mid-wing and the wing tip without cutting through it.
- Remove the skin from the galangal and grate it. You can use a ceramic grater to grate the blue ginger. Next, extract the juice by squeezing the pulp, then set it aside.
- Cut the lime into half and set aside for later use.
- Place the chicken wings into a large bowl. Add in all the marinade ingredients and marinate for 6 hours or overnight.
COOKING METHOD FOR BLUE GINGER FRIED CHICKEN WINGS (30 mins)
- Drain off the marinade and pat dry the chicken wings.
- In a wok, heat up 2 bowls of oil over high heat. When the oil is hot, put in the chicken wings a few at a time and fry until golden brown (about 4-5 mins).
- Transfer the chicken wings onto a plate lined with a kitchen towel. Continue to fry the rest of the chicken wings.
- While the oil is still very hot, re-fry all the wings a second time in small batches for 3-4 mins. Be careful not to burn the chicken, you may need to lower the fire if necessary.
- Transfer the twice-fried chicken wings onto a serving plate.
- Top with freshly chopped cilantro (coriander), and serve with the cut limes and Thai Sweet Chilli Sauce.
- Clean the chicken thoroughly by remove the thin yellow membrane on the skin of the chicken wings (especially the under-part of the wing) by rubbing with coarse salt, otherwise it will have a strong chicken smell after cooking. Wash thoroughly and pat dry.
- It is important to make a slit in the mid-wing and drumlet for the marinade to penetrate through the meat. It also takes a shorter time to cook it.
- Do not fry the chicken wing immediately after taking it out from the fridge as the inside of the chicken will be very cold and it will not get cooked through by the time the outside is done.
- It is good to drain off the marinade and pat dry the chicken before frying to prevent splattering of oil.
- You need to fry the chicken wings a second time over high heat to force out the excess oil and at the same time to crisp the wings. However do remember not to overcrowd the wok, as this will reduce the temperature of the oil drastically, resulting in soggy wings.
- When frying the wings, you need to keep stirring them with a pair of wooden chopsticks or metal tongs to prevent them from sticking to one another.
- Instead of frying the wings, you can also grill or BBQ then until they are golden brown.
- Do not add honey or sugar to marinate the chicken wings as sugar gets burnt easily before the wing gets cooked especially for non-battered wings. Then you end up having charred, uncooked wings.
- Oyster Sauce also contains sugar, so I don't use oyster sauce in the marinade for this reason.
- The best type of oil to use in deep frying is vegetable oil or sunflower oil for they have high smoking point.