Sichuan-Soy Chicken Wings

Sichuan Soy Chicken Wings


This chicken wing recipe incorporates some of the flavors of China - Sichuan peppercorns, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and fresh ginger. The wings are steamed and baked rather than deep-fried which makes these a bit healthier.
  • Serves: 2 to 4
  • Active Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr - 2 hrs
  • Views: 25,683
  • Success Rating: 100% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Making the Marinade

• 1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns*
• 2 tbsp grated ginger
• 2 tbsp sugar
• 3 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
• 1 1/4 cup dark soy sauce
• 3/4 cup light soy sauce
• 2 tsp sesame oil (optional)



To prepare the marinade, toast, cool and grind the Sichuan peppercorns. Grate the ginger. Place into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Mix and then take about half of the sauce and refrigerate for another time. This marinade also works well on chicken thighs or even whole chicken.

Alternatively, you could use the other half as a sauce to toss the wings in after they have been baked (see below in “Finishing the Wings”).

  • Note: Sichuan peppercorns are also often referred to as Szechwan or Szechuan peppercorns.

Step 2: Preparing and Marinating the Wings

• 12 whole chicken wings (24 split)


Remove the wings tips and save for making stock. Next, separate the rest of the wing by cutting between the wing and the drummette.

Mix the wings into half of the marinade, cover and refrigerate. Let marinate for at least 2 hours, tossing half way through.

Step 3: Steaming and Cooling the Wings


To steam the wings, place a pot filled with 1" -inch of water onto the stove-top. Cover with a lid and bring to a simmer. Remove the wings from the refrigerator.

Once the water is hot, add a single layer of wings to the steamer basket, place over the pot and cover. Let steam over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Line a tray with paper towels and place a cooling rack over top. Once the wings are done, remove them from the steamer basket and place onto the cooling rack.

Let the wings cool and then transfer them to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This will help them crisp up in the oven. This can also be done the day before. If storing the wings overnight, it is best to cover the wings with plastic wrap, so they don’t dry out too much.

Step 4: Baking the Chicken Wings


Preheat the oven to 425°F (or 220°C).

Once the oven is hot, remove the paper towel from underneath the wings. For easy cleanup, place a piece of parchment paper onto the baking tray. Transfer the wings to the tray and bake for approximately 20 minutes.

Next, remove the wings from the oven (close the door, so you don’t lose too much heat), flip them over and then return to the oven. Let cook for another 20 minutes or until the skin has started to turn a nice golden brown.

NOTE: If you are planning to toss the wings in some of the reserved un-used sauce, now is a good time to get that started. Place some of the sauce into a pot and bring to a simmer.

To thicken the sauce mix about 2 to 4 tsp of cornstarch and water together in a small bowl, once the sauce comes to a simmer, thicken with the cornstarch mix until you reach the desired sauce-like consistency.

Step 5: Finishing the Chicken Wings


To finish the wings, either serve as is; or, if you have made extra sauce, toss the wings and sauce together in a large bowl. Serve immediately.

Chef's Notes

Serve these wings with some Steamed Rice and some Baby Bok Choy for a complete meal.

This marinade is also good with chicken thighs or whole chicken.


  • Magic of S
    Magic of S
    Love ginger...
  • Miriam R
    Miriam R
    Sorry my post got sent before I was ready. I ended up using "double dark" soy sauce and what was labeled "light" soy sauce for the marinade and it turned out VERY salty. What did I do wrong?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    I think the problem may have been in the soy sauce, as light soy sauce is actually saltier than dark soy sauce. Hope this helps you. Cheers!
  • Miriam R
    Miriam R
    You were right but I used "double dark" soy sauce instead of simply "dark" soy sauce wich the recipe called for. "Double dark" packs a whopping 1390 mg. of sodium. Light soy only has 900. No wonder it was salty. Next time I will avoid the "double dark" soy sauce.
  • Marianne G
    Marianne G
    After much searching I was unable to find this rice wine. Would a sake do instead? I found Shirakiku salted cooking sake with 3% sodium per tablespoon at the local Asian market, and Hakutsuru Dry Sake with 15% alcohole per volume at the liquor store. Which would be the better choice?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    The most commonly recommended substitute for Shaoxing rice wine is a dry, pale sherry. Here is a site that has some good information on Shaoxing Rice Wine. Cheers!
  • Caroline D
    Caroline D
    is the recipe asking for whole sichuan peppercorns or grinded?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    "To prepare the marinade, toast and grind the Sichuan peppercorns and then grate the ginger." - This is taken from the first line of the recipe method; therefore, you would need to start with whole peppercorns in order to toast and grind them. Cheers!
  • Michael G
    Michael G
    Finding the peppercorns and rice wine was a challenge in itself, and it looks like while I was at (one of the 4) asian markets I should have picked up my soy sauce from there. I got LaChoy regular soy sauce and LaChoy lite soy sauce, which I think is different from "light" soy sauce and it came out a little salty. I was a little hesitant about the prep time, but it actually works out very nicely if you have other things to do since most of the prep is passive. I put mine over jasmine rice flavored with a bit of lemon, butter, and soy (from the rice cooking lesson) and used some of the reserve marinade to make sauce. It came out great and I look forward to making it again, as well as more Rouxbe recipes!
  • Carolyn J
    Carolyn J
    I am preparing a meal for some friends that are in recovery; I'm advised it is best not to even cook with alcohol because sometimes it can be detected. My Chinese recipes call for so little I'm not sure if it is really a concern, but I would like to honor them by using something else, if possible. Sherry is not a good option in this case. Any other ideas?
  • Patty K
    Patty K
    Hi It says the marinade is good for thighs how would you cook them? I made the wings and they were off the hook good came out perfect
  • Ken R Rouxbe Staff
    Ken R
    You would use the marinade in a similar way to the wings, just use thighs instead and adjust the cooking times (needs 35-45+ mins total time). You may also want to check the temperature - as the marinade can get too dark if it gets too hot. ~Ken

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