These spicy peanut wings are inspired by a sweet peanut sauce I had at a Malaysian restaurant. It was served as a dipping sauce for beef and chicken skewers. The main difference is that I added a bit of heat to the sauce. This sauce is not only great on chicken wings but can be added to any other meat dish.
What type of chili paste to use in spicy peanut wings?
So you can actually use any type of chili paste your prefer, however I really love this sambal one. It is a really popular brand which you can find at most Asian markets. In addition to adding this sambal in the sauce, I love to mix it with soy sauce as a dipping sauce for dumplings as well.
What type of peanuts and how to prepare?
You will want to use regular salted peanuts for this recipe to keep it as simple as possible. I find some of the flavored peanuts can overpower the other flavors in the sauce. Roasted peanuts are ideal but if you cannot find them, just use regular peanuts. I buy them already cracked to save some time. I also used 1/3 cup of chopped peanuts, but add as many as you like.
Chop the peanuts into smaller pieces and no need to worry about the different sizes. It is all up to personal preference. If you enjoy a finer texture of peanuts, then chop them more, and if you like more crunch then leave them larger. I like them somewhere in-between like this.
How to achieve the perfect consistency for your sauce?
There are two main factors when it comes to changing the consistency of the sauce. The first is by adding water. The water will thin out the sauce, but as your simmer, the sauce will continue to thicken.
The second factor is adding the crushed peanuts. After you add the peanuts, they will absorb the water and thicken the sauce as well.
The order of operations you should follow is first adding water, then the peanuts, bring it up to a simmer and adjust the consistency accordingly.
Why cook sambal with garlic and shallots?
The reason we cook the sambal paste along with the garlic and shallots is because the heat releases a lot of the natural oils and aromas from the sambal. This was the sauce becomes extra fragrant. You will see the oil start to turn orange and also separate from the chilies in the sambal.
How to get the perfect CRISP on spicy peanut wings
Coarse sweet potato starch:
COARSE sweet potato starch is very important for the chicken to get extremely crispy. You can also find this ingredient at Asian grocery stores. The coarse grains in the starch add that extra crunchiness we all love. There is also coarse tapioca starch which works just as well.
Three dredging stations for spicy peanut wings:
It is crucial to have three dredging stations for your chicken wings. The initial coat is corn starch which dries out the surface of the chicken wings. This will allow for the chicken to absorb more of the wet station which is a mixture of buttermilk + egg. The final station is the coarse sweet potato starch. This is the last layer which creates a beautiful outer crispy coating. Make sure to pat and press the coating into the chicken instead of rubbing it.
Spicy Peanut Wings
Spicy Peanut Sauce
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 large shallot
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1½ tbsp sambal
- ⅓ cup water
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp honey
- ⅓ cup crushed peanuts
- 1½ lbs chicken wings
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- ¼ cup corn starch (add as needed)
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup coarse sweet potato starch (add as needed)
- Finely chop up your shallot and garlic cloves.1 large shallot, 4 cloves garlic
- In a medium heat pan, add oil as well as the chopped shallots and garlic. cook for 3 minutes until soft and slightly browned.2 tbsp oil, 1 large shallot, 4 cloves garlic
- Add sambal and cook another 3 minutes until natural oils and aromas have been released.1½ tbsp sambal
- Add water, brown sugar, honey, and crushed peanuts then bring it up to a simmer for 5 minutes or until your desired consistency. Once cooled it should be close to a jam consistency.⅓ cup water, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp honey, ⅓ cup crushed peanuts
- Pat dry and season your chicken wings with salt, garlic powder and onion powder.1½ lbs chicken wings, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp onion powder
- Mix together the buttermilk and egg for your wet batter.1 large egg, 1 cup buttermilk
- Drop chicken wings into corn starch, then into the wet batter, and coat well in coarse sweet potato starch.¼ cup corn starch, ½ cup coarse sweet potato starch
- Deep fry at 350F for 8 minutes until golden brown and crispy. This coating method does not work in the air fryer. (I tried already)
- Now you can toss the wings in the sauce or just use the sauce as a dip. Using it as a dip actually makes more sense because the peanuts are able to stick on better this way.
If you enjoyed this recipe, check out some more wing recipes here: