Cantonese-Style Chicken Wings with Oysters

A thrifty, economical dish my mother use to make which I still love today is this one of chicken wings simmered in a rich oyster sauce. It is extremely easy to make and re-heats quite well. In fact, the chicken wings are also tasty served cold and terrific for picnics.


  • 675 g (1½ lb) chicken wings
  • 900 ml (1½ pints) groundnut oil

For the Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour

For the Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon groundnut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2.5-cm (1-in) thick piece fresh root ginger, unpeeled and crushed
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 600 ml (1 pint) Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock


In a large bowl, combine the wings with the marinade ingredients and mix well. Leave to sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes.

Heat a wok or large frying-pan over a high heat until it is hot. Add the oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the chicken wings and fry them for 5 minutes or until they are golden brown. Remove them from the wok with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. You may have to do this in several batches.

Drain off all the oil and fat and wipe the wok clean, then make the sauce. Re-heat the wok until it is very hot, then add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Then add the oyster sauce, soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry and stock and bring the mixture to a simmer Return the chicken to the wok. Reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is very tender. Remove the wings with a slotted spoon to a warm platter. Turn up the heat and boil to reduce the sauce until it is slightly thick. Pour this over the chicken and serve at once.