Five-Spice Chicken Wings

Preparation Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Cooked in large quantities, this makes an unusual party dish. The first part of the recipe (up to the end of stage 2) can be prepared a day ahead. Served at room temperature without the last-minute frying, the chicken wings make wonderful picnic fare.


  • 675g (1 lb) chicken wings
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 piece fresh ginger 2.5 cm(1 in) thick, unpeeled and crushed
  • 4 whole spring onions
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) water
  • 2 teaspoons five-spice powder
  • cornflour, for dusting
  • 450 ml (15 fl oz) groundnut (peanut) oil


  1. Put the chicken wings into a wok, together with the garlic, ginger, spring onions, soy sauces, rice wine or sherry, salt, pepper, sugar and water. Bring to simmering point. Then reduce the heat to very low, cover and simmer for 10 Minutes.
  2. Turn the wings over and simmer for another 10 Minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain on kitchen paper and allow to cool thoroughly. This will keep in the fridge for up to 24 hours. P
  3. Mix the five-spice powder with a little salt and set aside.
  4. Dust the chicken with cornflour, shaking off any excess. Divide into two batches. The wings need to be cooked in batches because if you deep-fry too much food at once, it will cool the oil, preventing it from cooking the food properly and crisply.
  5. Heat a wok over high heat until it is hot, then add the oil. Turn the heat down to moderate and deep-fry the first batch for 5 Minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat for the second batch.
  6. Turn the chicken wings onto a warm platter, sprinkle with the five-spice powder mix and serve at once.

P Can be prepared ahead: cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.