Everyone loves a good sticky wing! These Baked Honey Soy Wings are a replica of the popular pre-marinated chicken wings sold in stores. All you need is honey, soy, vinegar and garlic. Serve with fried rice or vermicelli salad for a super easy mid-week meal.
For Honey Soy Chicken Thighs and bone-in thighs, use this recipe.
For boneless thighs and breasts, use this recipe.
Honey Soy Wings
I generally like anything that can be eaten with my hands, and wings are at the top of my list. Add the word “sticky” and I totally agree!
The key to getting it really al dente in the oven without having to reduce the sauce or cornmeal floats on the stovetop is to drain the watery chicken juices from the bowl before adding the honey sauce . It’s the extra juice that keeps the sauce from turning into syrup to glaze the wings.
Worried about throwing away free flavor?
you should not. The wings are oily and juicy. There are still lots !
What you need for Honey Soy Wings
Here’s what you need for the Honey Soy Marinade:
- Honey – I know, it’s a surprising ingredient in Honey Soy Wings… honey does 3 things here: it’s sweet, it thickens the sauce so it coats the wings better, like it reduces in the oven, it makes syrupy sauce so it can be used to glaze the wings.
- Light & Dark Soy Sauce – Dark soy sauce adds flavor and gives chicken wings a delicious sheen. The light soy adds salt without staining the wings. I like to use a combination of the two to achieve the desired color and flavor.
- Substitution – Dark soy sauce can be substituted for light soy sauce, but the chicken wings will be lighter in color and slightly less flavorful.
Light soy sauce can be replaced with regular soy sauce. It is also possible to replace the light soy sauce with a darker soy sauce, but the chicken wings are very dark, almost charcoal, so it is best to use some sparingly. See recipe instructions for quantities to adjust.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Balances flavors. Don’t let the wings get spicy.
Substitute rice wine vinegar, white or red wine vinegar, sherry vinegar, or even plain white vinegar.
- Garlic – You can’t go wrong with delicious garlic here!
- Oil – Just 1/2 tbsp to brown wings more evenly.
The chicken wings (& other cuts)
For the wings, I like to use chicken wings and chicken wings (sometimes sold as chicken “crunches”). I bought them pre-cut as pictured below. You can also cut the whole wings yourself (see here) or just use whole wings for this recipe.
Other Chicken Pieces: For drumsticks and thighs, use this recipe (larger pieces = no need to drain juices like chicken wings). For boneless, skinless thighs and breasts, use this recipe (skinless = sauce is ideal for seasoning).
How to make Honey Soy Wings
I feel like a lot more step-by-step photos are needed for such an easy recipe! I promise this is not a difficult recipe.
Marinade – Combine ingredients in a bowl and pour over the wings in a zip lock bag. A ziplock bag is best as it holds the sauce tightly around the wings. If you prefer to use a bowl, stir the wings often.
- Marinate the wings for 30 minutes. You can do this overnight, but I find it doesn’t add much extra flavor to the meat.
- Bake (without sauce) – Arrange the wings on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil + paper (you’ll thank me later). Bake at 200°C/400°F (180°C) for 30 minutes.
- Reserve the marinade – we’ll pour it later. If you add it at the start, it will be watery from the chicken juices and will never thicken into a glaze.
- Remove the wings from the oven.
Drain the juice and discard it. Don’t worry, we’ll add flavor in the next step – remember the wings are juicy and there’s still plenty of juice in the wings!
- Pour the reserved marinade over the wings. Press down on the wings to coat them with the sauce (it won’t stick because it’s runny).
- Cook another 30 minutes at a slightly lower temperature, 180°C/350°F (160°C fan), to avoid burning the sweet sauce.
- Water every 10 minutes (ie at the 10 and 20 minute marks, then remove after 30 minutes).
- If the wings cook unevenly, rearrange them as needed (most ovens have hot spots!
You can even flip them if the skin side has browned enough during cooking.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions if desired and prepare your fingers to be extra sticky!
This is what the wings look like straight out of the oven:
And take a closer look at the juicy interior (and the very sticky fingers!).