Get the game-changing secrets to creating unbelievably crispy Vietnamese chicken wings in the air fryer - that stay crispy for HOURS! These sweet and salty fish sauce chicken wings, or Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam, are the most epic wings that'll hit your kitchen.
These Vietnamese chicken wings are incredibly simple to put together, but don't let the simplicity fool you. This recipe hits the trifecta of flavors - sweet, salty, and tangy.
These irresistible fish sauce wings will have you licking your fingers clean and are a huge hit at parties!
If you're a wing lover (like me!), be sure to check out these homemade easy air fryer chicken wings in sweet chili and air fryer chicken wings in soy sauce too.
Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam, or Vietnamese chicken wings with fish sauce, is perfectly balanced in flavor with only a few ingredients. Each play a vital role and pack a punch of flavor!
- Fish Sauce: The star ingredient for this Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam sauce is fish sauce because it adds insane umami with its saltiness. It may be pungent for first-time users, but don’t worry! Once it simmers in the pot with sugar, it mellows out and blends beautifully with the other flavors. You can easily find fish sauce at your local Asian market.
- Brown Sugar: I'm using brown sugar for this Vietnamese chicken wing recipe, which results in a subtle toffee-life sweetness. Who can say no to that??
- Thai Chilies: Completely optional, but highly recommended if you like a nice kick to your wings.
- Baking Powder: This is one of the key ingredients that makes your chicken incredibly crunchy! A little goes a long way to dry out the chicken skin even more to crisp up.
- Onion Powder & Garlic Powder: Both add subtle earthy garlicky flavors to the wings that are an absolute must.
- Potato Starch: To take your wings to the next level, toss them in potato starch which is notorious for making chicken wings super crispy. You can easily find it at your local Asian market (I get mine from my local Ranch 99).
- Pat dry chicken wings to remove excess moisture.
- Sprinkle on baking powder to help further dry the chicken skin to become extra crispy.
- Coat wings in seasoned potato starch, scrunching it on to it really sticks.
- Double-fry the wings in the air fryer. Cook them at a lower temperature to cook them through, then at a high temperature to get them extra crispy and golden.
- Make the sauce on the stove top, simmering until the sugar has dissolved.
- Toss wings in the tangy fish sauce you made and enjoy!
Tips for Mouthwatering Vietnamese Chicken Wings
- Secret (Game Changing!) Pantry Ingredient: One popular baking ingredient you probably already have in your pantry creates extra crispy Vietnamese chicken wings! Have you guessed it? Baking powder!
- Ideal Flour for Extra Crunch: If you’ve read my other blog posts, you may already guess the flour I’m going to suggest for the CRISPIEST CRUNCH! And that’s potato flour (aka potato starch or tapioca starch). It’s by far the best flour to use for these types of recipes.
- How to Keep Crisp with a Sauce: It’s no surprise that moisture is an enemy to creating a crisp crust. In a large bowl, toss your wings in the Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam sauce, then remove the wings so they aren’t soaking in liquid. The flour mixture creates a beautiful crust that soaks in flavor without becoming immediately soggy!
Creating Crispy Wings That Lasts for HOURS
The key to crunchy Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam, or fish sauce chicken wings, is in the frying!
If you fry them once (air fryer or in oil), they'll be crispy at first but eventually, get soggy. The game-changing trick is to double-fry your Vietnamese chicken wings!
The first fry is at a lower temperature to keep them juicy while cooking them through. Then, remove the wings, increase the heat, and flash fry them to make them ULTRA crunchy.
The second fry is a much shorter amount of time and is meant to eliminate any excess moisture from the chicken that would eventually make them soggy.
Keeping Your Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam Sauce Zesty
When cooking your Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam sauce, it's important to add the lime juice at the very end with the heat turned off.
If you add it while cooking the rest of the ingredients, you'll risk cooking off that fresh zesty flavor.
Alternatives & Variations
These Vietnamese fish sauce wings come together very easily. You can even swap out some of the ingredients for whatever's in your pantry and it'll still come out delicious!
Here are a few easy swaps:
- White Sugar: If you're out of brown sugar, white sugar also works just fine!
- Cornstarch: If you can't find potato starch at your local Asian market, you can swap it out for cornstarch. Either option or even a mixture of both will make your fish sauce wings addictively crunchy!
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is a great alternative if lime juice isn't available. Either way, opt for using fresh fruit juice instead of bottled.
For maximum crunch, double fry the wings in the air fryer.
First, cook them at 360 degrees F. to cook them through, then increase the heat to 400 degrees F. to flash fry them and cook off any excess moisture in the fried chicken wings.
Baking powder helps dry out the chicken skin for a extra crispy Vietnamese chicken wings.
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Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken Wings (Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam)
- 1 pound chicken wings pat dry
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ cup potato starch*
- 2 tablespoons cilantro optional for garnish
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Thai chili thinly sliced, optional if you like spicy
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Cook the Wings
- Preheat air fryer to 360° F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine baking powder, garlic powder, onion powder, and potato starch.
- Toss in chicken wings until they’re well coated. Scrunch on potato starch mixture to ensure it really sticks.
- Lightly brush air fryer tray with oil to prevent sticking. Lay chicken wings in a single layer, working in batches if needed. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Flip halfway through.
- Remove wings from the air fryer, then pre-heat it to 400° F. Once it's hot, add the chicken wings back in and 5 - 10 minutes, or until golden and crispy.
- Remove and set aside.
Cook the Sauce
- Heat a small saucepan on medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon of oil then add in garlic and Thai chili, if using. Saute for a few seconds, or until fragrant.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and pour in fish sauce and brown sugar. Simmer until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off heat, pour in lime juice, and stir.
- Right before serving, toss wings in the sauce until well coated. Transfer wings to a serving dish so it's not sitting in the residual sauce. Sprinkle on cilantro, if desired, then serve immediately. Enjoy!
- Potato starch can be found at Asian markets, however, if you have trouble finding it, you can substitute it with cornstarch.
Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and provided for informational purposes. Nutrition may vary based on product availability, methods of preparation, origin, and freshness of ingredients, etc. For the most accurate nutritional information, use your preferred nutrition calculator, actual ingredients, and quantities used for the recipe. Please consult with your physician or registered dietitian if more precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.