Vietnamese Chicken Wings (Grilled)

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 31/05/2021 Updated: 27/11/2023
Prep 10 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Total 4 hours 50 minutes
These lemongrass marinated authentic Vietnamese chicken wings are packed with all the Vietnamese flavors and spices and are grilled to a smokey perfection on the grill. Bring these wings to your next backyard BBQ and you will be hailed as the new master of the grill!
Vietnamese Chicken Wings (Grilled)

These lemongrass-marinated authentic Vietnamese chicken wings are packed with all the Vietnamese flavors and spices and are grilled to a smokey perfection on the grill. Bring these wings to your next backyard BBQ and you will be hailed as the new king of the grill!

Plate of chicken wings

Suns out! BBQ grills out! This is Eliezer’s favorite time of year. He loves the sun, the heat, and most of all…grilled chicken. On one of our first dates, we had a chicken wing eating competition with each other and we ended up finishing 50 wings (30 Eliezer and 20 for me). Let’s just say we take eating delicious wings seriously.

So now that it is grilling season, there is no other better way to kick off than with these delicious Vietnamese chicken wings that are marinated with lemongrass, garlic, five-spice, and sugar overnight and then basted with a garlic-lime fish sauce glaze on the grill. Lastly, they are topped with crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro, and Thai chili peppers for a little kick. The result: a sweet, salty, spicy tangy, juicy, umami bomb chicken wing. Serve these wings with a refreshing mango matcha latte or a strawberry Yakult tea refresher and you’ve got yourself a chicken wing party!

For this recipe, I have included a step-by-step guide on how to cook these chicken wings on the grill. No grill? No problem! I have also included instructions on how to make these delicious Vietnamese chicken wings in the oven at home. Let’s dive in.

Dipping a chicken wing into dipping sauce

Ingredients

Marinade

  • Chicken Wings: I like to buy already cut and prepared chicken wings and drummettes from the grocery store. This shortens the preparation time for the wings in half.
  • Lemongrass: is a shrub-like herb with a distinct lemon aroma and flavor. It is a key ingredient in this recipe for that fresh marinade flavor. You can find lemongrass at your local Asian grocery store in the produce section.
  • Garlic powder: You can sub garlic powder for freshly minced garlic as well.
  • Five-spice: five-spice is a ground mix of cinnamon, fennel seeds, star anise, Sichuan peppercorn, and cloves. It is a predominant mixture in a lot of Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines. You can find five-spice online here or at your local grocery store.
  • Light Brown Sugar: the brown sugar caramelizes the wings in a subtle sweetness that brings out the five-spice and garlic powder.
  • Fish sauce: Fish sauce is an absolute must in Vietnamese cooking. Ketchup is quintessential to American cooking as Fish Sauce is to Vietnamese cooking. You CANNOT and will not have Vietnamese chicken wings without this ingredient. My favorite fish sauce to use is Red Boat Fish Sauce or Three Crabs Fish Sauce you can find fish sauce online or at your local Asian grocery store.
  • Vegetable oil: use a neutral-flavored oil for the marinade to prevent it from burning too quickly on the grill.
  • Toasted Sesame Oil: the sesame oil has a strong sesame flavor so a little goes a long way. The smokey flavor in sesame oil is something you cannot replicate. You can find sesame oil online here or at your local Asian grocery store.
  • Honey: the honey sweetens the marinade but also acts as a binding agent that connects the flavors together.

Garlic Lime Fish Sauce Glaze

  • Fish Sauce: fish sauce is the base for this glaze.
  • Granulated Sugar: the granulated sugar is necessary to sweeten and dilute the fish sauce in the glaze.
  • Lime Juice: lime juice can also be substituted with lemon juice. The citrus brightens up the fish sauce and adds acidity to the wings.
  • Chili Garlic Sauce: Huy Fong Chili Garlic Sauce is an Asian pantry staple. It is added to almost everything for a little garlic-y kick. You can find this Chili Garlic Sauce online or at your local Asian grocery store.
  • Garlic Cloves: you will need freshly minced garlic for the boldest flavor.

Optional Garnishes

  • Birdseye chili: For the most authentic flavors use a Thai Birds eye chili. These tiny red peppers pack a lot of heat. This is an optional garnish. You can add as many or as little chilis as you’d like.
  • Cilantro: Pairing cilantro with Vietnamese dishes is like pairing peanut butter with jelly. It is a must. Always.
  • Chopped peanuts: The chopped peanuts add a nice crunch/texture factor to the wings. This is optional.
Close up of grilled Vietnamese chicken wings

How to Make Vietnamese Chicken Wings

I’ve included in this recipe two different methods of cooking these authentic Vietnamese chicken wings 1) on the Grill and 2) in the oven.

Marinate the Chicken

  1. Prepare the lemongrass. Pound the lemongrass with a pestle or meat tenderizer, and grind into a food processor until minced.
lemongrass chopped up in a food processor
  1. Make the Marinade. Combine the lemongrass with the rest of the marinade and marinate the wings in a ziplock bag removing as much air as possible and seal.
chicken wings tossed in a marinade inside a ball
  1. Marinate in a large ziplock bag in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Option 1: Cook on the Grill

  1. Cook the wings on low heat. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to low heat. Lightly grease the grill and place the wings on the grill. Cover the grill and cook for 20-25 minutes or until most of the fat has rendered and the wings are cooked through.
chicken wings on a grill
  1. Make the garlic-lime fish sauce glaze. While the wings are cooking make the glaze by mixing the fish sauce, water, sugar, lime juice, garlic chili paste, and minced garlic.
  1. Flip and baste. After 20 minutes, flip the wings and baste the marinade onto the wings. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Then, flip the chicken and marinate on the other side and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until done.
someone basting wings on a grill
  1. Serve. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side and garnish with bird’s eye chili, peanuts, and cilantro.
chicken wings lying on parchment paper

Option 2: Cook in the Oven

  1. Prepare the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack at the top of the oven. Line two baking sheets with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Bake the wings. Remove the wings from the marinade and place the wings, skin side up on the sheets and roast them for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  3. Make the garlic-lime fish sauce glaze. While the wings are cooking make the glaze by mixing the fish sauce, water, sugar, lime juice, garlic chili paste, and minced garlic.
  4. Flip and baste. Flip the chicken wings with the glaze with the fish sauce glaze and bake for another 10-15 minutes until browned. Then flip the chicken, baste the other side and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked.
  5. Serve. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side and garnish with bird’s eye chili, peanuts, and cilantro.

Tips for The Best Vietnamese Chicken Wings

  • Use a food processor to mince the lemongrass. Lemongrass has a hard stalk texture and is pretty difficult to chop up with a knife. Using a food processor grind the lemongrass in a snap.
  • Marinade the chicken overnight. You can marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3-4 hours but I recommend doing it overnight for the best rich flavors.
  • To prevent sticking, spray the grill with vegetable oil. This prevents the skin of the chicken from sticking to the grill.
  • Cook the wings low and slow. This guarantees a juicy cooked wing that you can control how quickly it cooks.
  • Keep one burner off in case some wings are cooked quicker. Move the wings that are cooked quicker over the cooler burner to prevent them from burning.

Storage Instructions

You can store these Vietnamese chicken wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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a plate of chicken wings

Vietnamese Chicken Wings

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes
These lemongrass marinated authentic Vietnamese chicken wings are packed with all the Vietnamese flavors and spices and are grilled to a smokey perfection on the grill. Bring these wings to your next backyard BBQ and you will be hailed as the new master of the grill!
Servings: 30 wings
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Lemongrass Marinade

  • 3 lbs chicken wings
  • 1 stalk lemongrass minced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon five spice
  • cup brown sugar packed
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoon water
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon honey

Garlic Lime Fish Sauce Glaze

  • ¼ cup Fish Sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ tablespoon Chili Garlic sauce Huy Fong Foods
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup lime juice (or lemon juice)

Garnish

  • Birds Eye Chili or Thai Chili
  • Cilantro chopped
  • Peanuts chopped

Instructions

Marinate the Chicken

  • Prepare the lemongrass. Pound the lemongrass with a pestle or meat tenderizer, and grind into a food processor until minced.
  • Make the Marinade. Combine the lemongrass with the rest or the marinade and marinate the wings in a ziplock bag removing as much air as possible and seal.
  • Marinate in a large ziplock bag in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but preferably overnight.

Option 1: Cook on the Grill

  • Cook the wings on low heat. Heat a charcoal or gas grill to low heat. Lightly grease the grill and place the wings on the grill. Cover the grill and cook for 20-25 minutes or until most of the fat has rendered and the wings are cooked through.
  • Make the garlic-lime fish sauce glaze. While the wings are cooking make the glaze by mixing the fish sauce, water, sugar, lime juice, garlic chili paste and minced garlic.
  • Flip and baste. After 20 minutes, flip the wings and baste the marinade onto the wings. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Then, flip the chicken and marinate on the other side and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or until done.
  • Serve. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side and garnish with birds eye chili, peanuts and cilantro.

Option 2: Cook in the Oven

  • Prepare the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place the rack at the top of the oven. Line two baking sheets with foil and coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Bake the wings. Remove the wings from the marinade and place the wings, skin side up on the sheets and roast them for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  • Make the garlic-lime fish sauce glaze. While the wings are cooking make the glaze by mixing the fish sauce, water, sugar, lime juice, garlic chili paste and minced garlic.
  • Flip and baste. Flip the chicken wings with the glaze with the fish sauce glaze and bake for another 10-15 minutes until browned. Flip the chicken, baste the other side and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked.
  • Serve. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side and garnish with birds eye chili, peanuts and cilantro.

Notes

  • Use a food processor to mince the lemongrass. Lemongrass is a hard stalk texture and is pretty difficult to chop up with a knife. Using a food processor grinds the lemongrass in a snap.
  • Marinade the chicken overnight. You can marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3-4 hours but I recommend doing it overnight for the best rich flavors.
  • To prevent sticking, spray the grill with vegetable oil. This prevents the skin of the chicken from sticking to the grill.
  • Cook the wings low and slow. This guarantees a juicy cooked wing that you can control how quickly it cooks.
  • Keep one burner off in case some wings are cooked quicker. Move the wings that are cooked quicker over the cooler burner to prevent from burning.
  • Storage Instructions. You can store these Vietnamese chicken wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Nutrition:

Serving: 1g | Calories: 778kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 32g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 152mg | Sodium: 2386mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g

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