One-pot sticky wings

Delicious sticky finger-licking-good chicken wings with an Asian twist


First things first: I won’t take any credit for this recipe! It is a variation of Andrew Zimmers one-pot sticky wings recipe. Though I have served this countless times and changed up some of the ingredients -in essence- this is still Andrew’s creation based on his Malaysian street-food experience. I don’t want to steal this recipe, I just to make sure that more people are able to enjoy it, as it is simply amazing!

Andrew Zimmern is most probably my favorite chef and source of inspiration. His life motto ‘If it looks good – eat it!’ immediately spoke to me, the first time I heard it. Why would you only stick to the foods you know from the past, while actively ignoring a whole world of foods and ingredients yet unknown to you? Even though it might look weird at first, you should give everything a try at least once! Andrew’s TV show ‘Bizarre foods’ actually inspired me to write my master’s thesis about exactly this topic, which turns out is known as ‘food neophobia’ in psychology. The published scientific article based on my master’s research can be found here.

This Malaysian inspired dish has star anise and cinnamon in it, as well as ginger and oyster sauce. Ingredients you will probably not find in your KFC bucket. But oh boy believe me, these wings are even better and finger-licking good nonetheless! I took the liberty to use some ingredients that suit my personal taste even better than some of Andrew’s original ones. Sherry (instead of sake) and Ketjap (instead of soy and sugar) are easy to get here in the Netherlands and work perfectly well with this dish. If a recipe calls for ingredients you do not have / or cannot find at all, google how to replace them! It would be a shame to not try a dish at all, because you miss 1 ingredient. So in case you can’t find star anise and cinnamon sticks, simply replace them both by using 1 tablespoon of Chinese 5-spice powder!


(For 2 people – that’s you and a good friend! Simply double the chicken to serve 4 people)

  • 700g chicken wings or small chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, thinly minced
  • 1 red chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 1 stick of cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons ketjap manis (Indonesian thick sweet soy sauce), alternatively use soy sauce and add 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 3 tablespoons dry sherry (or rice wine)
  • 3 spring onions, thinly sliced


Fry your wings then simmer in the sticky sauce

Heat a large skillet or pot to medium-high heat (add one tablespoon of oil if using a pot). Add the wings and sear the skin till golden on all sides, about 8 minutes. The chicken will stay somewhat still be raw in the center but that’s okay!

Add ginger, garlic, chili, star anise and the cinnamon stick. Stir to combine and cook for another minute.

Pour in the ketjap (or soy sauce), oyster sauce and sherry. Add a splash of water to make sure the chicken is in liquid about halfway up. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 8 minutes with the lid on.

Uncover and turn up the heat to medium-high. Stir occasionally for about 10-15 minutes. You want to cook away all the water to end up with a really thick sauce that sticks to the chicken.

Discard the star anise and cinnamon stick. Transfer to the wings to a plate and sprinkle with the sliced spring onions.


Serve the sticky wings with fries or sweet potato and dig in!


Let me know in the comments what you think of the recipe! Do you have a sticky wings recipe that tops this one? Don’t like the substitutions I made compared to the original recipe? Put down your comments underneath!

And Andrew, drop me a message when you are in Amsterdam again!

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