Does anyone know what the Chinese Restaurants on the East Coast (in the US) use to marinate their chicken wings? I was told by one owner that they use 10 different ingredients but she wouldn't tell me what they were. Do you know if they parboil them before deep frying them?

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    Is this something that's generally approximately the same at many different restaurants? Are there any big chains that make them in the style you're looking for? (Or alternatively, can you give us any hints as to the flavors, or what seems to be missing if you've tried a recipe?) It's easier for people to answer if they're confident what you're aiming for.
    – Cascabel
    Feb 4, 2014 at 20:51
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    I know it doesn't mean much, but this recipe certainly has 10 ingredients (besides the chicken), and the flavors seem like they could fit: Grandmother's Chinese Chicken Wings
    – valverij
    Feb 4, 2014 at 20:53
  • From East Asian point of cusine... heres a hint. Chicken for Chicken rice is par-boiled before deep frying. Rest coming mainly from Ginger, Sesame, Garlic, Soy Sauce. There are a variety of making methods: bbq, deep fry, oven baked, par-boiled fry. You better check with that lady which of these methods she is using. So you are half-way through. Because certain spices either get enhanced or degraded/vanished depends on the fire/cooking method...
    – bonCodigo
    Feb 6, 2014 at 14:26
  • East Coast of where? There is more variance from North to South in China, than East to West?
    – TFD
    Feb 18, 2014 at 2:15
  • No one has offered the answer. It's a flavor that is unique, not obvious like garlic. It's a savory, gingery something that gives them a yellow/orange color inside, right? I'm wanting to know as well.
    – Brad
    Apr 6, 2017 at 0:50

2 Answers 2


No, the wings are not boiled first and it depends a lot on the family's recipes...

I've been trying to get my old boss to give me theirs when I moved to the west coast and can't get wings hardly at all from anywhere. What I do know is that some of the common ingredients are:

Corn starch, tumeric powder, ginger powder, soy sauce, Japanese white cooking wine (substitute: sherry), black pepper, white pepper, sesame oil, onion powder, garlic powder, and some type of red chilli powder, but I haven't figured out what type yet. (It's not the one you use for making chili, I have tried Korean and Thai so far, but have not looked for Chinese or Japanese red chili powder yet)

I have no idea how much of each ingredient you need based on the amount of wings you are making, but I know that the ratio is:

  • 1 part black pepper, tumeric, ginger, onion, garlic powder, oil, and soy sauce.
  • 1½ parts chili powder
  • 2 parts corn starch and wine
  • 3 parts white pepper

Soak the wings in marinade for at least 4 hours, 24 hours is the best.

The only reason I know this much is because I have worked in a few restaurants and have watched them over the years. My favorite is a 15 spice version, but I could never catch them put in all the ingredients.

Don't try to be healthy and get some fancy oil just use good old fashioned vegetable oil, heated to 350°F ( I do 375°F) one whole wing should take 7 minutes to fry but I like crunchy, so I wait till it’s golden and the oil stops fizzing. I do like 5 at a time in my little fryer for a total of 12 to 15 minutes.

If you are cooking for a large group double fry the wings to help keep them crunchy and warm.


The secret of the perfect Chinese chicken wing, is to barbecue it. First to marinate the wings with soy sauce, garlic glove for one night. Barbecue it when almost ready, to brush some honey onto the wings. Taste like heaven. Juicy and tender inside, sweet and crispy outside( the honey will help create a little char on the skin).

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