Vietnamese Air Fryer Chicken Wings - Gà Chiên Mắm
Easy - You got this
Watch me make this recipe on my YouTube channel here!
Gà chiên mắm (Vietnamese fish sauce wings) as its name suggests is defined by the combination of chicken and the savoury umami flavours of fish sauce.
This is a pairing that’s synonymous with Vietnam, and this recipe really highlights the fish sauce flavour whereas most chicken recipes rely on other aromatics to build their layers (see my lemongrass chicken banh mi and Vietnamese chicken salad recipes).
Mum used to make this dish on weeknights when she was short on time, having marinated the wings in large freezable portions weeks in advance. Her secret was to use fish sauce as a salt substitute, adding more of it to her marinade instead of salt. She would then shallow fry the wings and serve them with freshly steamed rice and a Vietnamese soup (Vietnamese pumpkin soup) on the side. It was a meal I thoroughly enjoyed growing up.
After decades of experimenting, I’ve added my own touch to mum’s recipe with her approval. Keeping with her approach of adding umami over salt—yielding more flavour for each wing—this recipe calls for a touch of anchovy salt. The combination of anchovy salt and a good quality fish sauce elevates the umami to unimaginable heights and makes these wings incredibly moreish.
Another tip, save money at the check-out by purchasing untrimmed wings. The wingettes, drumettes and wing tips are simple to separate at home, and all you need is a paring knife. Follow my mini-masterclass in separating wings in the step-by-step cooking tutorial.
Finally, found in most home kitchens, a reliable air fryer goes a long way. I created this recipe using my Cuisinart Express Oven Air Fry instead of deep/shallow frying them the traditional way. This healthier cooking option didn’t affect the flavour of the wings, and they still turned out slightly crispy and succulent.
These days I prefer to serve these wings with freshly steamed rice and sweet chilli sauce on the side. So, if gnawing on wings is something you like to do, do yourself a favour and grab some premium fish sauce and anchovy salt to experience flavour that is finger licking good!
1kg chicken wings, separated at the joint and tips removed
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons premium fish sauce
½ teaspoon Duncan Lu Anchovy Salt or 1 teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil
1 red chilli sliced (optional)
¼ bunch spring onions, thinly sliced (optional)
Sweet chilli sauce
In a large mixing bowl add chicken along with remaining ingredients, mix well and allow to marinate for 15 minutes or for best results overnight in fridge.
Place wings in preheated air fryer on 200C for 12 minutes , turn wings and air fry for a further 8 minutes or until golden.
Garnish with sliced red chilli and spring onions. Serve with steamed jasmine rice or enjoy as is with sweet chilli sauce on the side.