These sticky fish sauce wings in the air fryer recipe are all about keeping it simple. They are basically crispy air fried wings smothered in a delicious sweet sticky glaze made from fish sauce. There is no need for marinating or any fancy ingredients. I promise these wings will be one of the easiest, quickest and delicious fish sauce wings you will ever make!
My Sticky Fish Sauce Wings
Originally, this recipe was going to be a deep fried version with a sticky fish sauce glaze. But after trialling a few recipes I decided in the end that I wanted something lighter and healthier. So I looked around on the internet and came across air fried chicken wings.
Now, I am not claiming this recipe is healthy, but I do believe it make a difference when you air fry instead of deep fry. This is because the air fryer will render most of the fat while cooking, giving you a much lighter wing. As a bonus this process will also make the wings very crispy!
I would like to note that this recipe is not your traditional Vietnamese fish sauce wing. The wings are not crumbed, dredged or battered. They are simply cooked in the air fryer with nothing on them. All the flavour comes from the glaze which makes these probably the easiest and quickest sticky fish sauce wings ever!
Cooking the Wings in the Air Fryer
There are a few different types of air fryers out there. The one I use is similar to an oven. It has racks and a glass window so you can watch the food being cooked. All you need to do with this type of air fryer is to put the chicken pieces on the rack and cook. It is that simple.
The inspiration for this recipe comes from the food blog Plated Cravings. There’s lots of great advice in her post, including instructions for the majority of you who probably have an air fryer with a basket. The cooking method when using these types is slightly different.
Her advice on getting the wings crispy with this type of air fryer is to cook the wings for 24 minutes first at 190 C, shaking the basket every 10 minutes. After that cook in batches by air frying a single layer of wings in the basket at 200 C / 400 F for 6 minutes to crisp up. Repeat until all the wings are done.
This glaze is based of my nuoc mam cham (Vietnamese dipping sauce) recipe which is here. I have intentionally left out is garlic because I have found that the flavour just gets lost and overpowered. The best way to incorporate this garlic into the recipe (if you must have it) is by sprinkling lightly fried garlic bits over the top of wings as a garnish. If you are going to make your own, be careful not to burn the garlic or else it will be very bitter.
Here are a few tips or things to consider when making the glaze:
- Avoid over cooking the glaze. You want the glaze to still be runny so that it will evenly coat the chicken. The issue with a thick glaze is it will slowly turn into toffee as it cools which makes it impossible to mix through the wings.
- If the glaze is too thick, add a little bit of water to loosen it up.
- If you like your wings extra saucy, double the glaze recipe with the same amount of chicken.
- Making the caramel at the start is completely optional. It only adds colour to the glaze to make the wings look more golden.
You Might Also Like
- Crispy Pork Belly in Air Fryer
- Chinese Soy Sauce Wings
- Vietnamese Caramelised Ginger Chicken
- Cheap and Easy Chicken Curry
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Sticky Fish Sauce Wings in Air Fryer
- Air Fryer
- 800 gm chicken wings (if frozen, thaw them out first)
- oil, for greasing
Glaze (double glaze recipe for extra saucy wings!)
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 1 tsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp lemon or to your taste
- 1 tsp white sugar
Garnishes (all optional)
- 4 sprigs coriander, roughly chopped
- fresh chilli, roughly chopped
- chilli flakes
- fried garlic bits
- Wash the wings under a tap and pat dry.
- Spray the air fryer / racks with some oil and warm up the air fryer at 190 C / 374 F.
Air Fryer with Racks (oven type)
- Spread the chicken wings out evenly on the racks and cook with the fan on for 25 – 30 minutes at 200 C / 400 F. (Depending how crispy you like your wings)
- Take them out and let them rest on a cooling rack until needed.
Air Fryer with a Basket
- Put all the wings in the basket and cook for 24 minutes at 190 C / 374 F. Move the wings around every 10 minutes by taking the basket out and giving it a very good shake.
- After 24 minutes, take the wings out of the air fryer. Put a single layer of wings back into the air fryer and cook for another 6 minutes at 200 C / 392 F or until crispy. Repeat until all the wings are done.
- Let them rest on a cooling rack until needed.
Making the Sticky Glaze
- Optional Step. Put 1 teaspoon of sugar into a cold small pot. Heat the pot up on medium and allow the sugar to form a caramel.
- In a small bowl, add water, fish sauce, lemon and vinegar.
- As soon as the caramel comes to colour (if doing this step), add in the sauce mix and the 3 tbsp of sugar. Mix with a spoon until the sugar and caramel is completely dissolved.
- Cook for 7 – 8 minutes on medium setting and then take off the heat. Check the glaze for taste and texture. Adjust according to your preferences.
- Put the wings into a bowl and toss in the glaze or serve the wings on a plate with the glaze poured over the top.
- Garnish with toppings if using.