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Fish Sauce Chicken Wings on a board with a dish of sauce next to it and some lime.
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5 from 6 votes

Fish Sauce Chicken Wings (Cánh Gà Chiên Nước Mắm)

Fish Sauce Chicken Wings are wings of your dreams! They stay crispy for HOURS. Each one is coated with garlic bits that will rock every party!
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Snack
Cuisine: Asian, Vietnamese
Servings: 6
Calories: 922kcal
Author: Jeannette


  • Mortar and pestle
  • Zip lock bag
  • Colander
  • Sieve or dish lined with paper towels (for the excess oil)


For The Marinade

  • 1 kg / 2.2 lb chicken wings
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

For The Sauce

  • 10 cloves garlic (2 left whole, the rest finely chopped)
  • 1 sprig spring onion (chopped)
  • 4 chili (optional)
  • 3 red shallot (finely chopped)
  • 4 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 6 tbsp oil (2 tbsp for frying the chopped garlic, 4 for browning the red shallots)
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsp water

For The Batter

  • 1/2 US cup corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • cooking oil (for frying)


  • Marinate the chicken in the garlic powder, chicken bouillon powder, pepper, salt and fish sauce for 20 minutes minimum. Alternatively, make it ahead of time to marinate overnight.
  • Using a low heat, add the chopped garlic to 2 tbsp cooking oil and let it fry until golden.
    Tip: It may be tempting to turn the heat up for a quicker brown, but this could run the risk of burning the garlic. It's best to keep the temperature low and steady.
  • Use a zip lock bag to shake and coat the marinated wings in the starch mixture.
  • Pour the chicken into a colander to shake off any excess.
  • Add oil into a deep pan or wok and fry the wings on a medium heat for 5 minutes on each side or until lightly golden brown and cooked.
    Set aside to drip dry in a sieve over a bowl.
  • Bring the heat back up to high and fry the wings for a second time for 2 minutes or until they develop a deeper golden color. Transfer onto a sieve to drip dry or on a plate lined with paper towels.
  • Use a mortor and pestle to mash the garlic and chili, then set aside as you work on the sauce.
  • Pour 4 tbsp oil in a saucepan and brown the red shallots. Add in the sugar, fish sauce, garlic, chili and water to caramelize for 15 minutes or until it reaches a thick consistency, then stir the lime juice and spring onions in.
  • Mix the fried wings back into the sauce and toss until all are coated.
  • Stir in the fried chopped garlic until well combined.
  • Serve immediately as is!


  • Double or triple fry the wings. To keep the batter crisp for longer, cook the wings until 80% golden and let it drip dry in a colander. Bring the heat up to fry again until completely golden. You can repeat this for a triple fry.
  • Coat the wings when they're still hot. The sauce will seep into the coating much better with a warmer temperature.
  • Marinate the chicken for longer. Ideally overnight, but the longer you marinate, the better because then every drop of sauce and bit of seasoning penetrates deeper into the chicken.
  • This Cánh Gà Chiên Nước Mắm recipe uses brown sugar for the deeper color and toffee-like sweetness but white sugar will still work well.
  • We used corn starch for the coating, but if that's not readily available then you can substitute it for potato starch or tapioca starch.
  • We chose to use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic so that it would be easier to coat in starch. But if garlic powder isn't available then fresh garlic is definitely a great aromatic to add.


Calories: 922kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 63g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 256mg | Sodium: 1286mg | Potassium: 645mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 509IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 4mg