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Grilled Thai Chicken Wings

- from Phyllis So


2 pounds chicken wings (about 6 whole wings)

1 cup sweet chili sauce

4 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon lime juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 scallions, sliced; greens reserved for garnish

1 to 2 tablespoons chili paste, to taste

Makrut lime leaf, optional


1. Gather the ingredients.

2. Using a sharp chef's knife, cut the chicken wings: Place the wing on a cutting board, so the inside is facing you.

Stretch out the wing and make a cut between the wingette and the wingtip, and another cut at the joint between

the drumette and the wingette. Discard the wingtips (or reserve them to make stock).

3. In a medium bowl, combine all of the other ingredients. Mix well.

4. Place the wings in a plastic zipper bag. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for basting and pour the remainder over

the wings. Seal the bag and mix the contents well. Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

5. Preheat the grill for medium heat (about 350 F). Remove the wings from the bag.

6. Place the wings on the grill. Baste liberally with the reserved marinade. Cook for 20 minutes, turn and coat with marinade again. Cook for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the juices run clear and the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 F. Discard any remaining marinade.

7. Garnish with chopped scallion greens. Serve and enjoy.


  • This is a sticky sauce. Clean up any drips right away, soak the dishes, have a wet cloth around to wipe your fingers, and provide napkins when eating them.

  • Each brand of sweet chili sauce has a slightly different flavor, and some are spicier than others. After mixing the marinade, taste it and add more spice if you prefer.

  • The sweet chili sauce that's leftover in the bottle is an excellent dipper for these wings. Pick up an extra bottle to ensure you have enough. You can make it spicier by mixing in chili paste or red pepper flakes to taste.

  • The makrut leaf is a double-leaf that you can break apart into two pieces. It's not intended to be eaten in this recipe (though they are edible when cooked properly). Instead, it acts like a bay leaf (a viable substitute), adding a subtle flavor to the marinade.

Recipe Variations

  • You can bake these wings in the oven as well. Line a baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack on top (or spray the foil with cooking spray). Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes, flip and baste, then bake for another 20 to 30 minutes. They're even better when broiled for the last 5 minutes.

  • Add a few 3-inch pieces of fresh lemongrass to the marinade to build on the Thai flavors.

  • The wings are also excellent when served with blue cheese dressing. For a fun twist, try goat cheese dressing. To make it, combine 4 ounces of goat cheese, 4 tablespoons water, and 1 tablespoon each of mayonnaise and white wine vinegar. Add a pinch of both salt and pepper, and some dried parsley. Mix until smooth and refrigerate until it's time to serve.

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