How to make Authentic Chinese Style Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings – Secret Recipe!

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings is one of those dishes that people tend to order when they’re buying food from the Chinese takeaway – there’s something super tasty about the combination of salt, pepper, chilli on a crispy, deep fried wing.  Way better than KFC.

I’ve realised that not everyone likes eating meat on the bone.  I’m the opposite.  I can’t bear the boneless box from KFC, or Popcorn chicken, or Chicken Strips. It doesn’t taste of anything!

Being Chinese, nearly all the meat we ate was on the bone – it’s fiddly, but it has way more flavour and it’s cheaper to buy than Chicken breasts.  Have you seen the price of Chicken breasts?! No wonder Tesco have started security tagging theirs.

Anyway, onwards.  Chicken wings are cheap to buy from any supermarket, and you won’t mind the fiddly-ness of the bones because this recipe makes them so, so, so tasty.

My mothers Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings.  You start with a pack of chicken wings.  You don’t need a huge pack – there’s about 12 in here.

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

(These photos were taken under VERY low light conditions with no flash.  Excuse any the grainy effect).

Apart from Chicken Wings, you need salt, white pepper, sesame oil, eggs, sliced garlic, spring onion, chilli, 1/2 a chopped white onion:

Chinese Salt and pepper Chicken wings

Start with making sure the wings are clean (washed) without any hairs.  Chop each chicken wing at the joint:

Chicken Salt and pepper chicken wings

Now you have double the quantity! See why this goes so far?

Put your chicken in a bowl and add liberal amounts of salt, white pepper and a tablespoon of sesame oil. Exact quantities? It’s hard to day.  I would say for this quantity, there as a good sprinkling of salt and pepper, about a tablespoon of pepper and half a tablespoon of white pepper.  Adapt accordingly – I love salt, I could swim in salt so I’d add more.

Chinese Chicken salt and pepper wings

Then we add around 2 tablespoons of corn flour and one egg.

Salt and pepper wings

Mix together with your hand! Really make sure everything is well mixed in together.  If yours feels powdery then add another egg.

Now are you ready for the salt and pepper wings secret? This will make your wings have a really gorgeous crispy coating (it won’t taste sweet or weird).

Instant Custard Powder! Classy birds that we are, we used Morrisons Value Instant Custard Powder – any brand will do. We used half of this, so around 35g of this stuff added to the chicken:

Morrisons Instant Custard Powder Salt and Pepper Wings

When everything is well mixed together it should look like this – the batter is somewhat slimy and looks yellow:

Chicken Wings salt and pepper

Next we have to fry the wings. So if you have a deep fat fryer then you just have to put it in there, following the instructions. Otherwise you have to do it the old fashioned way in a pan. I don’t know about you but I remember seeing a film at school about the danger of chip pan fires which scared the life out of me (although, WHY would you ever pour water on hot oil?) – so I’ve always been nervous deep frying things this way!

Anyway – hot oil in a wok – not too much, not too little. Drop your first wing in and make sure it’s hot enough – it should sizzle:

Deep Fried chicken and salt and pepper wings 2

Fry the rest of the wings. Let it cook on a gradual heat – about 10 minutes – so that its evenly cooked inside and out. It should look like this:

Salt and pepper wings

When they’re done they should look like this. Place on a kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil.

Salt and pepper wings 1

We’re nearly there!

Remember the garlic, onions, spring onion and chilli from earlier? Now it’s time to fry them.

Go back to your wok, minus most of the oil and start to fry the ingredients:

Salt and Pepper wings 2

Get the onion cooked through so they are nice and soft but not brown.  Add the chicken pieces and get it all mixed up and heated through.  Sprinkle the spring onion and let it fry for a few minutes only.

Slat and pepper wings

Now serve!

This is how it should look.  It shouldn’t require any additional seasoning and it is very tasty and very moreish.

Chinese salt and pepper wings how to make

I had a great reaction on twitter when I tweeted a photo of these – so hopefully you will enjoy them! Let me know if you give them a go.



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  1. Jen says

    nom nom nom…these look sooooo tasty, I could just eat a dozen right now if they were put in front of me!! Definitely prefer these to kfc any day! Great tip with the custard powder too, I would never in a million years have thought of using that to crisp up the coating!

  2. says

    I love your site! Although I don’t eat meat but I do a similar recipe using squid instead. Keep bringing out these amazing childhood recipes! I love it! Thank you. x

  3. Meg says

    Hi there! I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe, aside from spare ribs this is easily our preferred dish from our local takeaway! Do you happen to know how I could adapt this recipe for spare ribs? Would I still coat them and deep fry, or just cook them and top with the chilli/onion mix at the end? Thanks :)

  4. Jack says

    tried these last night, turned out perfect won’t need to go to the chippy any more .I will try this recipie with pork ribs

  5. John says

    Just tried making these , fried old fashioned style in a wok. They were absolutely delicious. My wife wants more. Thanks for sharing this.

  6. says

    tried your recipe using value custard powder 35 grams.pan fried, the chicken looked burned even though it was cooked on a low heat and yes there was a sweet taste to it! although it was still edible i wont be trying it again,only thing i can think of was the wrong brand of custard powder,co-op instead of morrisons, my wife was not happy, ,said she felt like throwing the food in the bin and she’s a pinay so she was pretty mad to say that!!! dissapointed in scotland

  7. Julie says

    Was okay, but I think I would omit the custard powder. Made them pastry flavored. The main ingredient is corn starch/flour anyways. Tried again without the custard and we prefer it without, just used a bit more corn starch.

  8. says

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    Touch are too small and limited for those who like to watch video on their tablets.
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  9. Elkopite says

    Love the recipe… Could you please explain a couple of things please..
    1.) your instructions read, “you need a tablespoon of pepper and half a tablespoon of white pepper”.?????
    So do I need a tablespoon of salt or a half ???
    2.) how much garlic,chillies should I use ????

    Novice cook sorry

  10. Sabine says

    What happened to the ginger that was listed in the ingredients? Do you saute it along with the garlic, chillies and spring onions?? Ta!

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