What sets these spicy Asian chicken wings apart from the rest is a flavorful tea marinade. Black teas from India, Sri Lanka and China, as well as the teas most common to Western Europe (such as English breakfast and Earl Grey) have a strong aromatic flavor that holds its own with heartier foods like meats, eggs, and dark chocolate.
In keeping with the theme, serve these spicy Asian chicken wings with unsweetened black iced tea on warmer days, or a pot of your favorite hot black tea (Asian tea set is optional, but recommended) as the days shorten.
This recipe is from Cynthia Gold’s Culinary Tea: More Than 150 Recipes Steeped in Tradition from Around the World (not a purely dairy-free cookbook), and was shared with us by The Tea Association of the USA.
Special Diet Notes: Spicy Asian Chicken Wings
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, optionally gluten-free, nut-free, and peanut-free.
- 5 tablespoons black tea leaves, divided
- 1½ cups boiling water (212°F)
- ½ cup reduced-sodium soy sauce or wheat-free tamari (for gluten-free)
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons sriracha
- 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 18 large chicken wings
- 2 cups fresh basil leaves
- ¾ cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 2–4 jalapenos, seeded and deveined
- ⅓ cup unseasoned rice vinegar
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper, to taste
- Place 3 tablespoons of the tea leaves into a small bowl and add boiling water; steep six minutes. Strain the tea and discard used tea leaves. Cool to room temperature and hold.
- In a spice grinder or with mortar and pestle, finely grind the remaining tea leaves to dust. Transfer to a medium stainless or glass bowl, along with soy sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, oil, garlic and pepper. Mix well. Pour in reserved cooled tea and mix.
- Cut off tips of chicken wings. Cut wings into two parts at joint, place in resealable plastic bag and pour tea-based marinade over wings. Seal well and mix to coat completely. Refrigerate overnight before preparing, turning bag every 12 hours.
- To cook, remove wings from refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Remove wings from bag and discard marinade. Drain very well.
- Preheat grill to medium. Grill wings until cooked through on both sides and juices are running clear, about six to eight minutes per side.
- Serve Hot Green Dipping Sauce on the side.
- Place basil, cilantro, jalapenos and vinegar in bowl of food processor. Pulse until smooth. With motor running, slowly pour in oil until smooth and incorporated. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, scrape down sides of bowl and pulse again. Place in covered container and chill until ready to use.