This was one of my older recipes from 2011. What I did differently this time was not using a grill but having the grill effect. It’s for people who can’t grill, don’t grill, or just plain won’t grill because it’s too hot outside (ahem ahem you know who you are). I bake these in the oven, then sear them on a grill pan for 2 minutes on each side. If you see the photo above, they don’t look any different from actual grilled wings. I also use the method of baking before grilling too, because I find that the baking process keeps the wings juicier than just grilling them raw, which creates too much char on the outside and dry meat on the inside. So if you would like to actually grill these, check out the recipe here.
Scroll to the end of the post for the printable recipe.
I updated this recipe again for a couple of reasons. One, because I wanted to show you how to grill without a grill, and two, because I’ve recently seen the controversy surrounding the infamous Pioneer Woman episode in which she tricks her husband and his friends into trying ‘Asian hot wings’. Here is a quote pulled from the article on Eater.com:
One member of her crew asks, “Where are the real wings?” Another dude says, “I don’t trust ‘em.” Drummond laughs and says, “I’m just kidding guys, I wouldn’t do that to you.” Then she pulls a tray of good ole American Buffalo wings out of the oven, much to the delight of her boys, one of whom says, “Now those are some wings.”
Most of the Asian community is livid over this, as it is so blatantly racist and somehow was able to air on TV without anyone batting an eye. By using ‘Asian’ style wings as a joke, it is perpetuating the fear that there is something wrong with other cultures and their cooking. Different is wrong, different is bad. And to make it even worse, Pioneer woman ended the joke by bringing out white people wings, in which a giant relief swept over them, since they couldn’t bear to try anything different from American wings.
Why bother making Asian wings on a TV show if nobody is willing to try them? Why go through the effort if you’re just making it into a joke?
Since a lot of people don’t seem to understand why Asians are so angry about this, let me explain. We’ve heard all these comments during our lives from non-Asians’, here are a few I’ve heard during my lifetime:
“How can you eat that?” – as you’re eating tripe at dim sum.
“Sorry, I don’t eat dog.” – as you invite someone out for Vietnamese food.
“If you can’t put chopsticks in the dishwasher, how can they get clean? It’s so unsanitary!” – as I wasn’t even given a chance to answer the question but the person asking passes judgment/ignorance. I wonder what people did before dishwashers.
“Every time I go to a Chinese restaurant, I get sick.” – assumes that food is unsanitary which is why they got sick, and not from a weak stomach that has never been exposed to different foods.
“I don’t eat Chinese food because I don’t like sushi.” – no comment.
“The roast pig has been sitting out for 30 minutes. Bacteria is growing on it, I’m not eating it!” – As if pizza, hamburgers, or your restaurant entrée has never sat out for that period of time before, yet the roast pig is a biohazard.
“I don’t trust it.” – as you’re treating a friend to dim sum for the first time.
“I can’t wait to go to McDonald’s and get a burger when this is done.” – overheard during a 12 course Chinese banquet dinner.
“Are they going to serve Monkey brains next? I feel like I’m in Indiana Jones Temple of Doom!” – overheard at another Chinese banquet.
Along with the Asian fury over the Pioneer woman joke, I see a lot of rebuttals from other people defending her, saying Asians can’t take a joke, or to get a life. Asian have taken the joke all their lives. Our food IS a joke to some people. It’s hard brushing it off if it happens on a daily basis. One day you just gotta fight back, especially anything pertaining to our food and culture, because it is something we are fiercely proud of. I personally have read Pioneer Woman’s blog for years, and I honestly don’t believe she is racist like some people think she is. Not from the way she writes. She loves different cultures and tries different foods. But I do believe this is an example of being culturally tone-deaf. It could’ve been a (badly thought out) joke between her and her husband, but watching it on TV, we Asians weren’t laughing.
Wow, these wings sure look scary to me. With all that Asian stuff on them. But seriously, my second reason for posting these wings is to have one more Asian wing recipe out there in the blogosphere, and one day someone will make them, and post their versions of Asian wings, and eventually they will be normalized. They won’t be weird, and people won’t be afraid to try them.
One last thing I’d like to add is that I love when other people (non-Asians) make Asian recipes. I’m talking to the Asians now. I know that white people aren’t making it authentic like your mom or grandma makes it, or they can’t pronounce sriracha properly, or they’re using a type of spicy pepper that isn’t native to the country that the dish belongs to. But they’re trying. If I removed everything non-authentic on my blog I don’t know what I’d have left to show you. I like cooking Chinese, Thai, Korean, American, etc. and if you think I butchered or made a mockery of your cuisine, that wasn’t my intent. I love cooking and that includes cooking foods I can take from other cultures. I’m not staying put in my own cuisine (whatever that is) and neither should anyone else. Food should be shared. I’m sorry (but not sorry) if you’re upset a white chef is making it big with his Asian fusion restaurant, but food is also business, and if it’s good food, it’s good business.
These are my go-to Asian wings recipe. Sweet (honey) and savory (hoisin). If you don’t have honey, you can substitute brown sugar. Every time I made these for any bbq people eat them within 5-10 minutes.
Instructions with Photos:
Combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
Marinate wings for 4-6 hours (preferably overnight) in a large zip-lock bag.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place wings on a baking sheet and reserve marinade in small saucepan.
Bake wings for 30-35 minutes.
As the wings are baking, heat the marinade on medium high heat, and reduce until thick enough to coat a spoon. Take off from heat and set aside.
The wings are already golden brown and look ready to eat! Sometimes I eat them at this point when I’m too impatient.
Heat your grill pan to medium heat. Using tongs, place wings on pan and grill for two minutes,
then flip and grill another two minutes.
Place wings on a large plate.
Drizzle the marinade glaze that you’ve made over the wings. Serve immediately.
My daughter ate 5 of these as I was taking photos.
Hoisin and Honey Grilled Wings
- 24 wings, fresh or thawed
- FOR MARINADE:
- 5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 4 Tbsp. Hoisin sauce
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1/2 Tbsp. sesame oil
- 3 Tbsp. honey
- 1/2 tsp. Five-Spice powder
- Step 1 Marinate wings for 4-6 hours (preferably overnight) in a large zip-lock bag.
- Step 2 Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place wings on a baking sheet and reserve marinade in small saucepan.
- Step 3 Bake wings for 30-35 minutes. As they are baking, heat the marinade on medium high heat, and reduce until thick enough to coat a spoon. Take off from heat and set aside.
- Step 4 Heat your grill pan to medium heat. Using tongs, place wings on pan and grill for two minutes, then flip and grill another two minutes. Place wings on a large plate.
- Step 5 Drizzle the marinade glaze that you’ve made over the wings. Serve immediately.