The Irresistible Allure of Soy Garlic Chicken Wings

By Alex Au Yeung

5/5 - (7 votes)

Soy garlic chicken wings is a tantalizing gateway to flavor, offering a mouthwatering combination of savory soy and aromatic garlic. With their crispy skin and juicy meat, these wings have become an irresistible delight for food enthusiasts worldwide. 

Originating from the culture of chicken wing lovers, these delectable bites have gained immense popularity, showcasing the perfect fusion of Asian-inspired ingredients. 

In this article, we will delve into the rich history, explore the power of soy and garlic, discover the secrets to achieving crispy perfection, and indulge in various recipes and variations. Get ready to embark on a flavorful journey as we unlock the secrets of mastering the art of soy garlic chicken wings.

Table of Contents

What are soy garlic chicken wings?

The Irresistible Allure of Soy Garlic Chicken Wings
What are soy garlic chicken wings?

Soy garlic chicken wings are a delicious dish consisting of chicken wings marinated in a flavorful combination of soy sauce and garlic. This recipe is rooted in Asian cuisine, with Korean cuisine being particularly known for its version of Korean soy garlic chicken wings.

The wings are typically marinated for a period of time to infuse them with the rich flavors of soy sauce and garlic. Once marinated, they are cooked using various methods such as baking, frying, or grilling, resulting in crispy and succulent wings with a tantalizing umami taste. 

Over time, chicken wings, including the soy garlic variety, have gained immense popularity, becoming a staple in the chicken wing culture. They are often enjoyed as a finger-licking appetizer, party food, or even as a main course.

How to choose chicken wings?

When selecting chicken wings, it’s essential to choose the right cutting line. Look for wings that are properly trimmed and have a clean, uniform appearance. 

The most common and readily available type of chicken wings is the “party wing,” which consists of the drumette and wingette sections. These sections provide a good balance of meat and skin, ideal for achieving a crispy texture.

Inspect the wings for any signs of discoloration or off-putting odors, as these may indicate spoilage. Opt for fresh or frozen wings, depending on your preference and availability. If purchasing frozen wings, ensure they are properly sealed and have not been thawed and refrozen.

Choosing chicken wings with a neat cutting line ensures you have the best starting point for preparing your soy garlic chicken wings, allowing for even cooking and optimal flavor absorption during the marinating process.

Soy garlic chicken wings recipe

The Irresistible Allure of Soy Garlic Chicken Wings
Soy garlic chicken wings recipe

Soy garlic chicken wings recipe, For best results, marinate the chicken wings for at least 2 hours or overnight to maximize flavor infusion.

Cooking note 

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Course: Appetizer or Main Course
  • Cuisine: Asian-inspired
  • Equipment:
    • Baking sheet or frying pan
    • Mixing bowl
    • Tongs or spatula


  • 2 lbs (900g) chicken wings, separated into drumettes and wingettes
  • 2/4 cup soy sauce
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Optional: chopped green onions and sesame seeds for garnish

Note: Feel free to adjust the marinade ingredients to suit your taste preferences. You can also add a pinch of red pepper flakes for a hint of spiciness if desired.

How to make soy garlic chicken wings?

Marinated wings

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the following ingredients:
  • 2 lbs (900g) chicken wings, separated into drumettes and wingettes
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Stir the marinade well to combine and dissolve the sweetener.
  2. Add the chicken wings to the bowl and toss them in the marinade until evenly coated.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or transfer the wings and marinade to a ziplock bag.
  4. Place the marinated wings in the refrigerator and let them marinate for at least 2 hours, or preferably overnight.

Soy garlic sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the following ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Optional: a pinch of red pepper flakes for spiciness

  1. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  2. Stir the sauce occasionally and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until it thickens slightly.
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.

Cooking the wings

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C) or heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. If using an oven, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange the marinated wings on it.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, flipping the wings halfway through, until they are cooked through and crispy.
  4. If using a frying pan, heat some oil over medium heat.
  5. Place the wings in the pan and cook for about 10-12 minutes per side until they are cooked through and nicely browned.
  6. Once cooked, remove the wings from the oven or pan and let them rest for a few minutes.
  7. Drizzle the prepared soy garlic sauce over the cooked wings, tossing them gently to coat evenly.

Note: Adjust the cooking time as needed, ensuring the chicken wings are cooked thoroughly and reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Feel free to garnish the wings with chopped green onions and sesame seeds for added flavor and presentation.

How many calories are in soy garlic chicken wings?

The Irresistible Allure of Soy Garlic Chicken Wings
How many calories are in soy garlic chicken wings?

Sure! Here’s a table showcasing the nutrient facts of soy garlic chicken wings per serving:

NutrientAmount Per Serving
Saturated Fat4g

Please note that the nutrient values may vary depending on the specific ingredients used and the cooking methods employed. As well as any variations in the marinade or cooking method. These values are meant to serve as a general estimate and should be considered as such.

What to serve with soy garlic chicken wings?

Additional side dishes for Soy Garlic Chicken Wings:

  • Rice: Serve the soy garlic chicken wings with steamed white rice or fluffy jasmine rice for a satisfying and balanced meal.
  • Coleslaw: A refreshing coleslaw with a tangy dressing can provide a cool contrast to the savory flavors of the wings.
  • Roasted Vegetables: Roast a medley of vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and bell peppers tossed in olive oil and seasonings for a nutritious side dish.
  • Sweet Potato Fries: Crispy baked sweet potato fries are a delicious accompaniment that adds a touch of sweetness to balance the savory wings.
  • Corn on the Cob: Grilled or boiled corn on the cob adds a touch of summery sweetness and a satisfying crunch to the meal.
  • Pickled Vegetables: Tangy and crunchy pickled vegetables, such as pickled radishes or cucumbers, provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of the wings.
  • Asian Slaw: Opt for an Asian-inspired slaw made with cabbage, carrots, and a sesame-ginger dressing for a flavorful side dish.
  • Steamed Vegetables: Lightly steamed vegetables, like green beans or bok choy, provide a healthy and vibrant addition to the plate.
  • Garlic Noodles: Whip up some garlic noodles tossed in a light sauce for a flavorful carb option that complements the wings well.
  • Baked Beans: Classic baked beans with a touch of sweetness and smokiness can add a comforting element to your meal.

Substitute ingredients soy garlic chicken wings 

Soy sauce substitute

  • Tamari: A gluten-free alternative to soy sauce that offers a similar flavor profile.
  • Coconut Aminos: A soy-free, gluten-free, and lower-sodium alternative made from coconut sap, providing a slightly sweeter taste.

Garlic substitute

  • Garlic Powder: Use about 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder as a substitute for each clove of minced garlic.
  • Garlic Paste: Replace minced garlic with an equal amount of garlic paste for convenience and ease of use.

Honey substitute

  • Maple Syrup: Swap honey with an equal amount of maple syrup for a sweet and rich flavor.
  • Agave Nectar: Another sweetener alternative that can replace honey in equal amounts.

Sesame oil substitute

  • Toasted Sesame Seed Oil: A slightly nuttier flavor compared to regular sesame oil.
  • Olive Oil: A versatile and readily available substitute that works well in many recipes.

Rice vinegar substitute

  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Provides a similar tangy flavor to rice vinegar.
  • White Wine Vinegar: Another alternative with a mild acidity that can work as a substitute.

Ginger substitute

  • Ground Ginger: Replace fresh grated ginger with approximately 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger.
  • Ginger Paste: Use an equal amount of ginger paste as a convenient substitute.

Sweetener substitute

  • Brown Sugar: If the recipe calls for honey or another sweetener, brown sugar can provide a similar level of sweetness.
  • Granulated Sugar: Use an equal amount of granulated sugar as a substitute.

Note: When substituting ingredients, keep in mind that the flavor and texture may vary slightly from the original recipe. It’s always best to adjust the substitutions to your taste preference and dietary needs.

Variations of soy garlic chicken wings

Variations of soy garlic chicken wings: Discover Unique Flavor Twists

  • Spicy Soy Garlic Wings: Add some heat to your wings by incorporating chili flakes or sriracha sauce into the marinade for a spicy kick.
  • Honey Soy Garlic Wings: Enhance the sweetness by incorporating honey into the honey garlic marinade for chicken wings, providing a delightful balance to the savory garlic and soy flavors.
  • Sesame Soy Garlic Wings: Toasted sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil add nuttiness and depth to the marinade, elevating the overall flavor profile.
  • Teriyaki Soy Garlic Wings: Introduce the classic Japanese teriyaki sauce to the soy garlic wings for a rich and glossy glaze with a touch of sweetness.
  • Citrus Soy Garlic Wings: Infuse some brightness by adding a splash of citrus juice, such as orange or lime, to the marinade for a tangy twist.
  • Thai Soy Garlic Wings: Incorporate Thai flavors by adding lemongrass, cilantro, and a hint of fish sauce to the marinade, creating a unique fusion of tastes.
  • Korean Gochujang Soy Garlic Wings: Blend in some gochujang, a spicy Korean red chili paste, to the marinade for a bold and fiery flavor experience.
  • Maple Soy Garlic Wings: Replace the honey with maple syrup in the marinade to infuse a distinct sweet and smoky taste into the wings.
  • Pineapple Soy Garlic Wings: Introduce some tropical flair by incorporating pineapple juice or crushed pineapple into the marinade, lending a sweet and tangy twist.
  • Hoisin Soy Garlic Wings: Incorporate the rich and savory flavor of hoisin sauce into the marinade for an Asian-inspired glaze with depth and complexity.

How to store soy garlic chicken wings?

Storing soy garlic sauce

  • Allow the sauce to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container.
  • Store the sauce in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • If you plan to use the sauce later, you can freeze it in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator before using it.

Storing cooked chicken wings

  • Let the cooked chicken wings cool down to room temperature.
  • Place them in an airtight container or wrap them tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.
  • Store the wings in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Reheating soy garlic chicken wings

  • Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the wings on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
  • Microwave Method: Place a few wings on a microwave-safe plate and heat them in 30-second intervals, turning them over in between, until they are heated thoroughly.

Note: Reheating in the oven or air fryer will help retain the crispy texture better than microwaving.

Remember to discard any leftover chicken wings or sauce if they have been left at room temperature for more than 2 hours to avoid the risk of foodborne illness. Properly stored and reheated, your soy garlic chicken wings will remain delicious and safe to eat.

Common mistakes when cooking soy garlic chicken wings

The Irresistible Allure of Soy Garlic Chicken Wings
Common mistakes when cooking soy garlic chicken wings

Soy Garlic Chicken Wings Challenge: Solving Common Cooking Pitfalls and Troubleshooting Tips for Crispy Results

Soggy skin

  • Ensure the wings are completely dry before marinating to prevent excess moisture.
  • Increase the oven temperature or frying heat to promote better crisping.
  • Use a wire rack on the baking sheet to elevate the wings, allowing air circulation for crispier skin.

Uneven crispness

  • Flip the wings halfway through cooking to ensure even browning on both sides.
  • Maintain consistent spacing between the wings on the baking sheet or frying pan for uniform heat distribution.

Not enough crisp

  • Increase the cooking time slightly to achieve a crispier texture.
  • Finish the wings under the broiler for a couple of minutes to enhance the crispness.


  • Keep a close eye on the wings during cooking to avoid excessive browning or burning.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) without overcooking.

Too salty or sweet

  • Adjust the amount of soy sauce, honey, or other seasonings in the marinade to achieve a better balance of flavors.
  • If the wings turn out too salty, rinse them lightly under cold water before cooking.

Marinade not penetrating

  • Make small slits in the chicken wings with a knife to help the marinade penetrate deeper.
  • Extend the marinating time to allow the flavors to infuse into the meat more thoroughly.

Lack of crispy coating

  • Toss the marinated wings in a mixture of baking powder and salt before cooking to promote better browning and crispness.
  • Add a light coating of cornstarch or flour to the wings before cooking for an extra crispy exterior.

Tips for crispy skin

Tips for crispy skin on soy garlic chicken wings

Secrets to achieving perfect crispness

  • Ensure dryness: Before marinating the wings, pat them dry with paper towels. Moisture on the surface hinders the crisping process.
  • Baking powder trick: For extra crispy skin, try tossing the wings in a mixture of baking powder and salt before marinating. This helps draw out moisture and promotes browning.
  • Higher temperature: When baking the wings, set the oven to a higher temperature, around 425°F (220°C), to encourage crispy skin formation.

Spread and flip technique

  • Spacing: Arrange the marinated wings on a baking sheet or in a pan with enough space between them. Crowding the wings traps moisture and can lead to soggy skin.
  • Flipping: During the cooking process, flip the wings halfway through to ensure even browning and crispness on both sides.
  • Basting: Brushing the wings with the marinade or a light coating of oil while cooking can help enhance the crispness.
  • Finishing under the broiler: For an extra boost of crispness, broil the wings for a couple of minutes at the end of the cooking time. Keep a close eye to prevent burning.


Can I use boneless chicken for soy garlic wings?

Yes, you can use boneless chicken for soy garlic wings. While traditional wings are typically made with bone-in chicken, boneless chicken pieces like chicken tenders or boneless chicken thighs can be used as a substitute.

Adjust the cooking time accordingly, since boneless chicken tends to cook faster than bone-in cuts.

How long should I marinate the wings?

For optimal flavor, it is recommended to marinate the wings for at least 2 hours. However, marinating them overnight or for up to 24 hours can intensify the flavor and result in more tender and flavorful wings. 

The longer marinating time allows the soy garlic marinade to penetrate the meat, infusing it with its delicious flavors.

Can I make the wings ahead of time?

Yes, you can make the wings ahead of time. After cooking and allowing them to cool, store the wings in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. When ready to serve, you can reheat them using different methods.

What is the best way to achieve a balance of soy and garlic flavors in the marinade?

To achieve a balanced blend of soy and garlic flavors in the marinade, start by using equal parts soy sauce and minced garlic. Adjust the quantities to your preference, keeping in mind that soy sauce tends to be saltier than garlic. 

Taste the marinade and gradually add more soy sauce or garlic to achieve the desired balance. Remember to consider the overall quantity of wings you’re marinating, as the flavors will spread evenly. Additionally, allow the wings to marinate for an adequate amount of time to ensure that the flavors fully infuse into the meat.

What can I substitute for soy sauce in the marinade?

If you are looking for a soy sauce substitute in the marinade, you can consider using tamari, which is a gluten-free alternative with a similar flavor. Another option is coconut aminos, which is soy-free, gluten-free, and has a slightly sweeter taste. 

Both tamari and coconut aminos can be used as a 1:1 replacement for soy sauce in the marinade.

Are soy garlic wings suitable for people with gluten intolerance?

Traditional soy sauce contains gluten, which makes it unsuitable for individuals with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. However, there are gluten-free alternatives available, such as tamari or coconut aminos, that can be used as a substitute for soy sauce in the marinade. 

Ensure that the tamari or coconut aminos you choose are specifically labeled as gluten-free. By using these alternatives, you can still enjoy delicious soy garlic wings while accommodating gluten-free dietary needs.

Can I use low-sodium soy sauce for a healthier version?

Yes, you can use low-sodium soy sauce as a healthier alternative in your soy garlic chicken wings recipe. Low-sodium soy sauce contains less sodium compared to regular soy sauce, making it a better option for those who are watching their sodium intake. 

It will still provide the essential umami flavor and contribute to the overall taste of the wings. Adjust the other ingredients in the marinade to maintain the desired balance of flavors.

How can I make the wings spicier without altering the overall flavor profile?

If you want to add some spiciness to your soy garlic wings without significantly changing the overall flavor profile, there are a few options:

  • Red pepper flakes: Sprinkle a pinch or two of red pepper flakes into the marinade to give the wings a mild to moderate spiciness.
  • Hot sauce: Add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce to the marinade, adjusting the amount to suit your heat preference.
  • Cayenne pepper: Incorporate a small amount of cayenne pepper into the marinade for a subtle, lingering heat.

Are there any vegetarian or vegan alternatives for soy garlic wings?

Yes, there are vegetarian and vegan alternatives for soy garlic wings. Instead of using chicken wings, you can use plant-based alternatives like tofu, tempeh, or seitan. 

These protein sources can be marinated in a soy garlic sauce and cooked using similar methods such as baking or frying. The plant-based options will absorb the flavors of the marinade, offering a tasty alternative for vegetarians and vegans to enjoy soy garlic “wings.”

Can I make a gluten-free version of soy garlic wings?

Yes, you can make a gluten-free version of soy garlic wings. Traditional soy sauce contains gluten, so it’s important to use a gluten-free soy sauce or soy sauce substitute like tamari or coconut aminos. 

These gluten-free alternatives provide a similar flavor to soy sauce without the gluten content. Additionally, ensure that other ingredients used in the marinade, such as vinegar or sweeteners, are also gluten-free. By making these substitutions, you can create delicious gluten-free soy garlic wings that everyone can enjoy.


Finally, soy garlic chicken wings are a culinary delight that combines the bold flavors of soy sauce and aromatic garlic. From their humble origins to their rise in popularity, these wings have become a favorite among food enthusiasts worldwide. The art of perfecting soy garlic wings lies in achieving the ideal balance of flavors, crispy skin, and tender meat.

By selecting the right chicken wings, mastering the marinating process, and utilizing various cooking methods, you can create wings that are bursting with savory umami goodness. The versatility of soy garlic wings allows for endless variations, from adding spice to exploring international flavor twists.

Whether you enjoy them as a finger-licking appetizer, a game day favorite, or a flavorful main course, soy garlic chicken wings never fail to satisfy. They pair perfectly with a range of side dishes and dipping sauces, providing a delightful culinary experience.