Chinese Five-Spice Chicken Wings

These crispy, baked Chinese five-spice chicken wings are a served with a creamy cilantro sauce, for a fun alternative (or accompaniment!) to standard Buffalo wings.

A bowl of Chinese five spice chicken wings.

We’re always keeping an eye out for new, cool takes on Buffalo Wings, and David Lieberman totally nailed this one. It’s really hard to get wings crispy when you’re baking them, but this recipe does.–Editors of Food Network Favorites

LC Wingdings for Dinner Note

Are you familiar with “wingdings“? It’s a font from Microsoft that slips seemingly nonsensical symbols in place of letters. It’s not exactly expected, although there is a method to the madness, so it gets the job done. And with flair. We like to think of these wings as a sort of wingdings. The sweet heat from the Chinese five-spice powder may not be what you typically think of in terms of incendiary wings, and the crisp skin comes from the blast of a hot oven rather than the splattering of hot oil. Yet we’re quite, quite taken with them all the same. Wingdings for dinner. And don’t sneeze at that wingding sauce, the one made of creamy stuff and cilantro, as it’s an epiphany of an accompaniment. We’ve been finding ourselves drizzling it over nachos, dribbling it onto black beans, dousing it over roast or rotisserie or grilled chicken, even depending on it as a dip for plain tortilla chips (or Doritos, if you please)…

Chinese Five-Spice Chicken Wings

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 15 M
  • 40 M
  • Makes 40
5/5 - 1 reviews
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  • For the five-spice wings
  • For the creamy cilantro dipping sauce


Make the five-spice wings
Preheat oven to 500°F (260°C).
If you have whole chicken wings, cut off the wing tips and cut the wings in half at the joint. Discard the wing tips or freeze them for making stock.
Place the wings in a large bowl. Sprinkle five-spice powder and cayenne on the wings, add a generous pinch or two of salt, and about 15 grinds of black pepper. Rub the mixture into all the wings until all the rub clings to the chicken.
Line the wing pieces up on a rimmed baking sheet so the side of the wing that has the most skin is facing up. Roast until cooked through, browned, and crisp, about 25 minutes. (If you prefer a wing that’s every iota as crisp underneath as on top, bake the wings on a wire rack situated on the baking sheet. If you prefer a wing that has one side smudged with a sort of gooey crispness from sitting in a teensy puddle of its juices during roasting, leave the wings on the baking sheet.)
Make the creamy cilantro dipping sauce
Pulse the cilantro, sour cream, mayo, yogurt, and lemon or lime juice in a food processor. (Or, lacking a processor, whisk them together.) Taste and add a judicious amount of salt and black pepper and pulse again. Cover and toss it in the fridge while the wings do their thing in the oven.
Serve the wings
Pile the wings on a platter and serve ‘em hot along with the cold creamy cilantro dipping sauce on the side.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

These wings couldn’t be simpler, and they’ll fill your house with the most delicious aroma. I’m not a fan of wings covered in a sticky sauce, so I appreciated this version, which went with a simple rub of five-spice powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. They crisped up beautifully in the oven, but I’m sure they’d be great cooked on the grill as well. The cilantro dipping sauce was not very exciting on its own, but went beautifully with the wings. The one thing I would change is perhaps to up the amount of spice next time, especially the cayenne. I gave the sauce a few quick pulses with a hand blender to mix in the cilantro and called it done.

What an easy and simple recipe. You can make this as an appetizer or as a meal. We chose to make it as a meal and all of us loved it. It has a little kick but it’s not so strong as to make people shy away. The cilantro dipping sauce was the perfect blend to lighten the flavor. My toddler alone ate 10 wings. Next time I will be making more of the dipping sauce as she alone ate half of it!

This is a simple and yummy recipe. I enjoy a crisp yet moist wing. I made two batches, one as the recipe calls for, with generous amounts of kosher salt and spices. The other batch I brined with salt and sugar for only an hour and a half. I have to say, brine makes chicken better. So if you have the time, brine the wings, pat dry, then season and bake! You will love it! With or without the brine, it is a good recipe, but for the super-moist chicken lover…brine it, baby! The cilantro sauce was good, I recommend making this first so all the flavors have a chance to marry.

I knew I would like these chicken wings as soon as I saw "Chinese Five Spice" and this recipe did not disappoint. The warm spice blend is wonderful as-is on chicken as well as pork and a little cayenne added a sharp dimension to the rub. Thanks to the high oven temperature, the chicken wings were addictively super crisp on the outside they stayed that way even after they cooled a bit. I ate my first one without the dipping sauce and loved it. After my third wing I started to feel the cayenne and black pepper on my lips and I was glad to have the cool creamy sauce to reach for.


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  1. What a wonderful take on classic, deep-fried wings—I made these today and they were crispy, juicy, and plain ole’ fantastic! My 18-month-old son kept grabbing them off the platter and charging around the house squealing with joy. Thank you for sharing an easy, baked, delicious, family-friendly recipe!

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