Malaysian Sticky Wings

sticky wings

Malaysian Sticky Wings: “At Fatty Crab, chef Zak Pelaccio pays tribute to the street food he fell in love with when he lived in Kuala Lumpur. Pelaccio’s favorite cart sold chicken wings, which he’s re-created in his new joint, using ginger, fish sauce and molasses for a richly pungent sauce.” Food & Wine Magazine

Malaysian Sticky Wings 

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4Source Slightly adapted from Zak PelaccioPublished
sticky wings


  • ½ ounce dried red chiles (such as arbol)
  • 3 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 ½ tablespoon anise seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup molasses
  • ½ cup apple juice
  • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce (be sure it’s low-sodium)
  • 2 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
  • 10 clove garlic (peeled and lightly smashed)
  • 1 (4‑inch) piece ginger (thinly sliced)
  • 4 pound chicken wings
  • 3 cup shredded Napa cabbage (loosely packed)
  • 1 cucumber (cut into bite-sized pieces)


In a small skillet, toast the chiles, coriander seeds, anise seeds and cumin seeds over moderate heat until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or mortar and grind to a fairly fine powder. Transfer the ground spices to a medium bowl and whisk in the sugar, molasses, apple juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Place the wings in a large bowl and pour in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to overnight, turning occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Remove the wings from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels; reserve the marinade. Arrange the wings on a wire rack set over a foil-covered baking sheet in as close to a single layer as possible. Use 2 racks if necessary. Roast for about 35 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through. The sugar in the marinade may make them appear quite dark, but don’t worry and be sure to cook them all the way through.

Meanwhile, strain the marinade into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and cook over medium-low heat until reduced by half and beginning to get thick and sticky, about 20 minutes. Transfer the marinade to a large bowl. When the wings are done, add them to the bowl and toss to coat with the sauce. Pile on plates and serve immediately with cabbage and cucumbers on the side.