Cooked in one pot and finished under the broiler for the perfect char, these sweet-soy glazed Chicken Teriyaki Wings are finger-licking delicious. They are unbelievably easy to make, too. You‘ll love them once you try them!
If you are looking for a crowd-pleasing and winning recipe for chicken wings, this is The One for you. Tossed in a classic Japanese sauce, these Teriyaki Wings (手羽先の照り焼き) would go hand in hand with many occasions. Think weeknight meal, game day, potluck, birthday party, picnic, friends get-together, and many more! It’s pretty much fuss-free and guaranteed deliciousness.
How to Make the Wings Delicious
How do we make those finger-licking delicious Teriyaki Wings? Here are three simple things to consider.
- Good quality chicken wings are a must.
- The sauce must have a good balance of salty (from soy sauce) and sweet (from sugar or honey) flavors.
- A decent amount of char on the chicken brings a deeper, more robust smoky flavor.
Sake and Mirin – Key Ingredients for Teriyaki Wings
When you make “teriyaki” recipes, the 3 most important ingredients are soy sauce, sake, and mirin. For this Teriyaki Wings recipe, I partnered with Takara Sake and used Sho Chiku Bai Classic Junmai Sake and Takara Mirin (shown below).
Takara Sake is also a huge brand in the U.S., so you can easily find their sake and mirin in Japanese grocery stores, Asian grocery stores, and some liquor stores.
Can We Skip Sake and Mirin?
When it comes to making the sauce for Teriyaki dishes and in this Teriyaki Wings recipe, sake and mirin are two ingredients that cannot be overlooked. They play significant roles in helping to tenderize the meat and enhancing the overall flavor and aroma of the dish.
I have a comprehensive blog post about sake and mirin, where you will learn more about each ingredient and the benefits of cooking with them.
Any Halal Substitute for Sake and Mirin?
- Sake: Water is the only substitute I can think of.
- Mirin: Look out for Honteri Mirin by Mizkan which contains no alcohol. Or you can substitute mirin with water and sugar. The ratio of water and sugar should be 3 to 1. For example, for 1 tbsp water, mix with 1 tsp of granulated sugar.
Use Heavy Bottom Cast Iron Pot
One of the cookware that is good to own is a Dutch oven. I have several Dutch ovens by Le Creuset for different purposes but if I have to pick one, this 4.5 QT Dutch oven probably gets the most used for my daily Japanese cooking. If you make soups and stews for 4 people, 5.5 QT Dutch oven might be your best size.
Here are three reasons why I love cooking in Dutch ovens and I think every home cook should own one.
- Versatility – Whether you are using a Dutch oven on the stove or in the oven for baking bread, making stew, or braising these chicken wings, it is a magical piece of cookware that can handle versatile cooking.
- Even Heating – Dutch ovens provide even heat distribution to your food. There are no “hot spots” on the bottom of the pot. It also has a nice tight-fitting lid.
- No Seasoning & No Rusting – Because of the enamel coating on Dutch ovens, there is no need for seasoning before use. Unlike traditional cast iron cookware, which is prone to rust when it’s not seasoned properly or when submerged in water for long periods of time, enamel coating on Dutch ovens protects it from rusting, allowing you to boil water, soak and place it in the dishwasher.
To make these teriyaki wings in the Dutch oven, it basically involves two simple steps: 1) simmering the wings over the stovetop until well coated 2) A quick broil under the oven. And there you have it, Teriyaki wings that are sweet, savory, and very sticky with perfect char.
Sake Pairing with REI Junmai DaiGinjo
For this teriyaki wings recipe, we paired it with the very versatile REI Junmai DaiGinjo from Takara Sake. This delicious sake is made in Berkeley California with Cal-rose rice polished to 50%. Unlike most daiginjo sake which is sipped by itself, Takara Sake created REI to enjoy with food.
As you pick up REI in the sake glass (chilled), the distinct clean, and fresh aroma of high-quality sake slowly infuses your nose. Once you take a sip of REI, you will notice how smooth it is right away. Hints of melon, cucumber, and melon hit your taste buds gently. Inside your mouth, the sake evolves to more floral and fruit flavors with a slightly dry finish.
The best part of REI stands out when you enjoy it with food. When we drank it with the teriyaki wings, the sweet soy sauce enhanced the characteristics of REI by amplifying its natural sweetness and the subtle underlying flavors. It was a perfect match! Besides teriyaki dishes, Takara sake also recommends trying REI with tempura, yakitori, sukiyaki, and sushi. It comes in a small 300 ml so it’s perfect for 1 or 2-person meal. If you can’t find it in your local market, you can buy it from Takara Sake online.
For the Teriyaki Sauce
For the Garnish
- ½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds
- 1 green onion/scallion
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Peel and grate the entire ginger knob. Measure 1 tsp ginger (grated, with juice) for the chicken marinade. Then, squeeze the remaining grated ginger and set aside 1 tsp ginger juice (or more, if you‘d like) to use later in the teriyaki sauce.
- Place 2 lbs chicken wings in a large bowl. Mince or crush 2 cloves garlic with a garlic press. Add 1 tsp grated ginger and ¼ cup sake.
- Add ⅛ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- With your hands, mix the chicken wings well until they’re completely coated in the marinade seasonings.
- Heat a Dutch oven (I use a 4.5 Le Creuset) over medium heat. Once it’s hot, add 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil and distribute evenly. Add the chicken wings in a single layer (try not to overlap too much). If you cook more than 2 lbs chicken wings, you will definitely need to cook them in batches.
- Some parts of the chicken wings may overlap, but that’s okay. Cover and cook on medium heat for 4–5 minutes.
- After 4–5 minutes have passed, open the lid and flip the chicken wings. Now, if you are using a pot that is NOT oven-safe, be sure to brown the chicken wings nicely at this stage. Don’t turn the wings often and allow them to develop a nice brown char. You may need to increase the heat slightly, depending on the pot you’re using.
- Cover again and cook for another 4–5 minutes. Then, uncover and check if the wings need to brown more.
- Add the teriyaki sauce ingredients to the pot: 2 Tbsp honey, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, ¼ cup sake, ¼ cup mirin, and ¼ cup soy sauce.
- Lastly add all the ginger juice (about 1 tsp) and make sure all the wings are coated in the sauce very well.
- Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until the sauce is reduced and most of the chicken wings are exposed from the sauce. When you’re about to finish simmering, preheat the broiler for 5 minutes.
- Place the Dutch oven in the oven and broil for 3–4 minutes. Stay in front of the oven to make sure you don’t burn the chicken wings. My rack is in the middle position and the heating element is not too close to the chicken wings. The broiling time varies depending on how far your wings are from the heat element.
- Remove the pot from the broiler. Thinly slice 1 green onion/scallion (the green part only) diagonally, and sprinkle them over the wings, along with ½ tsp toasted white sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
- You can keep in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and in the freezer for a month.