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Secrets from the Banana Tree Kitchen – Easy Thai Chicken Wings

At Banana Tree, some of our favourite dishes come from the Indochina’s long tradition of street food: our Kajang Grilled Satay is inspired by the Malaysian hawker stalls and vendors cooking up delicious barbecued chicken sticks, and our Street-Style Crispy Dough pays homage to the wide array of moreish, doughy snacks on offer at street food carts in Cambodia.

Chicken wings, both grilled and fried, are a super-popular street food in Thailand – so it’s no surprise that our Sticky Thai Wings are one of the most popular dishes at our restaurants. These chicken wings are marinated, fried until crispy and brushed with our house special tamarind, garlic, sweet basil and chilli sauce, just as they would be at a street food market in Bangkok.

The fantastic popularity of our Sticky Thai Wings means we get many requests for the recipe. However, when it comes to making Sticky Thai Wings, deep frying can be a messy affair for the home cook (who wants to clean up buckets of splattered oil on a weeknight?).

That’s why we’ve developed a recipe for Easy Thai Chicken Wings that foregoes the frying and opts for a quick roast instead. Of course, we still coat the wings in our famously sweet, tangy, fragrant sauce – the sugars in the sauce caramelise in the oven for deeply concentrated, complex flavour and the ultimate finger-licking eating experience. 

Our guests usually order our Sticky Thai Wings as an appetiser, but we think that this easy at-home version makes a perfect main course when served with steamed rice and some stir-fried greens.

Of course, if you’re craving gloriously deep-fried chicken, we recommend coming into Banana Tree and enjoying our Sticky Thai Wings – the best of any Thai restaurant in Chelmsford – so you get all of that crispy texture with none of the mess. But on those nights when you want a taste of Thailand without leaving the house, try this easy version of our Sticky Thai Wings. You’ll have a great meal and a tidy kitchen!

Easy Thai Chicken Wings, inspired by Banana Tree

For the sauce

¾ cup Thai sweet chilli sauce

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup soya sauce

3 tbsp. fish sauce

3 Tbsp. tamarind paste

2 tsp. sesame oil

Juice of 2 limes

2 cloves garlic, minced

1½ kg chicken wings

Chopped Thai basil, for serving

Preheat the oven to 200°C. In a bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients. Pour half the sauce into another bowl and set aside – you’ll use the reserved half for basting at the end.

Arrange the chicken wings on a baking tray in a single layer. Brush the wings with half the sauce so that each piece is evenly coated.

Place the wings in the oven and roast for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through. Turn the oven settings to grill and brush the chicken with some of the reserved sauce. Place the wings under the grill and cook for about 5 more minutes, turning frequently, until caramelised and crispy.

Arrange on a platter and top with the chopped basil. Serve any leftover sauce alongside.