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Air-Fried Salt and Pepper Chicken wings

Chinese style salt and pepper chicken wings
Cooking Method
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 8 min Cook Time: 12 min Total Time: 20 mins

This Chinese-style, Air-fried Salt and Pepper chicken wings will be your new favorite dish for game day and parties. They are quick, easy to make, and have the most amazing (but not overpowering) Sichuan peppercorn flavor and that unique tongue-tingling sensation that we love in Sichuan cuisine.

    To marinate chicken
  • 1 pound chicken wings
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine/Chinese cooking wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil or any neutral cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch* (optional)
  • To make the salt and pepper mix
  • 2 teaspoons sichuan peppercorns (see notes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (adjust to your preference later when you taste wings)
    Marinate and Air-Fry chicken wings
  1. salt and pepper chicken wings - chinese sichuan style

    Add chicken wings to a bowl. Pat dry if they're too moist. Add soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, white pepper powder (and a tiny bit of oil if you have a lot of drums). Mix very well.

  2. salt and pepper chicken wings - chinese sichuan style

    Add cornstarch to chicken wings and gently mix to lightly coat the wings.

  3. Preheat the air-fryer at 375F (190C) for 5 minutes.

  4. Place chicken wings in one layer in the air-fryer basket (if you have a smaller air-fryer, do it in two batches). Air-fry at 375F for 10 minutes.

  5. Flip the wings. Increase the Air-fryer temperature to 390F and Air-Fry for another 3 - 5 minutes. (time may vary depending on the size of the chicken wings. To make sure your chicken wings are done, cook until the internal temperature reads 165F when you insert a meat thermometer)

  6. Making pepper mix (Do while chicken wings are in the Air-fryer)
  7. To a small pan, add Sichuan peppercorns and salt. Slowly roast them in medium-low heat until peppercorns turn brown in color and feels aromatic. 

  8. Transfer them to a mortar and pestle (You can also use a small spice/coffee grinder). Grind them to a powder.

  9. Mix spices with chicken wings
  10. Transfer chicken wings to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle only 1 tsp of the salt and Sichuan pepper powder you just made. Shake and toss the bowl to coat the wings with salt and pepper powder. Taste and add more if you need. 

    Do not add all spice powder at once. Start with a little bit and add as you taste. You can store leftover salt and pepper powder in an air-tight jar for some other time.
  • corn starch adds a nice thin coating of flour. It adds up a little bit of crunch to chicken wings. If you like wings without any flour coating, you can certainly skip this.
  • You'll probably have some extra salt and Sichuan peppercorn powder mix. Store that in an air-tight container to use next time. Or in any other dishes that require Sichuan peppercorns. 
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