These Baked Thai Lemongrass Chicken Wings (Gai Yang Flavors) are a delightful twist on the classic Gai Yang flavors, offering the same great taste with a convenient and cozy baking method. These wings boast tender, juicy meat with aromatic Thai herbs and spices!
Indulge in authentic Thai flavors with our delectable Baked Thai Lemongrass Chicken Wings. If you love the rich taste of Gai Yang but prefer a cozy alternative for the cooler months, this recipe is tailor-made for you.
These succulent chicken wings are infused with the same mouthwatering Gai Yang taste and the best part? They are baked instead of grilled, making them perfect for winter baking. Another Thai classic is Gai Tod Thai fry chicken wings.
- Why you'll love this baked lemongrass wings
- What are Thai Lemongrass Chicken Wings
- What is Thai Gai Yang?
- Gai Yang, THE ultimate street food of Thailand
- Ingredients for Baked Thai Lemongrass Wings
- Sauces for Baked Lemongrass chicken
- How to bake Thai lemongrass chicken wings
- Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- What to Serve with Baked Thai Lemongrass Chicken
- Garnishing Options
- Helpful Kitchen Tools for This Recipe
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Baked Thai Lemongrass Chicken Wings (Gai Yang Flavors)
- Paring with Thai Lemongrass Chicken
Why you'll love this baked lemongrass wings
- This chicken dish uses honey rather than sugar, making it healthier than the standard Gai Yang recipe.
- This delicious recipe uses wings and drumsticks because they cook faster than whole chicken.
- Instead of grilling, this chicken recipe bakes the wings in an oven, making it faster and easier to put together and cook all year.
- Gai Yang chicken is NOT spicy. The cooked wings alone are perfectly seasoned without the spicy chili dipping sauce. So, this is the one dish you can enjoy without worrying about the spiciness if eating spicy is not your thing.
- The marinating sauce is super easy to make. Combine all the ingredients in a small food processor, pour it over the wings in a Ziplock bag, and marinade before baking!
What are Thai Lemongrass Chicken Wings
Baked Thai Lemongrass Chicken Wings bring the essence of Thai Gai Yang to the comfort of your home. Inspired by the traditional grilled version, these wings are marinated in a harmonious blend of Thai spices, including lemongrass, garlic, and turmeric. The result is a mouthwatering explosion of flavors that captures the heart of Thai cuisine. While traditionally grilled, we've adapted the cooking method to baking, making it ideal for savoring during winter.
What is Thai Gai Yang?
Thai Gai Yang, also known as Kai Yang or Ping Gai, is a popular Thai dish with grilled chicken. Traditionally, this flavorful dish is prepared by skewering the chicken pieces on bamboo skewers and grilling them over a charcoal grill. The chicken slowly cooks over the charcoal that gives the chicken deliciously smoky and tender meat that locals and tourists love.
Gai Yang, THE ultimate street food of Thailand
Thai Gai Yang is commonly found as street food in Thailand, where it is cooked right in front of customers, enticing them with its mouthwatering aroma. The cooking process involves marinating the chicken in a mixture of key ingredients such as palm sugar, cloves of garlic, lemongrass stalks, coriander seeds, white peppercorns, and coconut milk. These classic Thai ingredients infuse the chicken with a harmonious blend of sweet, savory, and aromatic flavors.
Ingredients for Baked Thai Lemongrass Wings
- Chicken wings: Use wings and drumsticks combined for this recipe to complete the wings experience.
- Lemongrass: Fresh lemongrass is used for marinating. Use only the stalk's bottom 4-5 inches and chop it into small rounds.
- Honey: Using honey instead of sugar is a much healthier option. Agave works well too. Palm or brown sugar are the best substitutes.
- White pepper: White pepper is used for this recipe, but you can substitute black pepper.
- Turmeric powder is used to season the wings and naturally color the wings for an appetizing golden tinge on the skin.
- Thai soy sauces: The sauces used for this recipe are fish sauce, light soy sauce, dark sweet soy sauce, oyster sauce, and rice wine vinegar. See the picture for a reference and the exact brands I used.
- Sweet soy sauce: I used sweet soy sauce for this recipe for the sweet taste and the caramelized color of the chicken. You can substitute molasses if you can’t find the sweet soy sauce at the Asian market.
- Rice wine vinegar: You can substitute lime juice or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have rice wine vinegar.
Sauces for Baked Lemongrass chicken
Below is a picture of the sauces I used for my recipe. I highly recommend these Thai brands for the best flavors. Visit your local Asian market to find these sauces.
How to bake Thai lemongrass chicken wings
To make the perfect Thai lemongrass chicken wings with honey, you'll need a few ingredients to put it all together:
Step 1. Wash the chicken wings and drumsticks, pat dry with paper towels, and place the chicken in a gallon zip lock bag. Using a large bowl is fine too.
Step 2. Chop, peel, and measure the marinade ingredients, then put everything in a small food processor. Blend until the sauce is smooth and creamy. You will have some chunks of herbs in the marinating sauce. It’s ok, leave it. They will give the extra crunch when finished baking.
Step 3. Pour the marinating sauce into the zip lock bag with the chicken wings, close the bag, and gently shake the bag until the individual pieces are evenly coated. Lay the bag flat on a plate and marinate in the refrigerator for 1-5 hours. Flip the bag upside down once or twice during this marinating time to get the sauce on both sides of the wings.
Step 4. Move the chicken from the fridge and sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Step 5. Turn the oven to 375 degrees. Lined a large baking sheet with aluminum foil to help with easy clean up afterward. Place a rack over the foil to help heat circulation and even the temperature to cook the wings. Some of the sauce will drip during baking and may burn a little. It's normal. Just discard the foil when you are done cooking.
Step 6. Place the chicken pieces on the baking sheet. Before baking, use leftover marinating sauce in the ziplock bag and lather the wings with a spoon or a cooking brush. This will add extra tenderness and flavor to the meat.
Step 7. Bake the wings for 20 minutes, carefully remove the rack from the oven, and brush the remaining sauce from the ziplock bag on the wings. (Be very careful with the heat on the baking pan and rack.) Do this to both sides of the wings, and return to baking for another 20 minutes.
8. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to read at 165 degrees to be sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Add another 5-10 minutes, depending on the size of your wings and drumsticks. Add a few more minutes if you want your chicken cooked on a more well-done and crisp skin.
Step 9. Turn the oven off, remove the rack, and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving. Serve with Thai sweet chili sauce and a side of sticky rice. (The Thai dipping sauce recipe for the wings is below.) That's it! Enjoy!
Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Depending on the size of your wings and drumsticks, add 5-15 minutes of cooking time to your meat. Use an instant-read thermometer and make sure the meat reads at least 165 degrees for doneness.
- If you'd like more of a
- Don’t throw away the marinating sauce. Use a cooking brush to lather the wings with the sauce on both sides at the 20-minute cooking mark. To help with easy cleanup, line the baking sheet with aluminum foil, then place a wire rack over the pan.
- Some of the sauce dripping will burn in the oven. It's fine, don't panic. (: Keep a close eye on your oven and remove & discard your foil after cooking.
- If your wings are looking dry, use a spraying oil to go over both sides of the meat after the meat is baked for 20 minutes.
- Use gloves and aprons when working with this recipe. The turmeric will permanently stain your fingers and your clothes or kitchen towels.
- If some wingtips and chicken skin are burned, use a knife or scissors to cut off the burnt part before serving. Oven temperatures vary from range to range, so use your discretion to be sure the meat is thoroughly cooked.
- For the best results, use cilantro roots instead of the leaves, as they pack a more robust flavor. If you cannot find fresh coriander roots, you can substitute with cilantro stems for a similar taste.
What to Serve with Baked Thai Lemongrass Chicken
These delectable wings can be served as a delightful appetizer or a main course. For a complete meal, pair them with freshly steamed sticky rice and Som Tum salads like Thai green papaya salad, Laos cucumber salad, Or Thai green beans salad. Make the Nam Jim Jaoew, a savory and umami Thai sauce that is perfect on everything.
- Lime wedges: Tangy lime wedges complement the flavors of the wings when served.
- For an eye-catching presentation, garnish the Baked Thai Lemongrass Chicken Wings with fresh cilantro leaves or sliced red pepper.
Helpful Kitchen Tools for This Recipe
- A food processor for blending the lemongrass, garlic, and coriander roots into a paste.
- A large mixing bowl for marinating the chicken wings.
- An instant-read thermometer to ensure the wings are fully cooked.
- A baking sheet with a wire rack for even baking and crispy results.
- Grilled Option. If you prefer the traditional Gai Yang experience, grill the marinated wings over hot coals for that irresistible smoky flavor.
- Spicier Twist. Adjust the amount of nam jim jaew and chili flakes to suit your spice tolerance and create a spicier version of the wings.
- Vegan Alternative. For a vegan twist, substitute the chicken wings with cauliflower florets or tofu and follow the same marinating and baking process but with half the time as the chicken. Use your discretion for how long to bake these.
- Cilantro stems or leaves can be used as a substitute if coriander roots are unavailable.
- For a meatier version, opt for chicken breast or boneless chicken thighs instead of chicken wings.
Any leftover Baked Thai Lemongrass Chicken Wings can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat them in the oven or microwave before enjoying them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! While chicken wings are perfect for finger food, you can use chicken thighs, drumsticks, or chicken breasts.
This recipe is easily scalable, making it ideal for gatherings and parties.
Yes, you can freeze the marinated wings before baking. Thaw them in the refrigerator before placing them in the oven.
Certainly! You can use a gas grill over medium-high heat to achieve that delightful charred flavor if you prefer grilling.
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