Tamarind is a wonderful ingredient that gives dishes a slightly sweet-tart flavour. In this Vietnamese recipe the chicken wings are pan-fried and then served with the rich tamarind sauce and a lime dipping sauce. Serve as part of a shared meal.






Skill level

Average: 3.1 (28 votes)


  • 1 kg chicken wings
  • 3 tbsp tapioca starch, approximately
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 fresh chilli, sliced
  • chopped fresh coriander, to garnish
  • pepper, salt and fresh lime juice, mixed together as a dipping sauce


  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce


  • 100 g ripe tamarind or 2 tbsp pulp soaked in 400 ml hot water
  • 2 tsp oil 
  • 1 tsp annatto seed
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp tapioca starch dissolved in 2 tbsp water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 1 hour

Soaking time: 1 hour

Wash the chicken wings and dry with tea towel. Prick them with a bamboo stick to allow marinade to penetrate. Mix together the ingredients for the marinade and pour over. Mix well, refrigerate to marinate for 1 hour.

Meanwhile prepare the tamarind. If using fresh, cook until soft in a pot with 500 ml water and press to strain through a seive (discard the pulp). If not, soak the pulp for about 1 hour and then press to strain through a sieve (discard the pulp).

Heat the 2 tbsp of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Dredge the marinated chicken wings with the 3 tbsp tapioca flour. Fry the wings until they become golden and cooked through. Drain on a tea towel or paper towel to remove excess oil.
Heat the 2 tsp of oil in another pan. Add the annatto seed and garlic and fry until the garlic is golden. Pour in the tamarind juice, sugar, chicken stock, salt and pepper, soy sauce, oyster sauce and tapioca flour mix. Mix well and adjust seasoning to suit.

Pour sauce over the chicken. Serve and garnish with chilli and coriander if desired. Dip the wings lightly into a mix of pepper, salt and fresh lime juice.