With Australia Day coming up and the end of summer approaching, I thought I would share my special chicken wing marinade recipe which is always a winner at BBQs. I’m already dreading the upcoming shorter days (without daylight saving) so will be BBQing at every given chance.

Vietnamese South-East Asia Asian style chicken wings marinade for the BBQ

The flavours in this are vibrant and zesty and will help you appreciate the simplicity of Vietnamese cuisine. With nothing more than a stalk of lemongrass, a bulb of garlic, some fish sauce and sugar, this marinade punches and kicks the liveliness of Saigon in your mouth. It can be served alongside a fresh green mango salad or even just a bowl of fluffy white rice. Or as I have done, within a meat-fest of marinated beef, sausages and nem nuong (grilled pork patties).

Marinading chicken wings Asian style with lots of lemongrass, shallots, ginger and coriander

A killer chicken wing marinade

1kg chicken wings
2 stalks of lemongrass, chopped finely (using only the main part of the stalk)
⅓ cup coriander, chopped coarsely
⅓ cup fresh ginger, chopped finely
1 bulb garlic, chopped finely
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons salt

  1. Combine all ingredients except for salt.
  2. Clean chicken wings, removing the tip if preferred and sprinkle salt all over.
  3. Rub the marinade into the chicken wings.
  4. If you have time, pour the leftover marinade over the wings and store in the fridge for several hours or even overnight.
  5. If you’re in a hurry, then keep the leftover marinade on the side and while cooking the chicken wings, baste them with the sauce every few minutes.
  6. Cook the chicken wings in the oven, grill or barbecue.

Chicken wings on the barbie BBQ

Asian style BBQ with Vietnamese sausages, chicken wings, beef sausages, asaparagus, corn on the cob and nem nuong and steaks

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Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Growing up in the multicultural melting pot of Sydney’s Inner West as a second generation Australian (of Vietnamese refugee parents of Teochew Chinese ancestry), Jen has always had a deep curiosity about global cuisines, culinary heritage and the cultural assimilation of immigrants. For Jen and her family, food is always at the centre of all celebrations, life events and milestones. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering and inspiring people to expand their culinary repertoire. When not running her two companies (she is also the Managing Director of The Bamboo Garden online marketing agency), Jen can be found exploring old-world charms at vintage markets and delving into local eats around the world. She has a weakness for fried chicken.
  • sounds like a winner! 🙂

  • Oh my goodness. I LOVE chicken wings and they look SOOO good – I just can’t believe how hungry I am looking at them.

  • mm

    a manly hand you have there..

  • You know, I’ve only started eating chicken wings recently? Don’t know why but I was just never interested until my lovely butcher gave me some beautifully marinated spatchcock, and now I’m a convert!

  • I love your few token asparagus spears, you always need a bit (even a tiny bit!) of green in your meal 😉

  • blanche

    This looks really nice and I will def be trying it out. If you had more vietnamese recipes to share that would be great, as I recently travelled there and am SO in love with the food!

  • Yum! Thanks for a new idea for chicken marinate.

  • My my.. you must be popular on Australia Day with BBQs like that! 🙂 nice work

  • i’m giving this recipe a go at my next bbq! saying that though, my biggest love would have to be salt and pepper marinated chicken wings, i can never have enough of those 🙂

  • Gosh, that is one big barbie! And the food on it looks magnificent, and very Aussie!

  • Jen

    Thanks Simon! This marinade works well with beef too…hehe

  • Jen

    I constantly crave these chicken wings too… They’re a dangerous snack as you can end up eating quite a bit without realising it!

  • Jen

    Spot The Difference: grey dress VS. striped polo sleeve 😉

  • Jen

    Welcome to the other side! I don’t think I was a chicken-wing fan ’til KFC introduced Wicked Wings. OMG… *drools*

  • Jen

    Haha, nah, I love my greens. What you didn’t see was the table setting which already had 3 bowls of different salads 😉
    But grilled asparagus and corn are a fave!

  • Jen

    Ooo, how lucky of you! I can’t wait to return to Vietnam! I’ll hop on a flight the next time I spot cheap airfare… I’ll be posting up more Vietnamese recipes soon – I still don’t cook as often as I’d like to… Maybe I’ll get my Mum to do a guest post!

  • Jen

    My pleasure, hope you enjoy it! I love that marinated meat can be frozen for extra flavour and convenience 🙂

  • Jen

    Thanks! I didn’t end up hosting a BBQ this Australia Day but did do some damage eating at two other ones! Who needs an excuse to turn up the barbie anyway? 😉

  • Jen

    What else goes into the salt & pepper marinade? I’ve never had that combination on chicken wings before!

  • Jen

    Thanks Belle! Big barbie for big appetites 😉

  • have kept this link for next time i need to bbq chicken wings 🙂

  • Those are some pretty sexy looking wings. I hope you had a good Australia Day!

  • Jen

    Thanks Shannon! It was odd celebrating Australia Day mid-week but nonetheless got my fair share of sunburns and BBQs! Hope you had a good one too 😉

  • Jen

    Awesome! I could have BBQ chicken wings every day if they didn’t impact on my waistline!

  • blanche

    I would love that!

  • Oh yeah this looks delicious! Must give it a go at some stage!

  • BigDUK

    Just tried this last night for one of the 1st BBQ of our short and sporadic BBQ season up here in the UK. Amazing! One for the recipe book! Look forward to trying some more of your recipes, thanks for sharing them.

  • Jen

    Great to hear that this recipe was enjoyed all the way from the UK! 🙂

  • Kaila

    Hi there!
    These look really good I am going to make them on Saturday. Can you please let me know your recipe for the pork skewers also pictured?!!!
    Thanks!

  • Jen

    Hi Kaila, I didn’t make the ‘nem nuong’ from scratch. You can buy it pre-made from Asian butchers and then just skewer them yourself 😉 Have fun at your BBQ!

  • carol

    hi, i tried your recipe with 2kg of wings..and doubled the recipe. it turned out WAY TOO salty!! but i guess i shouldn’t have doubled the fish sauce.. lol. but anyhow, your marinade looks like it has a lot of liquid, did you add anything else? water?
    thanks 🙂

  • Jen

    No water, I think I must’ve just lifted the wings up for the photo so it looked like there was more marinade! Perhaps omit the salt next time, i’m not sure if the saltiness of fish sauce varies from brand to brand, but I’ve doubled this recipe many times before without an issue. Let me know how you go! 🙂

  • Kelly

    You mention in the description that you use a bulb of garlic, yet the recipe calls for no garlic, from your photos it looks like you use garlic, I can’t quite tell

  • Jen

    Bah, good spotting! I do add garlic… finely chop it 🙂

  • Ashley

    This is probably my favorite marinade on foodgawker! SOO GOOD! When I make this at my BBQ’S, the praise is overflowing. I’ll never stop using this! Thanks so much!

  • Jen

    Awesome! Thanks for the fab feedback! Happy BBQing! 🙂