Tamarind-Marinated Baked Chicken Wings


Chicken wings.  I have always loved them but I rarely ever order them at restaurants and even less frequently prepare them at home (this marks the third or fourth time, ever).  It’s not that I’m afraid the public will think me unrefined for eating them–they are considered finger food, after all–but I can’t ever seem to recruit a friend to enjoy them with me.  Not that I would need help eating an entire plate of chicken wings, mind you.

I have three favorite preparations:  classic Buffalo wings made with Frank’s Red Hot, the Korean wings from Heung Yuen in San Francisco that I haven’t had since I was a child but still fondly remember (fried until crispy then tossed in a sweet, salty, spicy sauce) and finally my sister’s version which she marinates in lemon juice and soy sauce then lightly breads before frying.  My middle sister learned how to prepare chicken wings this way when we were still kids.  Me? I was content just eating them.  It always amazes me how far ahead of the cooking curve she was compared to me.

Over the last few weeks I have seen chicken wings everywhere on the web so I finally gave in and decided to make my own despite knowing that my husband isn’t as crazy about them as I am.  I threw together some ingredients I already had:  tamarind concentrate, lime juice, fish sauce, olive oil, garlic and chili flakes and marinated the wings for two days (several hours up to a day is enough).

Tamarind is used as a souring agent in many South East Asian dishes and is usually paired with fish sauce to provide the needed bit of saltiness to balance out the flavors.  Baking the wings caramelized the tamarind mellowing its tartness, instead lending deep, bold flavor to the meat and skin that practically fell off the bone.  Next time I might add lemongrass to the marinade but don’t think I’m complaining at all how these turned out.  Since I hadn’t originally planned on publishing this recipe here, it was with much effort that I stopped eating so I could quickly photograph what was left of the batch.  I realized they were worthy of sharing with you after the first bite.

* I served the wings with snap peas roasted with pancetta, garlic, olive oil and salt (10 – 15 minutes in the oven).  



5.0 from 5 reviews
Tamarind Wings
Don't be afraid to get messy--these baked wings promise a lot of bold, Asian-inspired flavor.
Recipe type: Appetizer
  • 2 - 2½ pounds wings
  • ⅓ cup + 1 Tbsp tamarind concentrate
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • ⅓ cup oil
  1. Rinse and pat dry the wings and set aside
  2. Combine the marinade ingredients from the tamarind to the oil in a bowl then pour in a storage bag along with the wings.
  3. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least several hours or up to two days.
  4. When you're ready to bake them, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Arrange the wing pieces on a baking sheet (I lined mine with nonstick foil) and brush with more of the marinade. Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the wings are nicely browned and caramelized.
  5. Serve with lime wedges.




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  1. I’ve never tried chicken wings but I think these could convert me :). Love the Asian flavors in your marinade, and I must try the roasted snap peas!

  2. Looks delicious! I love tamarind I will have to try this!

  3. I am really intrigued! My husband is a wing lover… I will need to surprise him with this one, maybe even blindfold him and have him guessing what the secret ingredient is!

  4. We are BIG chicken wings fan! Especially my son and my husband… they can eat until the last piece. Tamarind marinate is such a fun idea. I even have Tamarind concentrate that I used for… I don’t remember but I have a jar. I need to get wings so that I can make this. Your photos of wings are drool worthy. I’m such a savory person getting excited over wings. 😀

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Nami, I’m totally the same way when I visit your blog! I do love wings and I should make them more often!

  5. Lora @cakeduchess says:

    Your wings look so tempting, Jean. I love the tamarind marinade. The flavor must be amazing. Lime and some spice…this is a perfect summer dinner to me. Save me some, please?:)xx

  6. Tamarind tastes wonderful and your chicken wings are incredibly tempting!



  7. I love chicken wings! I’ve never thought to prepare them with tamarind. It sounds fantastic!

  8. I would never get tired of eating wings, but I hardly ever make them either. These look just so appetizing and as another commenter said, “tempting.”

  9. I was looking at my jar of tamarind paste just yesterday (still unpacking kitchen stuff) – your marinade makes excellent use of it! Definitely trying this, Jean 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  10. I think my kids would love this since they love all things sour!!!!

  11. Incredible my friend, my brother would fall for this thank you 😀


  12. Jean – I am loving these wings! I have not cooked with tamarind and need to add this to my cooking library. I bet none of these little delights were left. Lovely photos!!!!

  13. These were baked?? The caramelization is just awesome – they look like they were grilled over charcoal! I’m glad you shared this recipe with us, because I am definitely bookmarking this!

  14. I’ve never made chicken wings at home. Yours sound and look mouthwatering. Thanks for sharing:)

  15. Oh yum! I was wondering what else I could use my tamarind concentrate for (aside from pad thai). My hubby isn’t a huge wing fan either, but I am sure he would love these!

  16. Michele Flores says:

    OMG! I LOVE tamarind, and have made these twice already! The hubby LOVES them, he used to only eat hot wings, but now he’s converted. Thank you so much, this makes me want to experiment with tamarind more on meats.

    • lemonsandanchovies says:

      Michelle, I’m so happy to hear this and thank you so much for taking the time to let me know. You’ve made my day!!! 🙂


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