Kirbie's Cravings

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

 a close-up photo of a bowl of salt and pepper chicken wings
Salt and Pepper chicken wings is a popular dish at Chinese restaurants that is often ordered in bulk for Asian potluck parties.

salt and pepper chicken wings in a white bowl
Wings are fried to a crunchy golden brown and then tossed in a garlic, red chili, white and black pepper mixture, that makes them flavorful and addictive. Another key ingredient in most restaurant versions is a generous douse of MSG.

Mr. K and I made our own homemade version this weekend. Because I don’t enjoy ingesting too much MSG, I used a very limited amount, but I also upped the other spices to compensate. The result was quite tasty. Mr. K did the frying and he’s getting better at it. He was really proud at how perfectly golden the wings came out. I won’t get into all the problems he caused in the process of getting ready to fry the wings…but it includes pouring boiling hot water into a plastic bowl, using the salad bowl to defrost the chicken…you get the picture.
 a close-up of salt and pepper chicken wings garnished with scallions
While grocery shopping, I came across this salt and pepper mixture, labeled “pepper salt for fried chicken.” It contains a mix of salt, white pepper, black pepper, and msg. I sprinkled a little of this on the wings at the end, giving them an extra bit of flair and keeping the msg dose to just this. If you can’t find this mix, you can just sprinkle white pepper, black pepper, salt and msg separately.

a container of salt and pepper seasoning for fried chicken

We really enjoyed these wings and they didn’t take very long to make. We’ll have to bring these to the next potluck we attend or make them for Superbowl Sunday.

a bowl of salt and pepper chicken wings

If you like this recipe you might like Karaage which is Japanese Fried Chicken.

Salt and Pepper Wings

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Dishes
Cuisine: Chinese
Salt and pepper chicken wings are fried to a crunchy golden brown and then tossed in a garlic, red chili, white and black pepper mixture, that makes them flavorful and addictive. They are a popular dish at Chinese restaurants that are often ordered in bulk for Asian potluck parties.
5 from 7 votes


  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cup water
  • 22 chicken drummettes
  • vegetable oil for frying

For the Seasoning

  • 1 head of garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bunch of green scallions finely chopped
  • 1-2 tsp red chili flakes
  • pepper salt seasoning for fried chicken (see note)


  • Pour enough vegetable oil into a pot so that it is about 2 inches deep. Heat on medium-high until oil reaches 350°F.
  • Whisk flour, cornstarch, and water in a medium-sized bowl until no lumps remain. Pat chicken wings dry with paper towel. Coat chicken in slurry and then place into hot oil.
  • The chicken will be fried twice. Work in small batches, about 6-8 pieces at a time. Fry for 8 minutes. The chicken will be a light golden color. Drain excess oil on paper towels. Set chicken aside to wait for the second fry. Continue until all your wings have been fried once for 8 minutes. Then, again working in small batches (though you can increase to about 8-10 pieces per batch since chickens are less likely to stick together now that they have a crunchy batter rather than the wet coating), fry chicken a second time for 8 minutes (chicken does not get coated again in the slurry!). Chicken should now be golden and crunchy. Set finished chicken aside. Repeat with remaining chicken until all wings have been fried twice.
  • In a wok, add olive oil and bring to medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add in garlic. Cook and stir until the aroma of garlic comes out and garlic is lightly browned (about 1 minute). Lower heat and add in chili flakes and scallions and cook about 1 minute on low heat. Turn off heat and place finished chicken into the wok and toss the chicken in the garlic mixture. Sprinkle white pepper mix evenly over chicken. Taste and adjust as needed.


Look for salt and pepper seasoning at Asian markets or you can make your own by mixing 2 parts black pepper with 1 part each of white pepper and salt. The white pepper adds a lot of flavor without making it too spicy.

The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.

Did you make this recipe?I'd love to see it! Mention @KirbieCravings and tag #kirbiecravings!

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84 comments on “Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings”

  1. I made this chicken using this recipe and it turned out delicious!!!! My kids were missing it since we now live overseas but I’m so happy I’m able to give them a taste of home. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  2. Thanks for the recipe! This is one of our family faves, going to try it real soon!

  3. For the Second fry how long do you let the wing cook for?

  4. Definitely a keeper! Tastes just like the wings from my favorite Chinese place. I omitted the msg and used boneless chicken thighs since that’s what I had on hand. Sooooooo good!

  5. I made these and added De-seeded jalapeño round slices to the wings when frying them.  They were delicious!

  6. Where can I find that salt and pepper?

  7. 16 minutes of frying time sounds like it would result in dried out chicken? I normally deep fry my wings for 7 minutes total, so I may try this cutting the cook time in half. I love salt and pepper wings, and look forward to trying the spice blend for the end. Our local Chinese restaurant adds jalapeños with seeds as well, tastes so good with a little bit of heat. Thanks for the recipe!

    • this recipe uses a double fry technique which is why the wings are fried so long. the idea is to render off the fat of the skin on the wings so that the skin itself is super crispy instead of just the batter around the wing. Because it uses a wet batter, your chicken will not dry out.

  8. Where can i find the spice mix? I live in San Diego, Ca and we have asian stores here, i.e, ranch 99 market, sea food city. It would be nice to know the brand name of the product which would make it easier to find.

    • this was purchased from Ranch 99. There is a picture of it in the post. The brand is written in Chinese characters which is why I didn’t list it.

    • I just made these and stopped at my local ranch 99 in Chula Vista off L st and they didn’t have the same one in picture but they have one in a clear bottle with green lid and red label that says “white pepper salt” and it was perfect! Just FYI in case you never found it

  9. Do I need to have cornstarch when making this or can I just coat my wings in flour?

  10. why does it need to be fried twice?

    • this recipe uses the twice-fried technique. It renders off all the fat from the skin so the skin itself is crispy instead of just the batter coating the skin.

  11. They turned out just like the ones I remember eating at Golden Chopsticks, Royal Mandarin, and many a potluck at work! We’ve been craving them ever since we moved Back East. Thank you for the recipe… Feels like I’m back in San Diego! 

    I have celiac disease and cannot eat wheat gluten. We substituted a gluten free flour blend in place of wheat flour. Couldn’t tell the difference.

  12. Is your 2:1:1 ratio in tablespoons? I live in Oklahoma and I’m from San Diego so finding a asian market is a bit difficult.

    • you can definitely do the ratios in tbsp and then save the rest. You will likely need less than 1 tbsp to sprinkle over the chicken.

  13. Our family is from San Diego and craves these salt pepper chicken wings from National City. Can’t find these anywhere we’ve been stationed – Georgia, Virginia, Kentucky. Nope! So we happily tried this recipe today with the 2:1:1 DIY salt pepper mixture. Even without the MSG these wings are like the addicting “crack” chicken wings we remember from Chopstix and Royal Mandarin. Until we retire from the Army and return to San Diego, we plan to make these again and again! Thank you for sharing your recipe.

  14. Fabulous I made them and they were just like you get from a Chinese Buffet probably better overall i recommend this recipe, A little tip when you first put them in the fryer five the basket a good wiggle to stop them sticking to the bottom

  15. I just made this today. I’ve ordered this dish many times in Chinese restaurants. This chicken was better than some of the restaurants I’ve eaten at. It was easy to make which is a big plus. This is the first time I’ve commented on a recipe. This is how good I thought it was. 

  16. Can these be done in the oven ? 

  17. I really enjoyed making this. So easy, simple and delicious. I noticed I didn’t need to fry the chicken a second time as it was cooked and golden the first time. It started to burn the ones I fried the second time so I stopped. Other than that loved it 

    • I’m glad it worked out for you! The first fry is enough for many people as the wings are already crispy (and traditional Chinese salt and pepper wings are usually only fried once). I like the double fried technique which is used in Korean fried chicken because it keeps the chicken crispier longer and renders more fat off of the skin of the wings.

  18. Delicious!! Will make again soon.

  19. So I made these wings tonight, followed the recipe almost exactly (I used lemon pepper instead of regular salt & added thinly sliced serrano peppers to the seasoning portion) and they were FANTASTIC!!! I was skeptical because the slurry had no seasoning but they were good! I probably will add a little seasoning next time though.

  20. Best wings I’ve ever cooked (and I’ve cooked a lot of wings). Super crispy and tasty. Great recipe! 

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