This Teriyaki Chicken Wings recipe gives you perfectly cooked wings that are crispy on the outside, coated in a sweet, tangy and slightly sticky teriyaki sauce. Recreating restaurant-quality wings at home has never been easier!
Having an array of finger foods is exactly what people want on game day, whether you’re playing a family game of cards or you’re watching a ball game on tv.
As you can imagine, this recipe is customizable to any wing sauce. Once you have perfectly air-fried wings, whichever sauce you use is up to you!
This time, we are using our tried and true tested air fryer wing recipe but instead of tossing them in Buffalo Sauce, I adapted a teriyaki sauce recipe I learned from Jet Tila. Yes, THE Jet Tila, a famous Chef who has also appeared as a judge on many food network shows. So you know it has tobe delicious!
I took many classes with him in Los Angeles way before he became famous. He’s an amazing Chef and an incredible teacher. He had a way of teaching that made him a student favorite. And his food is seriously the best.
Teriyaki is a traditional Japanese cooking technique whereby food is grilled with a glaze of soy sauce, mirin, and sugar, giving it a sticky, shiny, sweet, and salty coating.
Brining Chicken Wings for Asian Wings
The difference between marinating and brining is that brining is meant to provide you with meat that is super moist. Whereas marinating is more for permeating flavor into the meat.
This particular brine does both!
Chicken wings are small so they don’t need a lot of time in a brine, but it’s a guarantee the chicken meat will be very juicy and moist. To really accent the Asian flavor use soy sauce, and some freshly grated garlic and ginger to brine.
What Kind of Wings to Use to Make Air Fryer Wings with a Teriyaki Sauce
Normally I’ll use any fresh wing whether it be the drummette or the flats (sometimes called the flappers).
The drummettes look like mini drumsticks you used to get as kids and the flats have two bones on each side with a bit of meat running in the middle of them.
With this delicious tangy sauce, I like to try and get all drummies so there is plenty of meat on them to be able to drizzle the sauce over– but by all means, if you like the flats, they will work just fine! (Want to make a larger portion of teriyaki sauce to have on hand? The tangy teriyaki sauce recipe is right here!)
If you’re serving a crowd, it might be a good idea to have an assortment because some people may prefer one type over the other.
I Don’t Have Mirin What Can I Use Instead?
You can use rice vinegar but will need to add a couple of pinches of sugar to counterbalance the sourness of the vinegar. You could also use a sweet marsala wine.
Frozen Wings Work for Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer If You Do This
You can use frozen wings for your game day party as long as you plan ahead and make sure they are completely defrosted. If they are fully defrosted they will cook evenly just like the fresh ones.
Ingredients For Teriyaki Chicken Wings
- Chicken wings – Drummettes preferable.
- Soy sauce
- Garlic cloves – Zested (or minced)
- Ginger – Zested (or minced)
- Sake – Sake is a brewed alcohol from fermented rice. It has a subtly sweet flavor with hints of alcohol.
- Mirin – A cooking wine.
- Soy sauce – Low sodium will work.
- Brown sugar
- Cornstarch – Needed to thicken up the sauce to help with coating the wings.
Mirin is a cooking wine that gives a sweet-salty taste to the sauce, as does the sugar and soy sauce. All these combining flavors are a winning combination in this teriyaki wing sauce.
If you’re looking for a mouthwatering marinade made from scratch, this one is it!
How To Make Them
- To begin, you’ll want to brine the wings in soy sauce, water, zested ginger and garlic for about 30 minutes ahead of time. This way they’ll be ready when you’re ready.
- Remove them from the brine, rinse them completely and then pat dry with paper towels.
- Spray the inside of the air fryer and any shelves you’re using, with cooking spray. Put wings in the air fryer spreading out evenly and leaving a little room between them for even cooking. If you have a shelf you can use that to do more at a time. You may need to work in batches.
- If your air fryer is cold, heat it to temperature first before adding the wings. Cook wings, turning halfway. While the chicken is cooking, make the teriyaki sauce.
- Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
- In a small saucepan, add sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar as well as the cornstarch mixture. Turn heat to medium and whisk. The sugar will dissolve and the mixture will start to thicken. At this point, remove from heat and set aside until the wings are ready.
- Once the wings are done, grab a serving bowl and toss 1/2 cup of the sauce with the wings, sprinkle with green onions, and serve immediately.
Napkins are optional. People may just be licking their fingers clean!
How to Make Chicken Wings in the Air Fryer Perfectly Every Single Time
- Don’t skip the brining. It’s a small amount of time but it guarantees juicy wings!
- Spray the basket before putting the wings in. This really helps with making sure they don’t stick.
- Be sure and use a paper towel to fully dry the wings before placing them into the bottom of the air fryer.
- Don’t overcrowd the wings. If you overcrowd them they will steam more than crisp and you’ll get soggy skin. Ew. It’s better to cook in batches and have the perfect wings.
- Every air fryer is a little different so you might need to cook them a little longer or a little less. These times are guidelines but this recipe has worked in 3 brands of air fryers I tested them in.
- If you buy really large drummettes the time will need to be increased. I usually test one wing to make sure that when I cut into it with a fork that the meat is opaque and the juices run clear.
Common Questions when making this Homemade Air Fryer Wing Recipe
You can use a store-bought sauce but often they are really too thin and don’t coat the wings well. To fix that add some cornstarch to a couple of tablespoons of water to create a slurry then add that to the teriyaki sauce in a small saucepan. Heat until the sauce starts to thicken. Let’s call it semi-made from scratch ;
You will probably have about a cup leftover which will keep in the fridge for up to 10 days in a sealed container. Use this sauce as a glaze for salmon, shrimp, or chicken. You can even use it to make yourself a teriyaki stir fry!
You can bake them or fry them in oil. If you are looking for a crispy baked wing recipe I have this one that was our go-to favorite for Football Party Wings
More Football Party Foods you might Enjoy
- Garlic Parmesan Wings
- Korean Chicken Wings
- Shrimp Dip
- Pub Style Cheese Dip
- Ham n Cheese Sliders (the sauce is amazing!)
- Crack Dip
- 2 pounds Chicken Wings- Drummettes Preferable
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 3 cups Water
- 2 garlic cloves, zested
- 1" Ginger, zested
- 2 ounces Sake
- 3 ounces Mirin
- 4 ounces Soy Sauce (low sodium ok)
- 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
- 1 Tablespoon Water
- Brine chicken wings in soy sauce, water, zested ginger and garlic for 30 minutes.
- Remove from brine, rinse then completely dry the wings with paper towels.
- Place wings into the air fryer with a little room in between. Use a second shelf to do more. (depending on the size of your air fryer, you may need to cook in batches)
- Cook at 390° for 25 minutes. Turn at 12 minutes.
- If your air fryer is cold, you will want to heat it to temperature for 3 minutes, then add the wings.
- While the chicken is cooking make the teriyaki sauce. Mix cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
- In a small saucepan add sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch mixture. Turn heat to medium and whisk until the sugar dissolves and starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and reserve until ready for the wings.
- Once the wings are done, toss 1/2 cup of the sauce with the wings and then sprinkle with green onion. Serve immediately.
- You will have approximately 1 cup of sauce leftover. This sauce will keep in the fridge for 7 - 10 days if kept in a sealed container. Serve with shrimp, chicken or salmon.
Note, if your wings are really large and meaty you may need to cook longer. All air fryers run a little differently.
This Teriyaki Sauce recipe is slightly adapted from Chef Jet Tila's. He taught me this when I took a cooking class from him.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 307Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 65mgSodium: 1125mgCarbohydrates: 16gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 15g
This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. Please calculate your own nutritional information if you want it exact to what you make and use my calculations as a guide only.