Grilled Vietnamese Chicken Wings For Christmas

These chicken wings are marinated overnight in a flavorful Vietnamese lemongrass marinade, then cooked to perfection on the grill. You may also cook them in the oven, but I like the flavor of charcoal!

After only sharing Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls a couple of days ago, I may be overdoing it on Vietnamese food this week. But I’m not going to apologies since it’s one of my favorite cuisines, and this meal encapsulates what my site is all about: sharing delicious, easy-to-make food from all over the world.

The marinade for these wings is a traditional basis for many Vietnamese meals, and it strikes the perfect combination of sweet, salty, spicy, and tangy flavors that characterize Vietnamese cuisine.

Lemongrass is a frequent ingredient in many Vietnamese recipes. It has a distinct aroma that is citrus but earthy, transforming an otherwise traditional marinade into something quite extraordinary.

Frozen lemongrass, which can be found at major Asian grocery shops, is a terrific trick I learned from a Vietnamese acquaintance. I didn’t believe that was “okay,” but it appears to be! When I had to go to Asian grocery stores solely to acquire lemongrass, I utilized this terrific trick for years.

Lemongrass is now widely available in supermarkets, and it is surprisingly inexpensive (for Australian readers, Harris Farms is my recommendation, generally under $1.00 per stalk).

Because lemongrass is pretty tricky, either cut it into significant bits to pluck out later once the marinade has been imbued with the flavors or finely slice it.

Frozen lemongrass is usually finely chopped, which is acceptable in place of the slices as suggested in the recipe.

If you can’t locate lemongrass, I’m afraid you won’t be able to make it work with simply lemon. Without it, you won’t get the “Vietnamese” flavor in this; instead, you’ll get more of a Thai taste. If you don’t have lemongrass but still want to try this, add one lime’s zest to the marinade and call it Thai Chicken Wings!

Because I enjoy the flavor of charcoal, I cooked this on the outside grill. However, it can also be baked, so I’ve included instructions for both. This is a fantastic summer grilling dish to add to your repertoire!


Grilled Vietnamese Chicken Wings

  • chicken wings, chopped into wingettes and drumettes, 2 lb / 1 kilogram
  • Grilling oil is a versatile ingredient that may be used in various ways.


  • Four garlic cloves, minced
  • a quarter cup of lime juice (2 to 3 limes)
  • a quarter cup of fish sauce
  • Two tablespoons soy sauce
  • Three tablespoons brown sugar
  • Two tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Two lemongrass stalks

Garnishes (Optional)

  • One finely chopped birds eye chili
  • Leaves of coriander


  • Using the side of your knife, bruise the lemongrass (or a pestle). Only slice the white section into 0.5cm / 1/4″ thick slices, thick enough to remove any that adhere to the wings afterwards.
  • Combine the lemongrass and the rest of the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir well.
  • In a ziplock bag, combine the marinade and the wings. Seal the bag after removing as much air as possible. To uniformly distribute the marinade, massage it into the wings.
  • Marinate for at least a few hours, if not all day.
  • Pour the wings and marinade into a large mixing bowl when ready to cook.

Cooking On The Grill

Grilled Vietnamese Chicken Wings

  • Preheat the grill on medium-low with a bit of coating of oil. The wings cook more uniformly on the grill than on the hotplate side.
  • Remove the wings from the marinade and grill until thoroughly done. If you cook the wings on high heat, the sugar will burn before the insides are done.
  • Remove the wings from the grill just before they’re done, throw them in the marinade, return them to the grill, and sear them on both sides quickly.

Cooking In The Oven

  • Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/350 degrees Fahrenheit and position the rack in the upper third of the oven.
  • Place a rack on top of a baking tray that has been lined with baking paper.
  • Remove the wings from the marinade and place them evenly over the rack.
  • Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top, then flip the wings and baste.
  • Return the wings to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes, or until dark golden brown.
  • Return to the oven for another 5 minutes after turning and basting.

To Serve

  • Serve with coriander leaves and chili slices on top (optional).

Recipe Note:

Grilled Vietnamese Chicken Wings

1. They won’t be “Vietnamese Chicken Wings” if you can’t get lemongrass. Lemongrass is the only way to go; regular lemons won’t do. Instead, I recommend adding the zest of 1 lime and calling it “Thai Chicken Wings”!

2. Fish sauce is an essential component of Vietnamese cuisine. In this recipe, there is no alternative for it.

3. I throw the wings in the marinade right before they are grilled on the BBQ rather than basting them since basting causes the skin to burn too much (because of the sugar in the marinade).

Nutrition Fact

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