Get ready for the crispiest, most delectable Air fryer Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken Wings you’ve ever tasted! Imagine wings so perfect, coated in a luscious sweet chili and garlic sauce. The best part? No marinating required and just 10 minutes of prep time. Oh, yes, please!

And if you’re in the mood for a BBQ twist or prefer drumsticks, check out my Vietnamese Grilled Chicken Drumsticks—a fabulous alternative!

Feature image shows fish sauce wings air fried to crispy and tossed with Vietnamese sweet chili sauce served on a white plate.
Healthier, fast to make – Crispy Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken wings


Vietnamese fish sauce wings (also known as Cánh Gà Chiên Nước Mắm) is a Vietnamese fried chicken wings dish with a crispy crust and a sweet and savory fish sauce glaze. Today’s version is made simpler and healthier with air fry and oven bake options.

Photo shows ingredients used to make Vietnamese air fryer chicken wings.
  • Chicken wings: The star of the show, providing a juicy, meaty base that crisps up beautifully in the air fryer. I use cut-up chicken wings.
  • Coarse sea salt: Enhances the natural flavors of the chicken and adds a crunch to the skin.
  • Black pepper: Adds a mild heat and depth, rounding out the flavors.
  • Garlic powder: Offers a savory note that complements chicken perfectly.

Vietnamese Sweet Chili Garlic Dipping Sauce

Similar to my Vietnamese Dipping Sauce (Nuoc Cham) in a sticker texture to adhere well to the wings.
Serrano red chili pepper or Thai chilies: Bring a spicy kick that lights up the sweet chili sauce.

Photo shows a close shot of the Vietnamese sweet chili garlic sauce in a bowl
1. Make Viet Chili Sauce
  • Fresh Garlic: Introduces a pungent, aromatic layer to the sauce, enriching its complexity.
  • Lime or key lime juice: Adds a zesty tang, balancing the sweetness of the jam and the saltiness of the fish sauce.
  • Orange-peach jam, keto honey, regular honey, or maple syrup: These sweeteners lend a unique, fruity sweetness that contrasts with the savory and spicy flavors.
  • Fish sauce: Provides a burst of umami, grounding the sauce with a deep, salty-savory character. I use Red Boat fish sauce.
  • Toasted sesame oil: Imparts a nutty aroma and enriches the sauce with its distinctive flavor.
  • Chopped cilantro or scallions: Adds a fresh, herbaceous note that brightens up the dish and adds color.

Substitutions and variations

  • Chicken wing seasonings: Try sprinkling the wings with chicken bouillon or shiitake mushroom bouillon for an extra flavor boost. My homemade chicken bouillon powder is another great option to experiment with.
  • Sweetener: Brown sugar works well as a substitute, offering a nice balance to the fish sauce’s salty and funky notes. Just remember to dissolve it thoroughly in the sauce and adjust it to your taste.

How to make Vietnamese chicken wings in air fryer

Now that we’ve got our ingredients ready, and know all about the substitutions and variations we can play with, let’s dive into the heart of cooking these delectable fish sauce wings in an air fryer.

Ingredients prepared before start cooking
1. Season the wings
  1. Prep the Wings: Pat the wings dry with a paper towel. This is key! We want them as dry as possible for maximum crispiness. Season them evenly with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Don’t be shy; get your hands in there and make sure those spices are sticking.
Air fry the wings to golden crispy
2. Air fry the wings
  1. Air Fry: Arrange the wings in the fryer basket so they’re not touching. We’re looking for that golden, crispy perfection, which means they need space. Air fry at 400°F for 24 minutes, flipping them halfway through. No air fryer? No problem! Check the notes below for oven instructions.
Mix well the sweet chili garlic dipping sauce
3. Make the sauce
  1. Sauce: While the wings are doing their thing, whip up the sweet chili sauce. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. The combination of sweetness from the jam and the tang from the lime juice with the kick of chili is what makes these wings stand out. Bring It All Together: Once the wings are done, place them on a serving plate and drizzle them with your freshly made sauce. Add a sprinkle of chopped herbs for that extra pop of freshness and color.
A landscape view of the finishing dish
4. Drizzle the sauce over!
  1. Bring It All Together: Once the wings are done, place them on a serving plate and drizzle them with your freshly made sauce. Add a sprinkle of chopped herbs for that extra pop of freshness and color.

Side note: The traditional Vietnamese chicken wings are deep-fried in high heat. The wings are marinated with fish sauce then drain and toss in either cornstarch or rice flour. The sauce is simmered in a small saucepan over moderate heat until it’s thickened then combined with the wings. The most popular version is from a Thai restaurant named Pok Pok by Chef Andy Ricker in Portland.

Tips for using fish sauce in cooking

  • Overcoming Fish Sauce Fear: If the thought of fish sauce sends you running, this recipe is your golden ticket. It’s a friendly introduction to the magical umami punch fish sauce adds to Vietnamese cuisine, without the overwhelming aroma.
  • Fish Sauce 101: Unlike other Asian cuisines that lean on soy sauce, Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos treasure fish sauce. It’s their secret to that irresistible umami flavor, enhancing everything from meats to veggies.
  • Balancing Act: To master fish sauce in your cooking, remember these key points:
  • Combine with sweet (think sugar, honey, maple syrup) and sour (like lime juice) to balance its boldness.
  • Dilute with water for a perfect marinade or dipping sauce, eliminating the need for extra salt or soy sauce.
  • Storing Fish Sauce: Once opened, keep your fish sauce in the fridge. This way, it stays good for several months, ensuring you always have this flavorful ingredient ready for your next dish.

How to make ahead, store, and reheat

Let’s talk about how you can get ahead of the game with these Vietnamese Chicken Wings, making your meal prep as smooth as a breeze.

  • Make-ahead: Whip up the sweet chili garlic sauce beforehand; it’s a game-changer. Since the wings cook up fast, save that task for the big day to enjoy them at their crispiest.
  • Storage: Keep wings and sauce separate to maintain their best quality. Wings stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days but aim to use the sauce within 3 days to capture its peak flavors.
  • Reheat: Bring wings back to life in the air fryer at 380°F (193 °C) for 8 minutes, flipping once. Then, mix them with the sauce you’ve kept chilled for that just-cooked taste

What to serve with fish sauce wings

Finding the perfect partners to accompany our Vietnamese wings can elevate your meal from great to unforgettable. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Tips for success

  • Pat the Wings Dry: Before seasoning, make sure your chicken wings are thoroughly patted dry. This is key to getting that crispy exterior we all love in a chicken wing.
  • Season Well: Don’t be shy with the seasoning. The coarse sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder form the flavor foundation. Press the spices onto the wings to make sure they stick.
  • Single Layer in the Air Fryer: Arrange the wings in a single layer with space between them in the air fryer basket. This allows hot air to circulate freely, ensuring even cooking and crispiness.
  • Sauce Timing: To keep the wings crispy, toss them in the sweet chili garlic sauce just before serving. This preserves their texture while still enjoying the sauce’s flavor.
  • Proper Storage of Fish Sauce: Remember, after opening your fish sauce, store it in the fridge. It will last several months, ready for your next cooking adventure.
  • Balancing Flavors: When making the sauce, balance the umami of fish sauce with sweetness (honey, jam, or syrup) and acidity (lime juice). This creates a harmonious flavor profile that complements the chicken perfectly.
  • Freshness Matters: For the best flavor, use the sauce within 3 days of making it, and always store the wings and sauce separately if not serving immediately.
  • Reheating Like a Pro: Reheat leftovers in an air fryer to restore the wings’ crispy texture. Avoid microwaving, as it can make them soggy.
  • Healthy Cooking Options: For a healthier twist, you can air fry or bake the fish sauce chicken wings. Preheat your oven to 450°F (or 425°F with convection) and place the wings on a wire rack above a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning the sheet halfway through, for a deliciously crispy finish without the need for deep frying.


What is fish sauce used for in cooking?

Fish sauce adds a savory umami flavor to dishes, enhancing meats, soups, and vegetables with its complex, salty depth. It’s a staple in Southeast Asian cuisines for seasoning and marinades.

What makes sauce stick to wings?

Sauce sticks to wings better when they’re properly dried and crisped up. The sticky texture of sauces adheres well to the rough, crispy surface of the cooked chicken wings.

How to sauce wings and keep them crispy?

Toss the wings in sauce right before serving to maintain crispiness. Using a glaze that’s not overly watery helps the wings stay crispy longer even after saucing.

What balances fish sauce?

Sweet elements like sugar or honey and acidic components like lime juice balance fish sauce, softening its strong umami and salty flavors for a harmonious taste profile.

More healthy wings recipes you might like

If you’re craving more after those tasty chicken wings with fish sauce, you’re in luck! We’ve got a trio of equally delicious wing recipes that are sure to keep the flavor party going. Check these out:

  • Whole30 Chinese Chicken Wings: Enjoy a healthier twist on wings with this Whole30-approved recipe, featuring a tantalizing blend of spices that bring a burst of flavor without guilt.
  • Air Fryer Lemon Pepper Wings: Zesty, peppery, and irresistibly crispy, these wings cooked in an air fryer offer a tangy twist that’s both easy to make and delicious to eat.
  • Thai Chicken Wings Air Fryer: A simple and quick Thai-style chicken wings dish with a unique blend of Asian spices. Its savory, funky, and slightly spicy flavor is truly unforgettable.
A side shot shows crispy air fryer Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings with garlic bits and chili pepper on a white plate.
A side shot shows crispy air fryer Vietnamese fish sauce chicken wings with garlic bits and chili pepper on a white plate.
5 from 11 votes

Vietnamese Chicken Wings Air Fryer Recipe (Fish sauce wings)

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 34 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Author: ChihYu Smith
These Vietnamese fish sauce wings are made in an air fryer with sweet chili garlic sauce – healthy, crispy, air-fried and 10 minutes to prep!
Print Pin Rate


  • 1.5 lb chicken wings
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp garlic powder

For the sweet chili garlic sauce:

  • 1 whole serrano red chili pepper, or 1-2 Thai chilies
  • 0.1 oz clove garlic, finely minced, about 2 small cloves
  • 2 tbsp lime or key lime juice
  • 2-2.5 tbsp peach jam, keto honey, regular honey, or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp chopped cilantro, or scallions, plus more for garnish


  • Pat dry the wings. Season them with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Use your hands to press the spices onto the wings so they adhere well.
    Ingredients prepared before start cooking
  • Place the wings in the fryer basket in a single layer and with some small gap in-between. Air fryer at 400°F (204 °C) for 24 minutes total or until golden crispy. Flip the wings after 12 minutes so they are cooked on both sides.
    Air fry the wings to golden crispy
  • In the meantime, make the sauce in a bowl.
    Mix well the sweet chili garlic dipping sauce
  • Place the wings over a serving plate and pour the sauce over right before serving. Garnish with more chopped herbs.
    A landscape view of the finishing dish


  • No air fryer? Preheat the oven to 450F (425F convection). Place the wings over a wire rack lined with parchment. Bake for 30-40 minutes total. Rotate the sheet pan at half the baking point.
  • To keep the wings crispy, only toss them with the sauce right before serving. 
  • The nutritional label is estimated with orange peach jam.


Serving: 1serving, Calories: 232kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 18g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 71mg, Sodium: 1356mg, Potassium: 195mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 147IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 20mg, Iron: 1mg
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian American, Vietnamese
Keyword: Fish sauce wings, Vietnamese chicken wings, Vietnamese chicken wings air fryer
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?Tag @iheartumami.ny on Instagram and hashtag it #iheartumami.

Made a dish and love it? Please remember to rate the recipe and leave a comment in the comment section below! It helps my blog grow organically so I can continue sharing free and awesome content with you. Thank you!