Crispy Chicken Wings with Seven-Spice-Powder Marinade

Photographs: Hawk Krall

Chicken wings are always a pleasure in a hands-on, lots of napkins needed sort of way, whether you're dousing them with Frank's Red Hot, marinating them in fish sauce or tossing them with chile and tahini. They're a personal favorite of mine, so I seize pretty much any opportunity to make them at home.

When I came across these Crispy Chicken Wings with Seven-Spice-Powder Marinade in The Japanese Grill by Harris Salat and Tadashi Ono, I had a good feeling.

The wings are marinated in soy, sesame oil, and shichimi togarashi, a Japanese seven-spice blend that gets its flavor from Sichuan pepper, chili, roasted orange peel, and sesame seeds. It's a heady, aromatic blend of flavors that seeps deep into the wings and chars up beautifully when grilled, keeping the wings super moist and flavored through and through. Unlike other wing preparations these guys are basted during the grilling process adding even more salty spiced goodness. There's no need for any sort of auxiliary dipping sauce.

While the recipe doesn't specify any specific marinating time, it's a case of the longer the better. I left mine in the marinade for around six hours and that was just enough time to make sure every wing had a chance to soak up those wonderful soy-sesame flavors.

Reprinted with permission from The Japanese Grill by Harris Salat and Tadashi Ono. Copyright © 2011. Published by Ten Speed Press. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 80 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1/2 cup sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons shichimi togarashi (Japanese seven spice blend)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 pounds chicken wings


  1. Whisk together the sesame oil, shichimi togarashi, soy sauce, and salt in a bowl to make the marinade. Pour three-fourths of the marinade onto a baking dish or rimmed sheet pan; reserve the rest. Lay the wings in the marinade and flip them 4 times to generously coat all over. Marinate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

  2. Preheat a grill to high. Grill the wings for about 8 minutes, flipping about every 1 minute and brushing on the reserved marinade after each turn. The wings are ready when they are sizzling and browned. Serve immediately.

Special equipment