Lazi Chicken Wings

Chili crisp queen Jing Gao turns a fiery, tingly Sichuan classic into party-ready finger food.

  • Serves


  • Prep

    12 hours

  • Cook

    1 hour


By Jing Gao

Published on January 31, 2024

If you’ve ever been to a Sichuan restaurant, you’ve probably had lazi chicken, an iconic dish in the regional cuisine. Chunks of golden fried chicken are tossed in a fiery wok and served amidst a sea of scorching red chiles and Sichuan peppercorns. Sichuan chefs usually opt for bone-in chicken, but Jing Gao, founder of chili crisp brand Fly By Jing, likes to serve hers as wings, which are a bit easier to find in a pile of peppers. A gratuitous amount of chilies and Sichuan peppercorns accompany this dish, but worry not, they’re not meant to be eaten—they’re only there to impart depth of flavor and heat. Sichuan chefs often fry their own peanuts for lazi chicken, but Gao uses the brand Huang Fei Hong’s spicy nuts as a shortcut.

Adapted with permission from The Book of Sichuan Chili Crisp: Spicy Recipes and Stories from Fly By Jing’s Kitchen by Jing Gao, copyright © 2023. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

Featured in “A New Kind of Asian Grocer Has Arrived,” by Megan Zhang.


For the mala spice mix (makes about ½ cup):

  • ⅓ cup dried erjingtiao chiles, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. cumin seeds
  • 1½ tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. whole cloves
  • 2 black cardamom pods
  • 2 star anise
  • 3 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt

For the chicken wings:

  • 2 lb. chicken wings
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 cups plus 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil, such as peanut
  • ½ cup dried erjingtiao chiles, cut into 1-in. pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. whole Sichuan peppercorns
  • 3 scallions, green parts removed, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish


Step 1

Make the mala spice mix: In a medium wok or skillet set over medium-low heat, toast the chiles, cumin, fennel, cloves, cardamom, and star anise until fragrant, 3–4 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool to room temperature.

Step 2

When the mixture is cool, add the sugar and salt. Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, grind the mixture into a fine powder. (Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.)

Step 3

Make the chicken wings: To a large bowl, add the chicken wings and salt and rub to evenly coat. Into a large wok or pot fitted with a deep-fry thermometer, add 4 cups of the oil and turn the heat to medium-high. When the temperature reads 250°F, add the wings to the wok and fry, working in batches, until cooked through and lightly golden, 10–15 minutes per batch. Transfer the wings to a large paper towel-lined platter, arranging them in a flat layer. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 12 hours, up to 24 hours. Reserve the oil in the wok.

Step 4

When ready to re-fry, set the same wok over high heat, with the reserved oil in it. When the temperature reads 400°F, return the wings to the wok and fry until golden brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer the wings to a cooling rack and dust the mala spice mix evenly over them. (Discard the oil.)

Step 5

Use a paper towel to wipe the wok clean, then heat the remaining oil over medium-high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add the chiles, Sichuan peppercorn, and scallions and stir-fry, tossing continuously, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Return the wings to the wok, lightly dust with more mala spice mix to taste, and toss gently to coat. Transfer to a large platter, garnish with cilantro, and serve.

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