Yuzu Pao Hot Wings

Firey Yuzu PAO Hot Wings!

Firey Yuzu PAO Hot Wings!

These Yuzu PAO Hot Wings will kick your Buffalo Wings’ butt!

We’ve been on a quest for the best hot wings recipe in the world for the past several years. If this isn’t it, it’s pretty darn close. After tinkering with the recipe for the past few weeks (a rough job, but somebody has to do it), it’s finally just right.

Hot, but not too hot, with a tangy citrus edge and just a hint of sweetness, these wings are guaranteed to be a hit with any crowd. The recipe is easy to scale up for any size gathering, too. (Hmmmm… Superbowl party?)

Red & Green Yuzu PAO

Red & Green Yuzu PAO

This recipe differs from the usual Buffalo Wings preparation in a couple of major ways.  First, it uses only one tablespoon of Smoked Olive Oil instead of the usual drenching in gobs of melted butter.  Not only is OUR version healthier, it tastes better too.  Sure, sure, butter is great and all that, but the warm, toasty-smoky, olive-rich flavor of smoked olive oil is fantastic!  Second, our hot sauce of choice is the amazing Red Yuzu PAO, instead of the usual Tabasco sauce.  Now, to be clear, Tabasco sauce is fantastic – it’s just that Yuzu PAO is in a whole ‘nother class.

Yuzu PAO Red is a mouth-watering chile sauce made in a very similar style to the world-famous Huy Fong Sriracha.  You’ll notice the similarity in the bottle and that’s probably not by mistake.  The difference is in the ingredients: sun ripened red chile peppers, real yuzu zest and juice (a unique & much-loved Japanese citrus), a little sugar, honey, vinegar & salt.   The flavor can be described as spicy hot, with sweetly fruity, floral notes – and a definite tangy yuzu citrus edge.

Yuzu PAO comes in both Red & Green varieties and the difference is not just in the color.  Each version has a distinctively different flavor profile – the Red packs the warm, potent heat of sun-ripened red chiles, and the Green, while just as hot, has an herbaceous character reminiscent of a Thai Green Curry.  Like me, I’m sure you’ll find uses for both.

  • 2 lb chicken wings (fresh is by far the best, but frozen will work too)
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Smoked Olive Oil
  • ¼ cup Red Yuzu Pao
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Remove the tips of the wings with a pair of kitchen shears. Reserve for making stock if desired. Separate the wings at the joint with the shears or a sharp knife.

(NOTE: Updated February 2016  After making these fantastic wings dozens of times since first coming up with this recipe, we’ve decided that it’s not really necessary – or even desirable – to remove the wing tips or separate the wing sections at all.  We LOVE the way the wing tips become crisp and crunchy in the oven.  But it’s up to you and your personal preference.)

Toast the coriander, cumin and cinnamon in a dry pan over medium heat until fragrant. Grind the toasted spices finely in a spice or coffee grinder. Combine the spices, salt and smoked olive oil in a non-reactive bowl large enough to fit the wings.  Add the wings and toss gently. Cover and refrigerate for 4-8 hours (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread the marinated wings on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 1 – 1 ¼ hours or until the wings are tender and golden brown.

In a small bowl, combine the Red Yuzu Pao and the honey.  Place the cooked wings in a large bowl and toss with the Yuzu Pao/honey mixture and half of the parsley.

Serve hot with the rest of the parsley sprinkled on top.

Serves 2

Calories per serving 480. Calories from fat 340.


Curly Divider


Many of the ingredients used in this recipe, and other recipes on the Earthy Delights Blog, can be purchased online at our retail website, Earthy.com. We welcome you to visit the Earthy.com website to view our extensive selection of hard-to-find ingredients and our complete Recipe Collection of over 500 tested recipes.

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12 comments on “Yuzu Pao Hot Wings
  1. Looks so spicy hot! I am not a fan of all things spicy but i admit there are times you need to be ready with spicy chicken wings recipe to serve your guests. Thanks for sharing. Page, bookmarked!

    • Thank you! As you have probably guessed, we like recipes that are fun, delicious and uncomplicated. I (and my waistline) can personally guarantee that every single one has been strenuously taste-tested!

    • You could use any good quality, full-flavored Spanish olive oil with success. I was skeptical of the smoked olive oil at first, but it is wonderful. The quality of the olive oil is excellent, and the infusion of real smoke does add remarkable flavor. Highly recommended if you can find it!

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    • Jeff, unfortunately, I don’t think that Yuzu Pao is distributed in Japan (hard to believe, isn’t it?). But I have made this recipe very successfully substituting a blend of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and Red Yuzu Kosho. Yuzu Kosho is a paste made of yuzu zest, ground Japanese chilis and sea salt and is readily available in most Japanese markets. It comes in red & green varieties and packs tremendous spicy/salty/citrusy punch. Great stuff!

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