Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Green Infused Thai Chili Wings with Coconut Milk Ranch Dip

The great experiment of whether I could add greens into chicken wings started off with a bang. See this is a difficult challenge because of the vegetable world, I don't like a lot of greens. Or so I thought anyway. So my goal was to not make this gross. Turns out, you can add lots of vegetables to wings and elevate the flavour.

My first thought on making green wings is that the blender can be my friend by whizzing up a bunch of veggies. The key is to make sure the dominant flavours are tasty. And when I first thought green wings, my mind went to St Patty's Day, but then I didn't know how to make that happen. So what else is tasty that is green? What about Thai Green curry? Sounds good, but I'm not a huge curry fan, but the basic idea was born.


  • about 20 wings
  • 1 3oz bag of Wasabi Pea crisps*


  • 6 Spicy Beans (Extreme Beans)*
  • 1 Banana Pepper*
  • 1 Pablano Pepper*
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper*
  • 1 Hot Green Pepper*
  • 1 handful Thai Peppers (use double for more heat)*
  • 2 Green Onion*
  • 1/4 Red Onion
  • Seaweed Salad (seaweed, wheat, soy & sesame, may contain fish, crustaceans, egg. mustard, sulphite & milk)*
  • 1 spoonful Ginger Garlic & Chili
  • 2-3 cups of Kale*
  • 3/4 cup Edamame (shelled)*
  • 1.5 spoonful Wasabi Horseradish*
  • juice from 2 limes*
  • teaspoon of Sesame Oil
  • 2-3 dashes of Vinegar
  • 2/3 can of Coconut Milk

* indicates some green I incorporated!

I was surprised and happy how much green I got in there!

The base for my marinade were Thai Green Chilis. These suckers are hot - generally the smaller the pepper, the hotter it is. These did not disappoint. I only put a handful in because I was afraid of the heat for people who are not me, but I really think you can get a lot more in.

I also cut the stems off all the peppers. Cut them up, but what's great about this is that everything only needs a rough chop to get it in . . . the blender is going to do all the work, so you save time!

Everything whizzed up and the marinade is ready. I also added a little water to just help the blender along. It was fresh and fragrant - the lime, garlic, and peppers tasted pretty good.

Now if you wanted to make this more 'Thai' like, you could go ahead and add cilantro to this. I hate cilantro, so there is none in mine.

Then, pour it all over the wings.

There are two things I should have done that I can tell you to do now:

  1. Score the wings - take a sharp knife and just slice up the wings to allow the marinade to really get in there.
  2. Marinating length: I only marinaded these for 1.5 hours because I ran out of time, but I recommend sticking these in the fridge for like 3 hours.

When I was first conceptualizing this recipe, I thought about having them in like a Thai curry soup, but while the flavour would be good, the texture of soaked wings is not my thing. You want a crunch or crackle when you bite into them, especially since I wasn't deep frying these wings.

 So I thought about taking Wasabi pees and crushing them up. I couldn't find at the store regular Wasabi peas, but I found something even better: green pea crisps (wasabi & ranch flavoured).

So I poured the bag into a ziplock and used a mallet to crush them up.

After I did this I asked myself, why didn't you just do this in the original bag? I then transferred them to a bowl to dip the wings.

After marinading the wings, I tried to shake the sauce off the wings, which were starting to turn green. I then rolled them around in the Wasabi pea breading. It looked really cool. The only problem was by the time the last wings went into the breading, the pea mixture got wet from the wing marinade and it started to clump up.

I put the wings on wire baking rack and put them into the oven at 425. Now I don't have access to one, but this would be AWESOME over a fire grill. But for now, bake for 30 mins, then flip and keep cooking.

While that's baking, I made up a greened Coconut Milk Ranch Dip


  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/3 can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 spoonful of Garlic Powder
  • 1 spoonful of Onion Powder
  • Kosher Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste (few pinches each)
  • 1-2 dashes of Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 Dashes of Wasabi Horseradish Sauce*
  • 5-6 Chives diced*
  • 2-3 springs of Dill diced*

To make a connection to the Thai wings, I used coconut milk to add to the mayo. Also wasabi horseradish, but this is clearly an Asian connection as wasabi is Japanese, and I don't think exists in Thai cooking usually.

Whisk it all together and then I put it in the fridge until the wings were ready.

So after an hour the wings were ready. Out they came and I was like, this isn't like anything I've seen before.

While baking is not my preferred method of wing cooking, these roasted pieces actually looked good and crunchy.

I had 2 taste-testers come over and act as guinea pigs. I asked for their honest opinions of the wings. Abbas showed up first and he was hungry and ready to try. He sampled them and was expecting some heat after my original description of the Thai chilies. He said they were not hot and that he could eat a ton of these. Overall, they were mild, and if you added the dipping sauce, it dominated the flavour.

Max showed up next and dove in. His first comment was that he too would have prefered more heat, but he was digging all the layers of the wings; The fact that the wings were baked, but still crispy from the coating, while delivering degrees of flavour from the marinade and the coating. He happily finished off the last of the wings.

Personally I found the wings not as strong in flavour as I expected. On its own, it was a very savoury, earthy wing that seemed like it would fit well on chilly evening. The dip was creamy and the fresh dill and chives really made it pop. I was worried the coconut milk would dominate and possibly taint this ranch, but it was a background player. If the wings had been hotter, this would have been a great cool down accessory.

There are 3 things that I think would really improve this recipe:

  1. Used way more Thai Chili Peppers
  2. Scored the wings/marinaded longer
  3. Squirted some lime over the wings before serving.

I would definitely say that this experiment was a success. Using the right balance of powerful flavours and mild greens meant that vegetables could be successfully incorporated into what is generally considered unhealthy bar food. 

These wings were crispy, savory, and were working on multiple levels. The dip was tasty. I can't wait to see how my other experiments go.

Power Up with Greens: Sobeys & LOTW
Taco Pepper Powder Wings
Jalapeno Popper Wings

The author has received consideration from Sobeys or Sobeys’ media partners in exchange for this content.  Sobeys has not reviewed these claims and is not responsible for the content.


Chris said...

When you say Thai chiles are you talking about the small birds eye chiles? Wooowee that would be hot to me. The Thai chiles that I get from our chile dude at the farmers market pack a punch.

Lord of the Wings said...

@Chris - yes, the small birds eye chilis. They were HOT on their own but the heat was lost in the mixture. Next time, more chilis!