Tea-Grilled Wings with Hot Green Dipping Sauce

This recipe is from Culinary Tea by Cynthia Gold and Lise Stern.

These wings, one of my absolute favorite things to grill, are best hot, right off the grill. Since they cook fairly quickly, plan to grill the wings as the last item you are serving and then keep the tea cocktails, beers, and iced tea flowing!

Tea-Grilled Wings with Hot Green Dipping Sauce

These wings were quite popular in the Swans Bar at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel where Joao Barros, the executive sous chef, added this spicy fresh green sauce for dipping. The wings have deep, intense flavors, but are not particularly hot, so the crisp clean heat of the dipping sauce is the perfect foil. Depending on your taste for spicy foods, use more or less jalapeño. If the weather doesn’t allow for grilling, the wings can be cooked under a broiler.
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 day 15 minutes
Course Main Dish, Side Dish, Small Bites, Snack, Starter
Cuisine American, Barbecue, International
Servings 6 people
Calories 235 kcal



  • 5 tablespoons black tea loose leaves, Keemun or other full bodied black tea
  • 1 1/2 cups water boiling
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil toasted
  • 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce Nam pla or other brand
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons Asian chili sauce Sriracha or other similar style
  • black pepper fresh ground to taste
  • 18 each chicken wings

Hot Green Dipping Sauce

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 each jalapeno peppers or more, deveined and seeded
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil extra virgin
  • sea salt to taste
  • black pepper to taste, fresh ground


Prep the Wings

  • Place 3 tablespoons of the tea in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Add the boiling water and steep, covered, for 6 minutes. Strain and set aside to cool. Discard the tea leaves.
  • In a spice grinder or using a mortar and pestle, finely grind the remaining 2 tablespoons tea to equal 1 tablespoon ground tea. If necessary, grind additional leaves to make 1 tablespoon.
  • Transfer to a medium bowl and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, fish sauce, garlic, chili sauce, and black pepper to taste. Add the cooled steeped tea and stir to combine.
  • Trim the wing tips and set aside for another use (they are great for making stock). Cut the remaining wings at the joint to separate.
  • Place wings in a resealable plastic bag, then pour in the marinade. Seal bag and make sure wings are coated with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days, turning every 12 hours.

To Make the Sauce

  • In the bowl of a food processor or in a blender, combine the basil, cilantro, jalapeño, and vinegar.
  • Process for 30 seconds, then, with the processor running, slowly add the oil through the feed tube. Scrape down the sides, add the salt and pepper to taste, then process again until smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate until ready to cook the wings.

When Ready to Cook

  • Preheat grill to medium and remove the wings from the fridge to allow to come to room temperature.
  • Remove wings from marinade (discard marinade) and grill (if using an outdoor grill, cover-cook with the vents open) until cooked through and juices are clear, about 6 to 8 minutes per side.
  • Serve immediately, with the sauce on the side for dipping.
Keyword Dipping Sauce, Grilled Wings, Hot Wings, Tea

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