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Finger-licking good Tebasaki

While Hokkaido has Kaisen-don 海鮮丼 loaded with freshness, Osaka is proud to show off their Okonomiyaki お好み焼き. I remembered a mum friend once told me, “Never leave Nagoya yet if you haven’t tried their Tebasaki. 

Tebasaki are chicken wings. Nagoya likes to deep-fry them golden and crisp, then generously flavoured with soya sauce spiked with garlic, ginger and sharp bits of freshly cracked black pepper.

All along been served as another tasteful dish in Izakaya restaurants, these Nagoya’s Tebasaki 古屋手羽先 are so tremendously well-liked and popular among local people, the city’s tourism department even branded them as the “official taste” of Nagoya.

To anyone who is planning a visit to the city, this is a must-try. Serve with a real taste of authentic Nagoya’s Tebasaki – 風来坊 Furaibo and 世界の山ちゃん Sekaino-Yamachan are 2 popular chain restaurants I personally enjoy going and would like to recommend. Check out the site below!


We all agree they are indeed very irresistible. George and June like them together with a bowl of fluffy white rice while we adults prefer to pair them with chilled beers.

Just before he graduated from his primary school, George had a chance to feast upon these addictive, finger-licking good chicken wings in his school lunch. Instantly, he was hooked. So much so that he went up to the school dietitian to ask for a recipe, which of course was meant for me! Over the next few weeks, I made batch after batch.

However I didn’t quite like the idea that I have to deep-fry the wings twice as suggested.

The reason was obvious – since there was a fair amount of fat beneath the skin of each chicken wing, I didn’t want to add on more. Alternatively, I pan-fried them in a frying pan which required only a little cooking oil – just enough to lubricate the pan.

Did I compromise the taste and texture of the dish by doing that? Certainly not. In fact, pan-frying helped to retain moisture of the meat better – leaving them crispier on the outside and still juicy and tender inside.

So here’s my pan-fried version of Nagoya’s Tebasaki. My family and I think they are as comparatively tasty as those selling in shops but a healthier one. Give it a try!

Finger-licking good Tebasaki

For a portion of 10-12 pieces  
Prep time 5mins, cooking time 20-25mins

To save/print recipe, click here.


10-12 pieces of chicken wings
A pinch of salt & pepper
Potato starch, Katakuri-ko for coating
Vegetable oil for pan-frying

For glazing sauce

2 Tbsp of Koikuchi dark soya sauce
2 Tbsp of mirin
2 Tbsp of cooking sake
1 Tbsp of honey
1 clove of garlic (optional)
40g of ginger (optional)

For sprinkle

A handful of white sesame seeds
A handful of coarse grated black pepper


1  Wash, dry, marinate and dredge the chicken wings.

Wash and dry the wings with a kitchen towel. Marinate with salt and pepper before dredging them in a thin coat of potato starch, Katakuri-ko. After that, set them aside.


2  Combine all seasonings for sauce.

In a small bowl, combine soya sauce, mirin, cooking sake and honey together. If you’re including garlic and ginger, grate and add them in the mixture as well.


3  Pan-fry chicken wings until golden brown.

Spread oil evenly on the pan with a kitchen towel before putting in the chicken wings. Brown under medium-low heat to golden brown and flip over from time to time to prevent them from burning. Put on the pan lid if you want – it will help to cook the meat faster.


4  Make glazing sauce.

Once they are nicely browned, remove chicken wings from the pan. Use a kitchen towel to dab away the leftover oil before pouring seasoning into the pan. Under medium heat, bring it to a quick boil. The sugar content in the honey will caramelise and thicken to form a sauce.


5 Glaze chicken wings with sauce.

Return the chicken wings back to the pan. Move them about the pan to make sure they evenly coat with the sauce. As soon as the sauce run out, turn off the heat. Sprinkle sesame seeds and coarse grated black pepper on top before serving.



Dredging a layer of potato layer (step 1) over the meat helps to give it a more attractive browning effect when frying.

Pan-frying will require you to flip the meat from time to time (step 3) so as to ensure it is evenly and completely cooked.

If you prefer something not spicy, omit adding the black pepper.

What do I like about this dish?

These Tebasaki are really very addictive. They are an all-time favourite in my house. Some may find the black pepper bits a little spicy but my family love that most. Without adding any of them, they would taste just like any other soy sauce chicken wings.

Also, not only good for home dinner, they make a perfect crowd-pleasing finger food at any gatherings too. Pamper your friends today!


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