October 12, 2022

Bandit Chicken Wings 土匪雞翼

Chinese, hong kong, bandit wings, bandit chicken wings, recipe, cumin wings, 土匪雞翼

Bandit chicken wings!  So yummy and super popular here in HK and what an extraordinary name, no?  Is it because these lovely spiced infused roasted chicken wings look as sneaky and cheeky as a bandit?  Well, perhaps, but I've heard of another story about where this dashing name originated...from a story about bandits, of course!

Long ago in the Chinese province of Hunan, 湖南, there was a band of bandits that was terrorizing the countryside, raiding homes and towns, stealing from the people.  They took the usual bandit loot of money, food, etc. as well as, taking it one unusual step further, spices and herbs!  Musta been a foodie in that sneaky lot, eh?  A Foodie Bandit chief, perhaps?

So anyways, the story goes that the stolen spices were then liberally (why not, afterall free, amirite?) used to marinate and then roast chicken.  And the smell of that roasting chicken was so deliciously aromatic and the main spice used, cumin, so pungent that one could smell its distinctive aroma for miles around.  Unfortunately for those food inclined bandits, the memorable aroma was enough to alert folks of their nearby presence and ended up dampening their banditry efforts.

Not to fret, tho, sneaky bandits.  Your legacy lives on in your uniquely yummilicious Bandit Chicken Wings 土匪雞翼:  deliciously aromatic spice infused chicken wings with crispy spice encrusted skin.  Still popular after all this time!

Chinese, hong kong, bandit wings, bandit chicken wings, recipe, cumin wings, 土匪雞翼

The actual detailed spice mix they used is lost to history but one thing remains the same, the liberal use of cumin.  Cumin (top middle of photo) is a pungent spice, distinctive in its warm, earthy aroma.  It is used in many cuisines such as Mexican, North African, Indian and the Mediterranean.  Cumin is an addictive flavor and I love it.

The other spices we chose to add are (from cumin, clockwise): ground clove for its subtle sweetness, ground sichuan pepper for its lemony, addictive, slightly mouth numbing perfume, garlic salt for a touch of garlickiness and the bandit wing visual trademark, black sesame.

You could play around with the spices to adjust to your liking, just keep the major flavor profile of cumin and the visual touch of black sesame and make your own version of bandit chicken wings.

Chinese, hong kong, bandit wings, bandit chicken wings, recipe, cumin wings, 土匪雞翼

For our bandits wings we decided on marinating with a dry spice rub.  Many other bandit recipes use soy sauce along with the spices but we felt like that the wet soy sauce would dilute the power of the spices.  

A dry rub is a most powerful way of infusing meat with spices, as those who have tried this method before will know.  For example we have used a dry spice rub to make our Chinese Five Spice Ribs for truly scrumptious results.

Dry rubbing is easy to do.  Just mix up your ground spices.  Dry the wings with kitchen paper.  Rub all around with spice rub.  Cover and let marinate in fridge overnight.

Chinese, hong kong, bandit wings, bandit chicken wings, recipe, cumin wings, 土匪雞翼

On the next day let the wings come back up to room temp.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and they're ready for the oven.  Soon your house will be filled with delicious aromas!

Man, oh man, just look at that spice encrusted crispy skin, that tender meat infused with flavor. Yummy tummy!  Hope all you chicken wings lovers out there enjoy our latest chicken wing recipe!

Chinese, hong kong, bandit wings, bandit chicken wings, recipe, cumin wings, 土匪雞翼
Bandit Chicken Wings Recipe
(Prep time:  5 mins  Cook time: 30 mins)



Make dry spice rub by mixing cumin, ground clove, ground sichuan pepper and garlic salt.  Dry chicken wings with paper towels.  Rub spice mix all over.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat over to 400°F (204°C).

Press black sesame seeds all over the chicken wings.

Line baking tray with parchment paper.  Put chicken on so that they don't touch each other.  Bake for 15-20 mins or until the skin is browned and crisp.  Remove from oven and flip over.  Return to oven and bake a further 5-10 mins or until the skin is browned and crisp.

Remove from oven and serve hot and delicious.  Enjoy!



  1. These look so delicious! Thanks for the recipe, really excited to try it!

  2. I love eating the ones at Tam Jai. Never thought of trying to make them myself. I will have to now!

  3. Wow, I somehow didn’t know they serve these! Are they good? Gonna have to try them out next time! ~ellen 😉