Vietnamese Style Baked Savory Sweet Hoisin Chicken Wings and Beef Meatballs

In other words …… Cánh gà nướng tương and Chả Đùm! I am often asked if I cook Vietnamese food, given that my hubs and inlaws are from Vietnam. The answer is I can but my MIL often brings us food, so if I cook it is not Asian. I don’t want to hear the hubs whine about rice again…. To maintain my street cred though I do prepare some dishes. The penultimate: Nước mắm pha (fish sauce for dipping), followed by bò nhúng dấm, bánh xèo (crepes) and bánh tráng. Today I share with you, two new additions to my repertoire hoisin chicken wings and beef meatballs. I also threw in the easy carrot pickle (đồ chua) that so often accompanies Vietnamese cuisine.

Baked Savory Sweet Hoisin Chicken Wings (Cánh gà nướng tương)

These wings or drummettes would be perfect for a party, would cook up nicely in a crockpot (or kept warm in after baked). I like drummettes better than wings but I think any chicken on the bone would work great. Add more or less spice depending on your taste. I based the recipe on Diana My Tran’s The Vietnamese Cookbook


  • 15 chicken wings or ~ 10-12 drummettes (admitted I made 6 pieces and had way to much sauce-hey it’s just the two of us)
  • 1 tablespoon honey, great way to use up crystallized stuff
  • 4 tablespoon hoisin sauce, you can make from scratch but I recommend just buying a good brand
  • 3 tablespoon tap warm water
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 scallion, minced (or shallots/onions)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger (less if from the jar)
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (you can omit and just dip it in Sriracha or other favorite hot sauce when eating)


  • Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the baking sheet by lining with foil and spraying with cooking spray or rub with oil. You will hate this recipe if you don’t line the pan. Trust me.
  • Mix together the honey, hoisin, water, salt, pepper, garlic, scallion and ginger to make the sauce.
  • Marinate the chicken (with skin on) for about 15 minutes.

  • Place the chicken on the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes. Feel free to brush with marinade periodically, but this isn’t necessary.
  • After 25 minutes check to see if chicken is almost done. If it is, then turn the oven to broil and finish the chicken under the broiler for about 3 minutes to just get some crispy bits. Watch them to make sure they don’t burn, broilers go from zero to charred biscuit pretty quick.
  • Enjoy!!

Beef Meatballs (Chả Đùm)

Not a very fancy or foofy name, but they are what they are…. And by that I mean delicious. This meat ball would normally be served to you in a restaurant as part of the famous “Seven Courses of Beef” or Bò 7 món – course number two to be exact. You can serve with rice or shrimp crackers, or wrap in lettuce or rice paper, as we did. There are so many possibilities for this recipe (it is a meat loaf after all), like adding mushroom, carrots or different spices, but my recipe based on Diana My Tran’s version, tasted pretty close to what we dine upon in Little Saigon. Don’t let the steaming or the less than appetizing photo put you off. These were delicious, Hubs and InLaw approved. I think the next batch I will steam part way then quick freeze them for a handy dinner idea.


  • 1 cup bean thread noodles (the brand I buy, this is one “bundle”)
  • 1 ½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce (just buy the stuff in the bottle, I like panda brand)
  • 2 tablespoon flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped, about 1 cup
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, light beaten

Makes about 14, 3 inch diameter meat balls.


  • In a bowl, soak the dried bean thread noodles in warm water for 5 minutes. Drain and cut them into 1 to 2 inch lengths. Never mind the errant scallion in the photo….

  • Set up your steamer and start heating the water (about 1 inch in the pot). I used a steam basket and the steamer that sits on top of my stock pot so that I can run a double decker. You could also use bamboo baskets in a wok or rice cooker. Be sure that the meat balls don’t touch the water though. Spray some cooking spray on your steamer surface. See below for a photo.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mix with your hands, all the ingredients until well combined. Let it sit and get flavorful for 10 minutes.
  • Using your hands, form the meat mixture into balls. If you want to make them smaller so that there are more, go for it! Reduce your cooking time though.

  • Place the meatballs in the steamer and steam for about 20 minutes, for 3 inch balls.

  • Enjoy! Serve with shrimp crackers, toasted sesame rice papers (I do not know how to do this yet… you buy them), rice or lettuce for wrapping. We wrapped ours with mint and a quick carrot pickle. You could dip in Nước mắm
    pha if you want, but they were flavorful.

Quick Carrot Pickle (đồ chua, aka ‘sour stuff’)

Mix together 3 carrots shredded using a grater or food processor, unless you are a master matchstick knifer, 1 tablespoon sugar, ¼ cold water, 2 tablespoons white vinegar and ¼ teaspoon salt. Let is sit until ready to serve. Yep. That’s it. You can add radishes (including daikon) or cucumbers too.

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