vampire bat wings (with blood dipping sauce)

vampire bat wings with blood dipping sauce

I am sooooo behind with my blogging and have stacks of recipes to post, so forgive me if a load all come at once.

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me to help her cater her small son’s birthday party, around the theme of “monsters.” I did and the kids seemed to enjoy some truly monstrous creations. By coincidence, Borough Market asked me to fill in for one of the demo chefs who had been forced to pull out of a Halloween-themed cooking demonstration aimed at children. Now I have to admit that I don’t have a huge amount of experience of cooking for children. But what I hope I do have is bags of enthusiasm and a tiny bit of creativity.

It was possible that I could combine some of the things I had made for the children’s party with what could be cooked in a demo kitchen. A shout-out on social media gave me so many suggestions; (thank you to everyone who replied). Unfortunately many of them needed days of preparation, which I didn’t have time for under demo kitchen conditions. So I came up with a menu of suitably Halloween-themed food, which in the end turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag.

wings fresh out of their marinade – and faintly disturbing!

The food that I expected everyone to like (well the kids at the party had enjoyed it) didn’t find quite as much favour as the food that I expected people to look at and say “yuk”. I also have to confess that this is the first time I have ever cooked anything and found myself saying “come and taste it; it really isn’t as revolting as it looks!”

“a sinister, alien and reptilian quality” 

The favourite Borough Market recipe of the day was my vampire bat wings with blood dipping sauce. Seriously, this was the one that I thought everyone would hate, particularly as the cooked wings looked really rather sinister. They had been marinated in a lovely combination of soy sauce, mirin, fish sauce and honey, but given an extra black intensity with some black(berry) food dye. I had used chicken wings with the wing tips attached, which stretched out took on a rather creepy bat-like aspect, not to say a slightly alien reptilian quality. It looked like something that had been dreamed up in props department of a film company. Or even worse, they looked a little like can-can dancers’ legs, as if conjured up by an alien Toulouse-Lautrec, but with less lace. OK, just me then!

However, I can assure you that no bats were hurt in the cooking of this dish, this dish is merely chicken wings with a thick, dark sticky marinade that is full of flavour. I served these with a slightly sweet and tangy blood dipping sauce – essentially a sauce made from bright red peppers and a few tomatoes!

Skill level: Easy

ingredients:3 tbsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp honey
3 tbsp mirin or cider vinegar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp black food colouring
20 chicken wings (with tips)
salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Dislocate the chicken joints by snapping them. (This means that the wings won’t “retract” while cooking.)
  2. Combine the soy sauce with the honey, mirin, fish sauce and food colouring. Pour over the chicken wings and leave to marinade for about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas Mark 6.
  4. Remove the wings from the marinade and shake off any excess marinade.
  5. Arrange the chicken wings, so that the wings are extended, on a lined baking tray. (Don’t crowd the baking tray.)
  6. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  7. Roast the chicken wings for 30 to 35 minutes, turning once. (Brush with reserved marinade every 10 minutes or so.)
  8. Serve with blood dipping sauce!


  • The black food colouring really is optional. You’ll get a lovely deep brown colour without it, from using dark soy sauce.

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