These Southeast Asian Style Sticky Wings are definitely the next sticky wings you have to try. Inspired by Ike’s Sticky Wings from Pok Pok in Portland Oregon, I wanted to make my own version of a finger licking, bone sucking wing dish. The Vietnamese ingredients bring a full spectrum of flavour with lemongrass, fish sauce and rich, dark caramel sauce. This recipe is guaranteed to round kick you in the mouth. They’re that good.
You will need:
- 2 lbs fresh chicken wings
- ½ cup fish sauce
- ½ cup sugar (brown or palm sugar)
- 4 cloves of fresh garlic (2 crushed and 2 thinly sliced)
- 1 cup corn starch
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon minced lemongrass
- 1 tablespoon nuoc mau (aka coconut thin sauce) *optional
- oil, for deep frying
- a handful of fresh cilantro
- lime wedges
Start by making the marinade. In a large bowl, combine the fish sauce, sugar and 2 crushed cloves of garlic. Mix to dissolve the sugar, then add the chicken wings. Refrigerate overnight.
When the wings are done, take out of the marinade (save the marinade and set aside) and dry on a clean kitchen towel. Lightly coat the wings in corn starch. Meanwhile, start heating up some oil for deep frying. You want the oil to be about 350F. While it’s heating, fry the thinly sliced garlic in the medium heat til they are golden brown and crisp. *If you try to fry them in oil that’s already hot, you’ll scorch them and they’ll be too bitter. Set your garlic chips aside.
By now, your oil is hot and the chicken is nicely coated. Test out the oil by tossing in a little piece of bread. If it goes dark too fast, you have the oil too hot. Take off the heat and wait a couple minutes, then try again. Working in small batches, carefully put in the wings and fry until golden brown. They normally take about 10 minutes. Test with a meat thermometer (shoud read 180F). When they’re done, drain on a rack or on kitchen paper then set aside.
Now onto the sauce. In a large pan on medium high heat, add the marinade mixture you saved. Put in the lemongrass and nuoc mau and continue to reduce on the heat until it starts to thicken. Add the butter and continue to reduce until you get your sauce to the consistency of a syrup. In French terms, this is called nape (nah-pay). You should be able to coat the back of a spoon, draw a line through it and see the line clearly.
Have the wings ready in a large mixing bowl. Add the sauce then toss together until evenly coated. Plate up and garnish with the garlic chips, fresh cilantro leaves and some lime wedges. These are perfect with beer.
I hope you enjoy this recipe. Try it out, make it yours and have fun in the kitchen!
Special thanks: Kingsland Farmers Market (www.kingslandfarmersmarket.com)
Music: “Insomnia” by Josh Woodward (www.joshwoodward.com)