Chicken Wings with Korean Chile\u00a0

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[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

Always eager to add a new chicken wing recipe to our repertoire, we couldn't wait to break out the fry oil for these Chicken Wings with Korean Chile from Anita Lo's Cooking Without Borders.

According to Lo, deep frying is the only way to go when it comes to chicken wings and we're apt to agree. Oven roasting and shallow frying will do in a pinch, but the best wings really do need that plunge in bubbling oil.

Lo's wings are seasoned with salt and pepper, fried, and then tossed in a sweet chile glaze that's heavy on the gochujang, a thick, sugary chile sauce that's ketchup-like in texture with just a touch of heat. The chile paste is boosted with a bit of fresh ginger and garlic as well as sesame seeds for crunch. It's a pretty much perfect wing sauce—spicy, salty, and sticky enough to necessitate plenty of Wet Naps.

Being a connoisseur of wings, Lo includes a cool, crisp companion for her wings: daikon and cucumber quick pickled in rice vinegar that take the place of celery and blue cheese beautifully.

Adapted from Cooking Without Borders by Anita Lo. Copyright © 2011. Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved

Chicken Wings with Korean Chile 

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About This Recipe

Yield:serves 4
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • For the pickles:
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Kirby cucumber, unpeeled, halved lengthwise and cut into ⅓-inch-thick half moons
  • As much daikon as cucumber, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into ⅓-inch-thick half moons
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • For the chicken wings:
  • 3 pounds chicken wings
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 quart neutral-flavored vegetable oil (or more as necessary) 
  • For the Korean chile sauce:
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup gochujang (Korean chile paste)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • Pinch of finely chopped ginger
  • Several grinds of black pepper 

Procedures

  1. 1

    Make the pickles: Heat the vinegar and sugar in a small saucepan just until the sugar melts, then pour over remaining pickle ingredients in a bowl and stir. Let sit for 1 hour before serving. (The pickles can be made in advance and kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.)

  2. 2

    Make the chicken: Fill a large pot halfway with the oil and heat to 375°F. Season the wings with salt and pepper and deep-fry just until they float. Drain on paper towels.

  3. 3

    Make the sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. When the wings are done, toss them with the sauce and serve with the pickles.

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