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.
- Yield:serves 4
- Active time: 30 minutes
- Total time:1 hour 30 minutes
- 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
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.)
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.
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.