Fried soy sauce chicken wings
Although it takes time to fry these wings, the dish couldn’t be easier. There’s no need to marinate the meat or season the coating; you just dredge the wings in the cornstarch, fry them until cooked, then dip them in the soy sauce mixture, so they are completely coated.
I double-dip the wings – once soon after they have been fried, while they are still hot, then again just before baking them. Baking not only heats the wings, it also crisps up the coating. Frying the wings and coating them the first time in the sauce can be done in advance, while the baking should be done just before serving them.
If you think the wings are going to be too salty because of the soy sauce mixture, you are wrong. They make a great party snack but are probably easier to eat as finger food if you use just the drumette portions. The leftover wings are delicious cold or at room temperature.
18-20 large chicken wings (or 36 to 40 chicken drumettes), thawed, if frozen
100 grams cornstarch, or as necessary
200ml light soy sauce
25 grams granulated sugar
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
20 grams peeled ginger
Cooking oil, for frying
Half a head of iceberg lettuce
Toasted sesame seeds
2-3 spring onions
1 If using whole chicken wings, cut them at the joint to separate the drumette portion from the middle joint and wing tip.
2 Put the cornstarch into a shallow bowl or pan (I use a pie pan). Pour oil to a depth of about 12cm into a large wok and place over a medium flame. Heat to 175 degrees Celsius.
3 Dredge the wings in the cornstarch to coat them completely, then shake off the excess. Place the wings in the hot oil and fry for about four minutes, or until cooked through. Fry the wings in batches; do not crowd the pan. Adjust the flame as necessary to keep the oil as close to 175 degrees as possible.
4 While the first batch of wings is frying, prepare the soy sauce mixture. Pour the soy sauce into a medium-sized saucepan and add the sugar and 100ml of water. Thinly slice the garlic and ginger and put the pieces into the pan. Place the pan over a medium flame and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil then turn off the flame.
5 When the first batch of wings is cooked, drain them on paper towels and start frying the subsequent batches. Dip the hot fried wings in the soy sauce mixture to coat them completely, then lay them on a baking tray. Fry and dip the remaining wings in the same way.
6 After frying and coating all the wings, they can be baked immediately, or left at room temperature for about two hours.
7 Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Dip the wings a second time in the soy sauce mixture, then place them back on the baking tray in a single layer and not touching each other (you may need to use two trays). Bake the wings for about eight minutes, turning them over halfway through, or until the surface is slightly crusty in parts.
8 Shred the iceberg lettuce and spread it on a serving platter. Arrange the wings over the lettuce. Mince the spring onions, then scatter them and the sesame seeds over the wings, then serve. If you are eating the wings as part of a meal, serve with steamed rice and stir-fried green vegetables. If you are serving them as a party snack, be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand.