I dig wings as much as the next person, but I'm not the kind of guy that plans a dinner around a plate of butter-and-hot-sauce-bathed, deep-fried chicken parts. Or at least I didn't think I was until I visited the The Good Fork in Red Hook, Brooklyn back in March 2006, just a few weeks after this mom-and-pop restaurant opened. I had finished the now famous Korean-style Steak and Eggs (you'll find this recipe, which we ran in our September 2007 issue, here) but couldn't stop thinking about my appetizer: Asian-style chicken wings. These plump wings were perfect--crispy skin, juicy meat, and bathed in just the right amount of fiery sriracha and sambal oelek sauce. They were nothing like the scrawny, over-cooked, over-buttery specimens I ate growing up.
A few days later I returned for dinner with only one thing on my mind--wings. I had a plan. I'd get two orders to start, a pint of Six Point Sweet Action and see where that took me. Perhaps another round of wings or an order of pork dumplings if I was still hungry. I felt no shame and no professional obligation to order one of the more elaborate entrees.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Chef Kim took the wings off the menu just a few days ago. The crab cakes are quite good," the waiter said. Crab cakes? I didn't want crab cakes. I wanted wings. I wanted answers. "I never really wanted the wings on the menu in the first place, " said chef and owner Sohui Kim. "I mostly put them on the menu to make my husband Ben happy. Don't get me wrong, people loved them, but I didn't want to be known as the Chicken Wing Queen of Brooklyn. In the end I took them off because they didn't really fit with the rest of the menu." I understood her reasoning. I didn't like it but I understood it.
I'm still trying to convince chef Kim to open a wing and dumpling spot in the neighborhood, but no luck. Until then, I'm content with the Asian hot wings with cucumber, scallion-sour cream dipping sauce recipe she was nice enough to give me. I can't think of a better day to whip up a few dozen than on Super Bowl Sunday.
SOHUI KIM'S ASIAN HOT WINGS with CUCUMBER AND SCALLION SOUR CREAM DIPPING SAUCE
- 3/4 cup sriracha*
- 1 tablespoon sambal oelek or other asian chili sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 stick cold butter cut into pieces
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 1/2 pounds of chicken wings (about 12 pieces), cut in half with wing tips cut off
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
- 3 scallions cut into thin slices
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
*This chili sauce is sweet but extremely spicy, so maybe a little less for the fainthearted, say 1/2 cup. Click here for more sriracha-friendly recipes.
- Add vegetable oil to 12-inch skillet to reach depth of 1 inch. Heat over medium-high heat to 350°. Salt and pepper wings and add to skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Tranfer to paper towels.
- In a saucepan, bring sriracha and vinegar to boil. Whisk in cold butter gradually.
- Add cooked wings to saucepan and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
- Mix ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
- Learn more about chicken wings
- Recipe for Bourbon-Glazed Chicken Drumettes with Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce
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