Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I last posted. Sorry about that.
I actually have created and cooked some interesting dishes lately, but haven’t found the time to write about them. I’ve been keeping extra busy at work. And then there’s life, in general; I think I tend to generously and over-zealously commit to various activities and obligations, and end up neglecting the basics. Such as that three weeks’ worth of laundry that continues to pile up and really deserves some attention. Save me from myself…
Anyway, I think I’ve said it so many times: I love fried chicken wings and am borderline obsessive about them. Being Indonesian, my mom deep fries everything: chicken, krupuk, emping, peanuts, anchovies. I grew up eating a lot of those but I am most happy crunching down on crispy wings any day. My mom comes up with one incredible recipe after next, so the original marinade for the wings has been changed many times over the years. I think all of them are fantastic and need no improvement, but since she’s her harshest critic, she apparently doesn’t think so. The most recent take interestingly involves the use of shredded vegetables in the marinade, so I thought I’d share it with you. The juices from the carrots and celery mingle with the rest of the ingredients, and make for some succulent, flavorful chicken wings!
Fried Chicken Wings with Sweet Chili Sauce
3 lbs chicken wingettes or drumettes (or a mix)
3 carrots, shredded
2 celery stalks, shredded
1-inch piece ginger, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp Chinese cooking wine
2 tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup fish sauce
¾ cup tapioca flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
Vegetable or canola oil, for deep-frying
Place wings in a large mixing bowl with carrots, celery, ginger, garlic, cooking wine, and soy sauce. Stir to distribute all ingredients and coat the wings well. Let the wings marinade in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours. Discard the marinade and vegetables, give the wings a rinse, and pat dry.
Fill a wide thick-bottomed pan with about 2 inches of oil and heat the oil to 400°F. In a shallow dish, whisk together tapioca flour and all-purpose flour. Coat the wings with flour mixture, lightly shaking off excess flour. Fry in hot oil until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm with dipping sauce.
*My mom is convinced that tapioca flour makes for an lighter, crispier coating, as opposed to all-purpose flour, which makes for a denser, crunchier coating. She only uses tapioca flour, but after some experimentation of my own, I’ve discovered that I prefer a combination of both flours to achieve a texture between crispy and crunchy. Tapioca flour is sold in many Asian supermarkets. If you can’t find it in the flour section, it might be near the cornstarch, as tapioca is often used as a thickening agent in Asian cooking.
*You can substitute the cooking wine with Shaoxing wine or dry sherry.
Sweet Chili Sauce
(Makes about 1 cup)
2-4 tsps chili garlic sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
½ cup pineapple juice
¼ cup apricot jelly, apricot pieces strained out
¼ cup sugar
In a small saucepan, combine all of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Stir and cook until sauce is thickened. Let cool to room temperature before serving.
*Instead of chili garlic sauce, you can use sambal oelek. If you prefer more heat, add a fresh bird’s eye chili (finely chopped or crushed with a mortar and pestle).