Korean Chicken Wings
Adapted from "Modernist Cuisine at Home" by Nathan Myhrvold and Maxime Bilet
Scott Heimendinger, director of applied research for Modernist Cuisine, shares this recipe from the Modernist Cuisine at Home cookbook. He first makes a Korean marinade for the wings, then tosses them in a mixture of potato starch and the secret ingredient, Wondra, to make an extra-crispy coating after deep-frying.
Note: You’ll want to finish these with your favorite Korean wing sauce, whether it’s just a little gochujang cut with soy sauce, or this Korean Barbecue Sauce recipe from Cody Taylor and Jiyeon Lee.
What to buy: MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a chemical compound in the form of a white, coarse powder with very little flavor of its own. It acts as a flavor enhancer that seems to make the tongue more receptive to savory and salty tastes. Look for it in Asian grocery stores or online.
Michiu is a dry wine used often in Chinese cooking. Look for it in Asian grocery stores or online.
Special equipment: You will need a deep-frying/candy thermometer for this recipe.
- 1/2 cup peanut oil
- 1/2 cup michiu rice wine
- 3 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 scant teaspoon (3 grams) monosodium glutamate (MSG), optional
- 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 2 pounds chicken wings
- About 1 quart vegetable oil, for frying
- 1/4 cup potato starch
- 1/4 cup Wondra quick-mixing flour
1Place the peanut oil, rice wine, soy sauce, salt, sesame oil, MSG (if using), and sugar in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Stir until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved.
2Place the chicken wings in the marinade, toss to coat evenly, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3When the wings are done marinating, pour the vegetable oil into a Dutch oven or a large, heavy-bottomed pot (the oil should be at least 3 to 4 inches deep). Heat over medium-high heat until the oil reaches 350°F on a deep-frying/candy thermometer. Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with paper towels or fit it with a wire cooling rack and set aside.
4Combine the potato starch and Wondra in a large bowl. Remove 5 to 7 wings from the marinade and place them in the Wondra mixture. Toss to coat them with a thin layer.
5Fry the chicken wings in the oil, adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a temperature of 350°F, until the wings are cooked through and golden brown, about 7 minutes. Remove to the prepared baking sheet to drain, about 3 minutes. Repeat, working in batches, with the remaining wings. Serve immediately with your favorite Korean-style wing sauce (see note).
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