Double-Fried Fish Sauce Chicken Wings

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The air quality in San Jose has been really bad and I haven’t had a chance to do much BBQing.  The other day I woke up and the air quality index looked really good so I took out some chicken wings to thaw and wanted to BBQ for dinner.  By noon, the air quality worsened and reached unhealthy levels so I decided to go with double-fried wings to make myself feel better about not getting to BBQ.

These wings are inspired by the Pok Pok wings I ate when I was in Las Vegas during the holidays.  I never had a chance to try the original restaurant in Portland, but these were super good and had amazing balance of flavor.  I marinated in fish sauce, sugar, and pepper for three hours.

I utilized the double-frying technique to get the wings extra crunchy.  In batches, I gave the wings the first fry at around 325 degrees for 7 minutes.  I took it out of the frier and let it rest for a few minutes then fried these bad boys for a second time at 350 degrees to sticky, crunchy, and double fried golden brown goodness.

While the wings were resting after the double-fry, I reduced the marinade liquid down to a glaze, toss the wings into the glaze, and garnished with some fried garlic and chopped cilantro. We ate the wings with steamed rice and fresh cucumbers and the girls loved it!  It would have been nice if I had other pickled veggies and kimchi to go with it. Very balanced with tons of glorious flavors. I don’t fry wings often but these were hella bomb!

Ingredients:
2 pounds chicken wings
3/4 cup corn starch
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon crushed black pepper
8 garlic cloves, 4 smashed and 4 finely chopped
1 handful of cilantro, finely chopped
Oil for frying

Steps:

Marinate Chicken Wings – In a medium bowl, mix fish sauce, sugar, pepper, and smashed garlic cloves until the sugars are dissolved. Add chicken wings and mix well. Marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Make fried garlic – In a small pan, add 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil and finely chopped garlic and cook on medium-low until the garlic begins to brown. This should take about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.

Dredge Chicken Wings – Remove wings from the marinade and pat dry. Save the marinade for the Make Fish Sauce Glaze step. Add wings to a Ziplock bag filled with corn starch and shake until the chicken wing is fully coated. Shake off excess flour from the wings and set on a baking sheet.

Initial Fry Chicken Wings – Preheat fryer to ~325 degrees. Working in batches, fry ~8 wings for 7 minutes. Remove from the fryer and set aside for about 5 minutes.

Double Fry Chicken Wings – Working in batches, fry ~8 chicken wings at 350 degrees for ~8 additional minutes or until extra crispy. Remove from the fryer and set aside. Repeat until all the chicken wings are double fried.

Make Fish Sauce Glaze– In a small saucepan, add the reserved marinade and bring to a quick boil, stirring often. Turn the heat down to low and medium for about 5 minutes until the sauce thickens up.

Prepare Chicken Wings – Add the chicken wings to the fish sauce glaze. Add fried garlic and cilantro and toss. Serve immediately with steamed rice and veggies.

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Tips:

  • These wings may be more on the saltier side for some people, reduce the amount out of fish sauce if you are afraid it might be too salty for your taste. Make sure to use equal parts fish sauce and sugar.
  • Do not overcrowd the pan while frying.

 

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