Recipe video: Susan Jung's Thai-style chicken wings - simple yet delicious
This is one of the most requested recipes from my cookbook, A Celebration of Food - it's something I make whenever my friends and I get together for pot lucks. While the wings can be fried immediately, it tastes better if they have a chance to marinate for several hours. I mix the marinade with the wings, put everything in a zip-lock bag, seal it, then refrigerate it, giving the bag a good shake every once in awhile.
Fresh coriander roots are really aromatic, and they're much sturdier than the leaves, so they're good to use in cooked dishes. In many grocery stores, the roots are often trimmed off before the herb is sold. To find the roots, you might have to go to shops specialising in Southeast Asian ingredients. If you can't find fresh coriander roots, you can substitute fresh lemongrass: finely chop the juicy part of two or three stalks, and pound that with the other ingredients.
These wings don't have a batter or coating, so the crunch is very subtle, but you could use one if you like. The easiest coating would be to dip the drained wings in flour before frying them. You can also use a packaged tempura flour, mixing it with the chicken marinade, rather than the water that the package usually calls for.
Thai-style chicken wings
1kg chicken wings, drumettes and middle joint only
2 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
2 red bird's eye chillies, finely minced
Several fresh coriander roots, finely chopped
80ml bottled Thai fish sauce
20 grams granulated sugar
20ml fresh lime juice
A pinch of finely ground white pepper
Cooking oil, for frying
Cut the wings to separate them into drumette and middle joints.
Put the garlic, chillies and coriander roots in a mortar and pound to a rough paste. Mix the paste with the fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and pepper. Add the wings and stir to combine. Marinate in the fridge for several hours, mixing occasionally.
Take the wings from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking them. Drain them and pat them dry with paper towels. Pour oil to the depth of 3cm-5cm in a deep skillet and heat to 170-180 degrees Celsius. You can measure the oil temperature using an infrared thermometer, or a probe-type, which is less expensive. Add the wings a few at a time - do not overcrowd the pan. Fry the wings until they're a medium brown and cooked through, then drain on paper towels. If you like (and I do), fry the wings a second time, to deepen the colour.
Garnish with fresh chillies and lime wedges.