I’ve had a hankering for hot wings these days and it’s not even close to Super Bowl Sunday, the uber chicken wing event in America. At many of the hippest Asian restaurants these days, there is some version of chile-hot, savory-sweet chicken wings. From RockSugar PanAsian Kitchen in Los Angeles to Pok Pok in Portland, Oregon, to Momofuku in New York, Asian-style of chicken wings are on the appetizer menu. Naturally, I wanted to make my own.
Admittedly, I’m partial to the renditions that involve Southeast Asian ingredients, fish sauce, garlic, and chiles. Can you blame me?
When I had the wings at Pok Pok by Ich Truong and RockSugar by Mohan Ismail, I was hooked. Ich (“Ike”) claims that his version is from Vietnam and Mohan is a talented, smart Singaporean chef who monitors and delivers on tasty Asian food trends. (Read more about Mohan Ismail and RockSugar in my post, "Can Real Asian food be mainstreamed?" on MarkBittman.com)
It was hard to decide whose version was better as they were both addictive to eat. At RockSugar, my husband and I had minor squabble as to who should/would eat the last one. We also could figure out if this style of wings is Vietnamese or Thai or something else. Shed some light, if you happen to know.
My solution is to make spicy Asian chicken wings at home. That way, you can have as many as you want.