8 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped (makes 2 T fried garlic)
1 t kosher salt
1/4 c warm water
1/4 c water
1 – 2 t Korean fermented chile paste
oil for frying
Sprinkle chopped garlic with salt and mince. Scrape into a small mixing bowl, add warm water and let macerate for a few min. Strain liquid through a triple-mesh sieve set over a small mixing bowl and smash the garlic firmly against the sieve to extract as much juice as you can. Reserve smashed garlic. Add 1/2 c water and chile paste to the remainder of sauce. Cover and reserve in the fridge. Just before frying, transfer wings from fridge to a colander set over a bowl, and let drain for 15 min. Heat 3/4″ vegetable oil in a small saucepan over high heat and add reserved garlic. Reduce heat to medium-low, fry until garlic is light golden brown, about 5 min and transfer to paper towels to drain. Reserve. In a heavy wok, add enough oil to submerge the wings, about 2″. Bring oil to 325° F. Fry half the wings at one time, moving them around periodically with a long chopstick. When wings are golden brown and cooked through, about 10 – 12 min use long-handled tongs to transfer them to a paper towel-lined cookie sheet to drain. In a heavy, preferably nonstick, wok, whisk and add half the reserved sauce mix, bring to a full boil and reduce to thicken, about 45 seconds. Add half the wings and toss until a caramelized glaze coats the wings, about 1 min. Add 1 T fried garlic and toss well. Repeat with the next batch of wings. Serve wings on a platter with pickled vegetables, cucumber spears, and herb sprigs. Serves 2 – 4.
2 lbs chicken wings (about 12), split at the joint, rinsed well in cold water, and patted dry
1/2 c Vietnamese fish sauce (Ricker recommends Phu Quoc or Three Crabs brand)
1/2 c superfine sugar
Mix together fish sauce and sugar. Add chicken wings and toss, mixing well. Cover and refrigerate wings for 4 – 24 hours, tossing several times.
1 c white rice flour
1/4 c tempura batter mix (Ricker recommends Gogi brand, but I used Koto brand, available at Portland’s City Market))
In a large mixing bowl, whisk rice flour and tempura batter mix. Toss the well-drained wings in the flour mix to coat well. Just before frying, tap excess flour from each piece of chicken.
baby spinach or other interesting baby greens