I had Thai chicken wings for the first time in Portland. The revelation of a Thai restaurant was located in some barracks in the middle of an ongoing construction site. Here I also encountered the intensive use of fish sauce (known as fish sauce from bottles in the store). This sauce is fussy at first, and probably most people will agree that it smells absolutely awful. At the same time, fish sauce can create absolutely huge flavors in collaboration with the main ingredient – for example, chicken. If we achieve the right balance of salt, acid and fat, the dining experience will be unforgettable.
Snacks, appetizer or main course
I’m so happy with Uka’s chicken wings dish that I’m happy to make an entire meal of just the wings covered in a delicious sauce. If I have a few more fresh vegetables, it’s mostly for conscience sake. Do as you like – and use the recipe to prepare snacks, appetizers or main dishes. For a heartier dinner, you can serve the wings with steamed sticky rice and a salad of asparagus and edamame beans tossed in fresh lime juice. In any case, the wings should be served warm, crispy, slightly chewy from the sauce – and bitten off with a chili pepper.
Back to the exciting fish sauce. In Vietnamese villages, it is common to make your own fish sauce – or garum, as it is called – at home. Families have a fish barrel standing in the sun, to which fish offal and a little salt are regularly added. This barrel is allowed to stand and bubble and ferment at a good 40 degrees. I just say: Rakfisk, take a bowl.
The Garum method is steeped in tradition. Sauce was produced in about the same way in ancient Greece. The remains of fish and meat with salt were placed in jars for preservation. After several weeks in jars heated by the sun, you would think that the leftovers would have turned to death and decomposition, but instead a kind of slow “roasting” has occurred – similar to the caramelization that occurs on the surface of meat and fish in frying pan. The only difference is that the process is much slower in cans and barrels. But the result is worth the wait! Smelly yes – but taste is the essence of something divine.
Crispy chicken wings in spicy sauce
Ingredients (2 people)
- 20 chicken bottom wings (NB: not the small drumsticks – these are the top wings)
- 4 tablespoons of cornstarch
- sunflower oil for frying
- 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons tabasco
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
- 1 lime
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp whole Szechuan pepper
- 1 tbsp chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- lettuce leaves
- Red onion
- Rinse the chicken wings in cold water and dry well on paper towels. Place the wings in a mixing bowl. Salt them lightly. Put in the cornmeal and turn the wings over so that the cornmeal covers them nicely all around. Brush off any excess flour and place the wings on a plate ready for frying.
- Toast the dry spices in a dry frying pan until they “pop” and smoke. Then place them in a mortar where they are roughly crushed.
- In a small bowl, mix the grated ginger with the fish sauce, tabasco, sriracha, sugar and lime.
- Heat plenty of oil in a wide pot or deep pan – the oil layer should be about 1.5 centimeters. Fry the wings on both sides in hot oil until dark, golden and very crispy. Alternatively, you can roast them in a 200 degree oven. If so, place them on a baking sheet, brush them with a little oil and fry them until golden and crispy.
- Place the chicken wings directly from the pan or tray into a bowl. Add the sauce and stir well. The sauce should cover all parts of the wings. Add the roasted spices at the very end so that they stick to the wings through the chewy sauce. Serve immediately while the wings are still hot. Vegetables are simply cut into pieces and set aside.
Norwegians have started to like dry wines more and more. But sometimes the food asks for the cupboard.
Knut-Espen Misje, sommelier, course instructor and co-author of several cookbooks/NTB
Asian foods are all the rage, and the riesling cabinet wine style is made for many of them. The wines combine a light expression, luscious fruitiness and balanced sweetness. It works very well when the food is characterized by fiery spices.
Sweet plus strong is true
The rule to remember is simple: sweet wines work well with strong flavors. When you pair dry wines with strong food, the alcohol in the wine is accentuated while the strong flavor is further enhanced, an outcome that is rarely desirable.
One of the champions of the Riesling cabinet wine style is Weingut Schätzel in the Rheinhessen wine region. Schätzel Riesling Kabinett 2020 (product no. 12138601, basic selection, NOK 169.90) despite its sweetness, it is among the drier cabinets and feels very fresh. When choosing a cabinet, you should think about how strong the food is – and how strong you think it should taste with the wine. I like it to have a bit of a bite, so I’ve chosen a relatively unsweetened wine. The overall impression is one that I think is just strong enough.
Ridiculously low price
In terms of aroma, most things are in agreement here: coriander and umami meet the acidic tropical fruits of the wine and create a delicious whole. The wine’s fresh acidity and light sweetness bring out the flavors in the dish.
If you need another reason to choose a cabinet, check the price. It’s often ridiculously low quality, even for the week’s pick of the week – which also holds up well in storage.