Summer BBQ’s are cropping up left and right. With the fourth of July just around the corner, I am sure you’ve noticed magazines at the grocery store and mouthwatering pictures on your Facebook feed promoting quick and easy summer dishes. Potato salad can be made a hundred ways and I know you have seen and tried them all. Cajun, Rustic, San Fransisco, Grandma’s, and even curry potato salad; they may sound like great twist on a classic, but never quite live up to the way your mom made it. When I’m invited to or hosting a BBQ the food needs to make an impression, after-all, we are creating memories here! Hanging out with friends and family, celebrating dads, grads, or America, the meals need to be fun, delicious and very simple to put together.
I am always craving something. Usually it is fried and terribly naughty. (I’m a hedonist, what can I say.) Last week it was buffalo wings. The ‘melt your face with heat’ kind that you dunk into a vat of blue cheese. When I suggested we bring that to the Loh’s house on Father’s Day my beau just stared at me, as if I’d blurted out the declaration of independence in Mandarin. My words hung in the air. They dripped hot sauce into my imagination as my mind phased out, and my eyes glazed over with dancing chucks of blue cheese. The gutteral sound of his throat clearing wiped my fantasy away like an antibacterial kitchen wipe. “Or we could do Korean wings.” he said.
I protested. Korean wings? As if he knew anything about how to make complicated Asian food properly. This is the country, we don’t have asian markets near by. He gave me “the look”, the one that threatened to remind me of all his culinary training and time spent as a chef. My mouth stopped flapping and I was silenced. Within half an hour we had shopped, marinated and, yes, even found everything the recipe called for at our ‘local over priced for tourists’ market. What I thought would be complicated was so incredibly simple and inexpensive. The flavor profile is sweet, spicy and savory with an addictive crunch, thanks to the cornstarch dredge. As we had six grown ups and four kids of various ages to feed, we dialed back the chile on the recipe but you can adjust that to your taste and crowd you are serving. This recipe works because it has global flavors that stand out and satisfy. Plus, this will run you about $1.70 a serving! Best of all was watching Mr. Loh tuck into a plate of wings and exclaim with joy that they tasted just like his mom used to make. I think we knocked it out of the park!
MICHAEL SYMON’S KOREAN STYLE CHICKEN WINGS, serves 8
3 pounds Chicken Wings (split with tips attached)
1 cup Flour
2 tablespoons Cornstarch
1 1/4 cups Water
Vegetable Oil for frying
FOR THE SAUCE:
4 Garlic cloves (smashed)
2 tablespoons fresh Ginger (chopped)
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Korean Chile Paste
1 1/2 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 tablespoon Sesame Oil
2 tablespoons Honey
- Heat oil to 360 degrees F in a dutch oven.
- Whisk together the flour, cornstarch and water in a large bowl. Working in batches, add the chicken to the flour mixture and toss to coat. Fry for 5 to 7 minutes or until dark golden and crispy.
- Remove to a paper towel lined plate. Once oil is blotted off transfer to the large bowl of sauce and toss to coat. Repeat with remaining chicken.
- For the Sauce: Combine the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl.
Photo credit to abc.go.com