Fried Chicken Wings with Fish Sauce-Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam

Vietnamese food

There are different ways to make this dish.  It is a famous dish at Pok Pok, Ike’s Vietnamese Fish Sauce Chicken Wings, in Portland-Oregon.  Andy Ricker’s recipe in Food and Wine magazine is good to try.  I will post different home made versions soon. Need sleep to work tonight.  Good night and sweet dreams, my dear readers.
The follow recipe is adapted from Ike’s fish sauce chicken wings which marinate wings, coat with flour, deep fry and being glazed with cooked remaining marinade.  Are you ready for the best restaurant dish in 2007 rated by Food and Wine Magazine and was created by Andy Ricker who won The James Beard Foundation Best Chef: Northwest 2011. He tasted the dish in Vietnam.

Serves 1 or 2
1 lb chicken wings about 4-5 wings, rinsed and drained
2 Tbs Fish sauce
2 Tbs Sugar
1 medium garlic clove, crushed or finely minced
1/4 -1/2 cup rice flour, or any flour of your choice:  cornstarch, all-purposed, premixed flour, etc.
1 medium garlic clove, thinly sliced or coarsely chopped (optional)
1 tsp chili sauce or crushed red pepper flakes, or 1 small red hot chili  (optional)
1 tsp of lime juice (optional)
Vegetable oil for frying at least 1 cup.

  1. Marinate chicken wings, whole or separated at the joins, with fish sauce, sugar and crushed garlic for at least 1 hour or over night in the fridge.  Arrange wings in one layer or in plastic bag, turn occasionally.  I prefer separating wings at the joints for less oil needed. 
  2. Drain the wings, save the marinade for making glaze later. Trying to shake off all the marinade but no need to be patted dry.  Add 1/4 cup of rice flour and toss well and add a little more flour for even coating if needed. Shake off all excess flour.
  3. Use a large saute pan or a cast iron skillet is the best 10-12 in wide, add oil about 1/2-in deep at least or about 2- in deep if frying whole wings.  Heating oil over medium high heat until hot.  Deep frying garlic slices a few minutes until they turn  a light tan color.  Remove them and set aside.  For easy removing garlic slices, put garlic slices in a metal sieve and lower it into hot oil and lift it up when garlic turn light tan color. Do not over fry garlic, it will be bitter.  Add wings in one layer, frying about 5 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the wings to the other side, and turn the heat down to moderate medium ( between medium and medium high). Continue frying about 5 minutes or until golden brown.  Using chopsticks or a knife poke into the biggest piece to check the doneness:  opaque look,no pink.  If it is still pink cook a few minutes and recheck. Drain over paper towels or cooling rack.  The tip is brown faster, remove them first before the others.
  4. In a small saute pan, cook the remaining marinade with chili sauce or hot pepper, and lime juice if you prefer spicy, tangy taste until it is getting thick like caramel.  Remove from heat, toss the wings well with the glaze and deep fried garlic.  Serve like an appetizer with sweet and sour pickled daikon, carrot, lettuce, cucumber or with cooked rice.

*Note:  there is a non-marinated, non-flour version, you just deep fry chicken wings then toss them with glaze (making with same basic ingredients : fish sauce, sugar, garlic, hot chili sauce, and  lime or lemon juice) at the last minutes.

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