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[Diana’s Table] Fried chicken wings with ginger soy sauce

I start this series with my favorite fried chicken recipe because people of all ages love it.

Anything fried just tastes better, but it is more than that. Fried chicken is arguably one of the most popular comfort foods around the world and it brings back childhood memories of good times shared with close friends and family.

There are many different ways to fry chicken and I am sure that everyone has their own favorite family recipes. You may like it hot and spicy or you may prefer it sweet and salty. No matter what your personal preference may be, fried chicken is simple yet very satisfying.

I first learned to make fried chicken wings with ginger soy sauce from my mother-in-law. She was an excellent home cook who was at ease with not only Korean, but all types of Japanese, Chinese and Western-style foods as well.

The aromatic ginger is in perfect harmony with the sweet saltiness of the soy sauce, which in turn helps to reduce the greasy taste of fried chicken. This is still our family favorite during the family holiday gatherings and I usually make enough for at least 10 pieces per person.

In order to reduce cooking time, I recommend that you make an ample quantity of ginger soy sauce to keep for a year. It is ginger season now and you can easily find fresh ginger at most markets. It is important to use lots of ginger, as the taste of ginger will evaporate after a while. I also use this sauce to glaze fish and meat dishes as it is better than just using plain soy sauce.

You can also fry the chicken wings a day before and fry them once more before serving. This will make the chicken crispier and tastier. You can serve them on game nights or take them for potluck dinners. You can also pack them for lunch or picnics.

In these days of COVID-19, this can be a great gift to cheer up your family and friends. You can also make it as a special treat for yourself and enjoy it while reading a book or watching your favorite old movie.

Fried chicken wings with ginger soy sauce (Diana’s Table)
Fried chicken wings with ginger soy sauce (Diana’s Table)

Ingredients for ginger soy sauce

3 cups soy sauce
3 cups sugar
3 cups sliced ginger
1 cup water

Mix all ingredients and boil in medium heat for about one hour, stirring frequently. Make sure that the sauce does not boil over or burn. The sauce is ready when the sauce becomes thick and sticks to the spoon. You can make this sauce days ahead and store it in a cool place.

Ingredients for the fried chicken wings (six servings)

60 chicken wings or drumettes,

1 cup rice wine
1/4 cup minced ginger
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup sweet rice powder or potato starch

Marinate about 60 pieces of chicken wings and drumettes in rice wine, minced ginger and pepper. Let them marinate for about 30 minutes. This helps to season the meat and also helps it stay juicy. Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Coat the wings in sweet rice powder or potato starch. Fry the chicken wings until golden brown, cooked through and crisp. Deep fry twice to make them crispy. Roll the chicken in ginger soy sauce. Transfer to a rack and let excess sauce drip off. Serve with small cornichons or pickled onions.

Diana Kang is a lifestyle contents creator specializing in Korean food and food culture. She has worked as an executive producer of the PBS series on Korean food, “Kimchi Chronicles,” and has written regular columns on celebrity chefs, specialty ingredients and family recipes. --Ed.