After trying the much-hyped Vietnamese fried fish sauce wings at Pok Pok - Portland - Oregon, I knew I could re-create a similar version at home, but tone down the amount of fish sauce used. The first few wings I ate at Pok Pok were pretty good, but then the saltiness of the fish sauce became really apparent as I kept eating. The Do Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Stuff ie. Carrots and Daikon) that were served with the wings were supposed to balance out the saltiness and spiciness, but I didn't find the wings very spicy, just very, very salty. Anyway, the good thing about making this at home is that you can adjust the fish sauce and chile peppers to your liking.
Pok Pok's wings are addictive because of the double marination, before and after frying. I marinated the wings in fish sauce, salt, sugar, and garlic. I used mostly the same ingredients, but added vinegar and chile peppers, like I would with Nuoc Mam Cham Ngot (Vietnamese Sweetened Fish Dipping Sauce) and simmered it on the stove top to thicken. The wings were only lightly battered, so I used a combination of rice and tapioca flours, and only one coating before frying. If you want to eat low-carb, you can skip the coating and just fry the wings after marination if you wish. Then the wings were tossed in the sweetened fish dipping sauce afterward.
I served up my version at Christmas dinner with my siblings, and again later with friends, and they found them pretty addicting. But then, who can resist fried chicken wings that are crispy, salty, sweet, and spicy?
Canh Ga Chien Nuoc Mam Kieu Pok Pok (Vietnamese Pok Pok-Style Fried Fish Sauce Wings)
Inspired by Pok Pok - Portland - Oregon.
For the marinade:
2 lbs chicken wings
1 tsp salt
2 tblsp Nuoc Mam (Vietnamese Fish Sauce)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp garlic salt or 6 cloves garlic, smashed
For the sauce:
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup vinegar
1 tblsp dried red chili flakes
Optional: 1/4 tsp corn starch
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
Oil for deep frying
Marinate about 2 lbs of chicken wings overnight or for at least an hour with 1 tsp salt, 2 tblsps fish sauce, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp garlic powder or 6 smashed cloves of garlic. You don't want to mince the garlic because the pieces will burn when you fry the wings. Smashing the garlic releases the juices and can easily be fished out before frying. Or do a combination of both if you like extra garlicky food.
Make the fish sauce you'll be tossing the wings in first as it'll need to simmer for about half an hour. Finely mince 6 cloves of garlic. In a small saucepan, add the garlic, 1/3 cup fish sauce, 1/3 cup water, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/3 cup vinegar, and 1 tblsp dried red chile flakes. Let simmer on medium-low for about 20 minutes to half an hour to thicken to your liking. If you want the sauce to be especially thick, you can also add about 1/4 tsp corn starch. The sauce will thicken as it cooks, so taste it after about 15 minutes and adjust seasonings to your liking.
Frying and cooking fish sauce gets stinky! If you have a portable burner, cook outside if you can. If not, I'm sorry, but I promise it'll be worth it. :)
To fry the wings, put 1/2 cup rice flour and 1/2 tapioca starch in a shallow bowl. I prefer the Erawan brand as seen on the rice flour bag, but I couldn't find any more of its tapioca starch at the store at the time. I don't think brands matter so much when I'm frying, but for making Vietnamese dumplings, Erawan is one of my preferred brands.
Mix the flours. Discard the garlic pieces from the marinade. Then lightly coat each chicken wing in one layer of flour.
Deep fry on medium heat until the wings are golden. Drain excess oil
When the wings are all cooked and the fish sauce has thickened to your liking, it's time to toss the wings in another layer of fish sauce and garlic.
If you're feeling lazy, you can also buy the pre-made sweet chilli sauce for chicken and toss the wings with that. I've tried Aroy-D and Mae Ploy brands and don't really have a preference for either one, just showing you what the bottle looks like.
Toss the chicken wings in the sweetened chilli garlic fish sauce.
Great as an appetizer or a snack.
Or with rice. Or with anything really.
Serve with a side of Do Chua (Vietnamese Pickled Stuff ie. Carrots and Daikon) if you'd like.
Other fried chicken recipes you might like:
Canh Ga Xa Xiu (Vietnamese Chinese Char Siu-Style Barbecued Chicken Wings)
Chicken Karaage (Japanese Fried Chicken)
Chinese Deep-Fried Chicken Wings with Spicy Salt
Southern Fried Chicken with Cream Gravy and Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes
Sriracha Buffalo Wings
Taiwanese Popcorn Chicken
1 year ago today,
2 years ago today,
3 years ago today,
4 years ago today, Ask Wandering Chopsticks 4.
5 years ago today, Christmas dinner.
6 years ago today, Shanghai-style Sticky Rice Siu Mai Dumplings.
7 years ago today, I cooked Christmas colors - insalata caprese, pesto, and baked goat cheese on pesto and tomato sauce.