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Thai chicken wings with hot-and-sour sauce and salted mango

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

One of my favorite snacks are chicken wings, and I have about 200 recipes for them from around the world. As I slowly cook through these recipes, I am coming across recipes that are simply superb. This is one of those recipes.

Vong's recipes are always fabulous, and this is one of my favorite cook books for contemporary Thai fare. The recipes are by no means easy, but the flavors are outstanding. These wings are marinated in a salty-spicy soy sauce that penetrates the meat beautifully. The dark tender wings are complimented by the hot-and-sour sauce, bright and bold, that brings the wings alive. The salted mango compliments the dish, and serves as a wonderful palate cleanser between bites. These are wings that I can consume by the bucketful. Although the recipe looks long, it is relatively simple to make, so do not be intimidated by the long ingredient list.

This cookbook is beautiful, packed with gorgeous photographs, and loaded with outstanding recipes. I will admit, the recipes are not the easiest to make, but the recipes always turn out spectacular. I did have the opportunity to enjoy Vong's cuisine at his restaurant in Chicago, and the experience was a delight. The flavors were wonderful, and the French training is evident in the balance of flavors and beautiful presentations. This is my go to cookbook for contemporary Thai cuisine, one that belongs in very serious chef's kitchen.

For more recipes from this amazing cookbook, click here.


For the hot-and-sour sauce:

4 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup shallots, thinly sliced

1/4 cup garlic, thinly sliced

6 dried red chilies

6-10 red Thai chilies, halved longitudinally

1/2 inch piece galangal, finely chopped

1/4 teaspoon dried shrimp paste

2 tablespoons palm sugar or jaggery

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

A few drops Thai fish sauce

Salt, to taste

Juice of 1 lime

For the wings:

1/2 cup soy sauce

A few drops Thai fish sauce

3 garlic cloves, minced and made into a paste, or passed through a garlic crush

3-4 red Thai chilies, minced finely

1 tablespoon palm sugar or jaggery

1 kg chicken wings, jointed at the first bend

Mint, to garnish

For the mango:

1 ripe mango,

Grainy sea salt

For the hot-and-sour sauce:

Heat the oil in a small pot, non-stick is best and add the shallots and garlic. Fry on medium-low heat for about 5-7 minutes till the shallots are deeply browned and caramelized. Add the rest of the ingredients, except lime juice, and cook on low heat till the spices smell aromatic, and the tamarind no longer smells raw, and the sauce is well fried. Cool.

Grind to a fine thick sauce in a small blender. Add a few tablespoons water to get the paste to whirl in the blender. Taste and adjust salt, chili and sweet. The flavors should be bold and well balanced. Remove and cook on low heat again till the sauce is thick and the oils begin to float to the top, about 3-4 minutes. Add the lime juice and mix in. Garnish with a Thai chili, if desired.

For the Chicken:

Marinate the chicken in the mix for a minimum of 4 hours, I usually marinate in the morning for dinner, or overnight is also great.

Cook the chicken on the grill till cooked through, about 20 minutes, turning 1-2 times. Baste with the remaining marinade every 5 minutes till the marinade is over. The finished wings should be very tender and sticky and dark colored from the marinade.

Alternatively, heat the oven to 375 F. Layer the chicken on a lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Baste liberally every 10 minutes till the marinade is exhausted. Turn after 15 minutes. the chicken should be super soft and tends with a ver sticky glaze.

Serve immediately garnished with mint. Add the grainy sea salt to the mango at the last moment and serve alongside. Have the hot-and sour sauce on the side for guests to dip their wings into.

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