Chicken wings are inexpensive and a great way to feed a family of four for under $15. There’s one way to extract more value out of your meal, and that involves maximising its flavour. These Vietnamese sticky fish sauce wings are packed with flavour that will have the kids screaming for more. To get the best results, we need crispy and juicy fried wings, and the secret ingredient to create this is potato starch.
Potato starch is a fine starch which can withstand high temperatures. Because of this, it has the ability to coat chicken wings well, and when exposed to hot oil creates a light and crispy outer layer. It is not often found at mainstream supermarkets but most Asian grocery stores stock this Vietnamese pantry essential.
Potato starch is used throughout Asian cuisine and often interchangeably with cornstarch. Personally, I prefer potato starch for dredging chicken wings as it creates a lighter and crispier result when compared to cornstarch. Not only is potato starch ideal for deep frying but it is also a fantastic thickening agent and my household secret to making my sticky fish sauce.
The reason for thickening the sauce is that it allows it to stick and coat well when dressing the wings. In this case, we’re aiming for light and crispy deep fried wingettes coated with a viscous, sweet, salty and sour sauce. These delectable wings are best served with freshly steamed rice or with an ice cold lager. So, do yourself a favour and experiment with potato starch to give crispy wings that extra kick of flavour!
1 kg chicken wingettes
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon anchovy salt/ sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sugar
2 birds eye chillies, de-seeded and finely chopped
2½ tablespoons of sugar
80ml chicken stock/water
1 tablespoon of lime juice
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
1 teaspoon ginger, grated
1 teaspoon potato starch
1L neutral cooking oil
150g potato starch
½ bunch coriander, roughly chopped
½ bunch spring onions, finely chopped (white stalk only)
In a mixing bowl, marinate chicken wingettes with all ingredients, then cover and place in fridge for a minimum of 1 hour. For best results marinate overnight.
When ready to fry, add 150g of potato starch to the bowl and toss until wingettes are well coated.
In a small saucepan bring all ingredients (except potato starch) to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.
Mix 1 teaspoon of potato starch in 1 tablespoon of cold water to create a slurry.
Slowly add potato starch slurry to saucepan while stirring until sauce becomes slightly thick and viscous, then remove from heat.
In a medium saucepan deep fry wingettes in batches in neutral cooking oil at 180°C for 8-9 minutes then remove and place on cooling rack for 3-4 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, toss the wingettes in the sauce until well coated.
Garnish with coriander and spring onions. Serve with rice or enjoy by themselves.