RECIPE: Sweet Chilli Crispy Wings

A recent poll found that Chinese food is far and away the top takeaway choice and now the holy grail of Chinese Takeaway trade secret recipes has been released by Leicestershire Chef Kwoklyn Wan helping cooks create their favourite takeaway dishes at home.

Master classic dishes, from starts such as Mini Spring Rolls, Crispy Aromatic Duck and Seasame Prawn Seed Toast to delectable mains including Char Siu Pork, Chicken Chow Meinand rich Chinese Mushrooms with Oyster Sauce, as well as the foolproof Egg Fried Rice, sweet and soft Steamed Bao Buns and the fluffiest Chiffon Pandan Cake.

Kwoklyn reveals the culinary secrets he’s learned over a lifestime working on Chinese restaurants, including tips on Chinese food etiquette, cooking techniques and wok craft.

Double-fried, super-crunchy, spicy and juicy wings… This recipe does take a little longer to cook, but to get the crispy coating on the wing you have to double-fry. I guarantee that once you try this dish, it will become the one you pull out of the bag to wow your friends and family – it really is that good!

1.6kg (3lb 8oz) chicken wings
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
125g (1 cup) cornflour (cornstarch)
vegetable oil for frying
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 large, dried red chillies, de-seeded
and cut into quarters
60ml (¼ cup) light soy sauce
120ml (½ cup) runny honey
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Pat the chicken wings with kitchen paper to make sure they are absolutely dry. Cut the tips off each wing and then cut each wing in half.

Put the chicken into a large bowl and mix with the salt, pepper and ginger. Add the cornflour to a separate large bowl, then thoroughly coat each chicken wing, gently squeezing to make sure the flour is sticking. Put the coated wings on a plate and set aside.

Heat a large non-stick wok over a medium to high heat. Add 1–2 tablespoons of oil, then fry the garlic and chillies for 30 seconds, taking care not to burn the garlic. Add the soy sauce, honey and vinegar, mix well and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the palm sugar and stir until fully dissolved. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Put enough vegetable oil in a large saucepan to be deep enough to deep-fry the wings, and heat to 170°C (340°F). Gently fry the wings in batches of five, cooking for 8–10 minutes depending on the thickness of each wing piece. Turn the wings frequently to ensure even cooking. Remove wings and drain on a wire rack. Continue until all the wings are fried.

Once all the wings are cooked and slightly cooled, reheat the oil (to the same temperature) and fry the wings again for another 12 minutes, until golden brown and crispy, remembering to turn the wings frequently. Remove and drain on a wire rack and repeat with the rest of the wings.

When all the chicken has been double-fried, reheat the sauce in the wok, add the wings and mix well to coat. Transfer to a serving plate, sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds and serve straightaway.

Chinese Takeaway Cookbook by Kwoklyn Wan is published by Quadrille. RRP £15

Photography: @SamFolan

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