I spend a lot of time in Koreatown in midtown Manhattan and enjoy the food there—especially their crispy chicken wings. They do a unique take, rendering the skin out and incorporating unique spices and flavors. We do something similar here at Bounce Sporting Club in New York City. Usually we fry them here, but for a healthier take, we’re going to boil our chicken in seasoned water then bake them—and they’re going to be just as delicious. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients. You’ll be able to get spices like shichimi togarashi and pastes like gojujang and sambal oelek at your local Asian specialty store.
10 SPICE KOREATOWN CHICKEN WINGS
- 1 lb. split jumbo chicken wings
- 1 tsp black sesame seed
- Zest from 1 orange
- 1 tsp shichimi togarashi pepper (Japanese 7 flavor chili pepper powder)
- 1 tsp whole cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1 tbsp fennel seed
- 1 tbsp szechuan peppercorns
- 1 tbsp coriander seed
- 1 tbsp ginger powder
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1 tbsp cumin seed
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp gojujang paste (fermented Korean chili paste)
- 1 tbsp sambal oelek (Indonesian style ground chili paste)
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- ½ cup fresh ginger, chopped
- 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
- 2 cups low-sodium soy sauce
- 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- ¼ cup sesame oil
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- In a large pot, season water with kosher salt and pepper and boil wings until cooked ¾ of the way through, about 10 minutes. Drain and cool on a small sheet pan fitted with a wire rack.
- Lightly toast 10-spice ingredients, then grind in a coffee grinder.
- In a medium saucepan, add all of the sauce ingredients, except the sesame oil, and cook on low- to medium-heat for 20 minutes to reduce. Pour the sauce into a blender and blend on high speed. With the blender still running, add the sesame oil in a slow steady stream until it’s incorporated.
- Place the chicken in the oven until cooked through and crispy, about 5 minutes.
- Take the chicken out, place into a large bowl and add the 10-spice mix and orange zest. Add sauce and toss to coat.
- Place the chicken on a platter and top with black sesame seeds and the togarashi pepper blend and serve.
A graduate of The French Culinary Institute, Sean Olnowich is the executive consulting chef for the Brandit Group (Bounce Sporting Club, Vero Midtown) and also formed Radar Catering, an upscale catering company.