David's Recipe for Five Spice Chicken Wings

A Chinese classic. Some versions call for water chestnut flour, but water chestnut flour is hardly something which I'm likely to find in my kitchen. The five-spice powder I made myself, but you can probably also find it in Chinese groceries.

Appetizer or Snack, Chinese

  • About 25 chicken wings
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 soup spoons soy sauce
  • 2 coffee spoons sugar
  • 1 coffee spoon five-spice powder
  • A few spoons of oil for sauteing
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 scant coffee spoon baking soda
  • 1-1/2 quarts vegetable oil for deep frying
  1. Cut the chicken wings into three pieces each at the major joints. Use the two larger pieces for this dish, and reserve the small pointy part for a stock, or whatever.
  2. Mix the eggs, soy sauce, sugar, five-spice powder, and water. Marinate the wings in this mixture for an hour, turning occasionally.
  3. Reserving the marinade, saute the wings until they just start to brown, and the juices are tending to lose their pink.
  4. Put the wings back in the vessel in which they were marinated, and allow them to cool down until they are warm or barely hot.
  5. Preheat the oil for deep frying.
  6. Mix the flour, cornstarch, and baking soda.
  7. Add the flour mixture to the wings and their liquid, mixing until they are coated with a batter gummier than most Western batters.
  8. Test the heat of the oil as you usually do, by putting one of the coated wing joints in it. It should take about five minutes to become a light golden brown.
  9. Deep fry the wing joints, about six or seven at a time. Drain.
  10. Serve with plum sauce or a spicy pepper-based dipping sauce.

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