When you take a chicken wing, fry it up, lather it lovingly in sauce and serve it, you’re combining a seemingly magical host of flavors and textures that Americans can’t help but love. The almighty chicken wing is one of the most iconic foods in all of America, but did you know that some foreign countries have their own versions of the chicken wing? Here are some exotic versions of the great American chicken wing.
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Chicken wings are a massively popular bar food in South Korea, downed with Korean beer or soju (Korean distilled liquor) and served with pickled radish cubes. Korean-style fried chicken utilizes an Asian frying technique that renders the fatty skin almost entirely, creating a wafer-thin, ultra-crispy, translucent crust. It’s served golden-brown with a light painting of sauce or simply with salt and pepper for self-seasoning.
Called “chicken lollipops,” this popular Goa, India dish is a reconstructed chicken wing where certain bones are taken out to create an edible meat lollipop with a single “handle.” They are coated in a red batter, deep-fried and served plain or with a spicy dipping sauce.
These wings are made with a Japanese cooking technique called Karaage in which they are marinated in soy sauce, garlic and/or ginger and then lightly coated with seasoned wheat flour or potato starch before being fried in a light, almost Tempura-style oil.
The Vietnamese often stuff their chicken wings with minced pork, grated vegetables and/or prawns that are flavored with lemon grass, garlic, fish sauce and cilantro for a unique and delicious meal within a meal.
“Jerk” chicken (while this preparation can apply to all of the bird) is especially excellent when served as a chicken wing dish. Jamaican “Jerk” wings are marinated with allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers and a mix of cloves, cinnamon, scallions, thyme, salt, garlic and/or nutmeg for a heady, spicy and savory flavor punch.
Places like Thailand, Laos and Cambodia often include the wing tip in their preparation and incorporate flavors like lemongrass, coconut milk, ginger, garlic, cilantro, lime juice and chilies.
Done right, the delicious American chicken wing is split into wingettes and drumettes, deep-fried to crispy-on-the-outside, juicy-on-the-inside golden-brown perfection, tossed with sauce (a mix of cayenne-based hot sauce and butter comprises the most famous and beloved “Buffalo” sauce) and then served on a platter with bleu cheese or ranch, plus carrots and celery. But you already knew that.