Baked Vietnamese Chicken Wings

Baked Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings

Whether you’re a Portlander or not, odds are you’ve heard of Pok Pok; a restaurant that took the foodie scene by storm in 2001 when it opened its doors. Owner Andy Ricker has since opened several more locations – including one in NYC – and won a prestigious James Beard for his innovative restaurant. Everything on the menu is drool-worthy, but Pok Pok’s most famous dish is the Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings. Don’t let the name scare you. These chicken wings are crack on a bone. So when I stumbled upon the recipe last month, I put it up on the refrigerator to make for Super Bowl.

Except that, naturally I couldn’t wait. Only, I made a slight modification: I baked these chicken wings instead of deep frying them. Because wings that are baked are practically healthy, yes? Yes. And  I promise, it doesn’t sacrifice flavor or crunch. Can’t you just see the crispiness in these photos. I’m getting hungry just editing this post.

Baked Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings Baked Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings

I thought I’d found the perfect game day food in the Hawaiian Chex Mix that I published last week. These baked Vietnamese Chicken Wings trump the chex mix. I’m not a huge sports fan, but I can’t wait for game day (and an excuse to make these wings again). So… go team!

Baked Vietnamese Fish Sauce Wings


Baked Vietnamese Chicken Wings

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1/2 cup Asian fish sauce
1/2 cup superfine sugar
4 garlic cloves, 2 crushed and 2 minced
3 pounds chicken wings (“party wings”)
4 T vegetable oil, divided
1 cup cornstarch
1 T chopped cilantro
1 T chopped mint

In a bowl, whisk the fish sauce, sugar and crushed garlic. Add the wings and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 3 hours, tossing the wings occasionally. Heat 2 T of oil in a small skillet. Add the minced garlic; cook over moderate heat until golden, approximately 3-4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Heat the oven to 450 and grease 2 baking dishes.
Put the cornstarch in a shallow bowl, add the wings and turn to coat. Divide the wings between the 2 baking dishes, and brush lightly with the remaining vegetable oil. Cook for 20 minutes, and then lower the heat to 400 and cook for another 45 minutes, until cooked through and golden. Transfer wings to a cooling rack.
In a small saucepan, simmer the marinade over moderately high heat until syrupy, 5 minutes. Strain over the wings and toss in a large bowl. Top with the cilantro, mint and fried garlic.

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