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Dish Origin: Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam
Made famous by the James Beard Award-winning chef Andy Ricker at his Asian hot spot, Pok Pok, this dish is completely magical. Fish sauce wings with a sticky glaze of fish sauce, sugar and crispy garlic are a street-food staple in Ho Chi Minh City. The technique used for the garlic is noteworthy, an example of making the most of a single ingredient. First, chopped garlic is soaked in warm water or broth, then strained. That garlic-infused broth is used as part of the marinade and the chopped garlic is slowly cooked in coconut oil, then strained again. The now-crispy garlic is tossed with the finished chicken, and the garlic-infused oil is reserved for future use such as sauteing vegetables and stir-fries. Instead of wings, we’ve opted for drumsticks, with a pile of quick-pickled vegetables or Vietnamese-style salad, which balances the flavor profile of each.
- In a small saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Remove from heat; add mushrooms. Soak for 30 minutes, until softened. Remove mushrooms from broth and dice. Reserve mushrooms and broth separately.
- To a small bowl, add garlic and 1/4 cup reserved broth; let stand for 3 minutes. Pour mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl, pressing garlic lightly with a spoon. Reserve garlic and garlic-infused broth separately.
- Add fish sauce and 1/4 cup cane juice to reserved garlic-infused broth; stir until dissolved. To a resealable bag or container, add chicken and half of fish sauce mixture, reserving remainder for sauce. Toss well and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate all reserved ingredients until ready to proceed.
- In a small pan on high, add oil and reserved garlic. Reduce heat to medium low and cook until golden. Drain through a fine-mesh sieve into a heat-resistant bowl; reserve oil for another use (such as stir-frying or searing meats). Drain garlic on paper towel and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425°F. In a colander, drain chicken, discarding marinade. Toss chicken in flour, shaking off excess, and arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Mist with cooking spray; bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until golden. Turn and mist again; bake for 15 to 20 minutes more, until crisp and no longer pink inside.
- Meanwhile, prepare pickled vegetables: In a large bowl, toss carrots, radish, salt and remaining 1 tsp cane juice and set aside to soften, about 15 minutes. Add vinegar and toss. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
- Once chicken is baked, add remaining broth and reserved mushrooms to reserved fish sauce mixture. To a large nonstick skillet or wok, add fish sauce mushroom mixture and sambal oelek. Bring to a boil; cook for about 30 seconds, until reduced by half and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. To a large bowl, transfer drumsticks and add sauce, tossing gently to coat. Add 1/2 cup cilantro, 1/4 cup mint, reserved crispy garlic and toss again. Drain excess liquid from vegetables, mix in cucumber and remaining 1/2 cup cilantro and 1/4 cup mint. Serve alongside drumsticks.
- Serving Size 2 drumsticks and 1 1/4 cups salad
- Calories 332
- Carbohydrate Content 39 g
- Cholesterol Content 120 mg
- Fat Content 7 g
- Fiber Content 4 g
- Protein Content 27 g
- Saturated Fat Content 2 g
- Sodium Content 868 mg
- Sugar Content 9 g
- Monounsaturated Fat Content 0 g
- Polyunsaturated Fat Content 0 g