The temperature is definitely rising and the sun has been coming out to play. In Irvine, we have been getting really warm days. Today, the highest temperature is in the low 90′s, and in the past few days, the mouthwatering smell of barbeque has been wafting in the air around my neighborhood. It’s never too early to break out your grill even though summer is not officially here. With warm and gorgeous days like this, I just couldn’t wait and had to fire up my grill and made these Southeast Asian chicken wings.
If you have been following me on Rasa Malaysia, you should probably know by now that Asia, especially Southeast Asia, is my favorite region in the whole world. (That’s one of the reasons why this blog is all about Asian cooking.) There is nowhere else quite like Southeast Asia: the friendly people, happiest smiles, breathtaking landscapes, and the scrumptious foods; Southeast Asia captures my heart. It’s the place I will always call home, the place I have longed to be every single day, and the place millions of tourists flock to every year.
This Southeast Asian chicken wing is the epitome of the colorful and exotic cooking of the region. Creamy coconut milk, fragrant lemongrass, aromatics such as ginger, garlic, cilantro, and the extra zing of lime juice and Thai chilies make these wings bursting with the flavors of the street food fare in countries such as Thailand , Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. They are absolutely pleasing to the palate, and the flavor is deep and complex. I came back from the region two months ago, but I have been aching to go back. I have a Vietnam trip planned in end of May and I just can’t wait to soak in the warm and humid days in Southeast Asia again.
Until then, I have these Southeast Asian chicken wings to satiate my craving and soothe my soul. Summer is a few weeks away, and you can certainly bookmark this recipe to welcome summer. When you fire up your grill for this recipe, you will know why I am forever hooked on the exotic flavors of the region. Enjoy!
Adapted from Fine Cooking
Make 12-14 Chicken Wings | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 20-28 minutes
3 pounds whole chicken wings (12-14)
1/2 cup (125ml) coconut milk
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, white part only, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 scallions, white part only, coarsely chopped
2 Thai chilies with seeds, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
12-14 long bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
Oiled paper towel or cloth
1/2 cup Thai sweet chili sauce (Mae Ploy)
Banana leaf (optional)
2 scallions, green part only, thinly sliced for garnishing
Use paper towels to pat the chicken wings dry. Transfer the chicken wings into a 1-gallon storage/freezer bag.
In a blender or food processor, puree the Marinade until smooth.
Pour the Marinade over the chicken wings in the storage bag. Close the bag tightly and coat the chicken wings evenly with the marinade. Chill for at least 2-4 hours or overnight.
Remove any excess marinade on the chicken wings. Thread each chicken wing on a bamboo skewer, from the drumette to the wingtip to stretch out the wing.
Prepare the gas/charcoal grill for grilling. Wipe the grate with an oiled paper towel or cloth.
Grill the chicken wings with skin side down until golden brown, about 8-12 minutes, depending on the heat. Turn over and grill the other side, another 8-12 minutes or until desired tenderness.
Brush both sides of the chicken wings with the Thai sweet chili sauce and grill until the glaze sizzles, 1-2 minutes each side. Transfer the chicken wings to a plate lined with banana leaf, garnish with scallion greens, and serve.
You can also use an instant-read thermometer to check the chicken wing. Insert it into the thickest part of the wing and if it reads 165°F, it should be cooked.
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