Tebasaki (Nagoya Fried Chicken Wings)
As a Japanese food lover, I am very lucky that I live in southern California. Many famed Japanese restaurants and chains hailed from Japan can be found in the Greater Los Angeles area. One of my favorite Japanese restaurants is Furaibo (風来坊), which is originated from the city of Nagoya in Japan.
Furaibo is famous for its delicious and utterly addictive Nagoya-style tebasaki, or seasoned fried chicken wings which is a specialty food of the Nagoya region. I have had some great chicken wings, but the tebasaki served at Furaibo is a class of its own. The wings are lightly coated with flour and deep-fried. The surface of the wings are extremely crispy, dry, crackly, and lightly dusted with their secret dry seasonings. A bite into the chicken wing reveals the deep flavors of the glaze—savory, slightly sweet, and oozes umami. Furaibo Nagoya-style tebasaki are simply irresistible.
After eating at Furaibo almost every week, I have finally decided to attempt the tebasaki recipe at home. I did a quick search and found a tebasaki recipe from Nagoya International Center. Based on the recipe and with my wild guesses, I developed my own tebasaki recipe. The verdict: my recipe is good and close to the taste I was trying to achieve. The texture of the chicken was almost spot-on as I deep-fried the wings twice at 300 degree Fahrenheit and then at 375 degree to crisp up the skin. For the glaze, I added a little extra umami by adding Mizkan Bonito Flavor Soup Base to the recipe.
I also decided to present the tebasaki in a bento box, with steamed rice speckled with black sesame seeds, tamagoyaki (Japanese rolled omelet), and salad. If you are curious about tebasaki and its taste, you should definitely try out my recipe. It is very important that you buy smaller chicken wings (look for party wings). Bigger wings will not deliver the desired results. Another important technique is to score the bottom part of the chicken wings with two diagonal slits to allow the marinade and glaze to seep inside the chicken wings. (Check out the recipe to see the picture guide.)
I can assure you the end result of crispy and tantalizing chicken wings are well worth the efforts, and that you will really enjoy this tebasaki or Nagoya fried chicken wings bento. Happy eating!
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