Tebasaki (Nagoya Fried Chicken Wings)
Japanese Crispy Chicken Wings – easy recipe that produces the crispiest and best Japanese-flavored chicken wings ever
10 – 12 oz chicken wings (party wings), middle section only
Pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon potato starch
Oil, for deep-frying
White sesame seeds
1 tablespoon Japanese soy sauce, tamari preferred
1 tablespoon Mizkan (Bonito Flavor) Soup Base
3 tablespoons Mizkan Honteri Mirin
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon sake
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Heat up a deep-fryer to 300°F. Lightly coat and dust the surface of chicken wings with the potato starch. The coating should be very thin.
When the deep-fryer is ready, fry the chicken wings for 8 minutes or until they are light brown.
Remove the wings and turn up the heat on the deep-fryer to 375°F. Add the wings and deep fry for another 2 minutes or until very crispy. Remove and place on a paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Heat up all the ingredients in the Glaze in a small saucepan on low heat. Simmer until the glaze slightly thicken. Add the wings into the saucepan and toss around to make sure that each wing is lightly coated with the Glaze. Shake off the extra Glaze off each wings and transfer the wings to a bowl.
Sprinkle some white pepper powder (to taste) on top of the tebasaki and toss around a few times. Top with sesame seeds and serve immediately.
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!