April 15, 2012

Soy Sauce Chicken Wings 紅燒雞翼

chicken, chinese, red cooked chicken wings, recipe, soy sauce, soy sauce chicken wings, 紅燒, 雞翼
By Published: 2012-04-15
Every chinese kid will tell you, soy sauce chicken wings, or 紅燒雞翼, is one of their favorite snacks bar none.  And how could it not be?  Melting from the bone chickeny goodness coated and infused with the aromatically sweet, savory, sticky coating of red cooked soy sauce with a subtle hint of licorice and ginger.  This is chinese snack food at its supreme.  Well at least for kids and those of us who still keep their inner kid alive and kicking.  

My family originally being from the Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, we grew up eating this kind of thing pretty much every day, be it red cooked (another name for soy sauce cooking) chicken or beef or pork.  This kind of cooking is more of a northern china kind of thing and since I've been in Hong Kong I have missed it.  

I know, I know, you can find some red cooked meats in Hong Kong too, but, honestly, I don't think it's that good.  It's only so-so on the taste radar.  Usually the flavor's not quite right or it's been sitting around too long.  

So what else to do but make it myself every once in a while to sooth my nostalgic longings.  Beware, though, these little suckers will disappear before you can say "Soy Sauce Chicken Wings"!
Soy Sauce Chicken Wings Recipe
紅燒雞翼

(Makes approx. 14 wings)  Prep time:    Cook time: 

Ingredients

Directions:

Rinse and dry the chicken wings.  Heat wok med high until you can see heat rising, pour in the oil and swirl and put in the ginger and spring onions.  Stir fry for a moment until you can smell the fragrance from the ginger and onions.  

Put in the chicken wings, stirring immediately to coat with the oil (so the skin won't stick to wok).  Add more oil if necessary. Stir fry, turning constantly, for about 3-4 minutes, making sure the skins don't stick to the wok, until the wings are a light gold color on all sides.  

Add water to barely cover, light and dark soy sauce, rock sugar and star anise.  Turn heat to med low and cover.  Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom wings from sticking to wok.  Take out the wings.  

Reduce the stock left in wok over high heat until glossy and thick.  Pour over chicken wings and serve.  These wings are great hot or straight from the fridge the next day, if they last that long.

Note: If you have a lot of the yummy cooking stock leftover you can save it for the next time you make these soy sauce wings or maybe even use it to start up a "master stock" or "卤水".  Some of the famous 卤水 can be hundreds of years old!  Imagine that!  

I want to start one that I can leave to my little girl.  Don't know if she'll be too pleased though.  If you want to save it, just strain out all the bits and reboil the stock, let cool and refrigerate till needed if using in the near future.  If you want to keep it a longer time you  should freeze it.





Google

35 comments:

  1. I've been looking for a recipe for this! My mum used to make this all the time and I had no idea what she put in it but I think this is definitely very close, thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to help. Hope that you can recreate your mum's undoubtedly delicious wings!

      Delete
  2. So good! Awesome recipe!

    I miss mum's food...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Nothing quite like mom's and grandma's delicious food for making one feel happy!

      Delete
  3. Can I use brown sugar instead of rock sugar? If so, how much do you recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Stephen - you could use 2-3 tbsp of brown sugar to substitute for the rock sugar ~ellen

      Delete
  4. What light soy sauce and what dark soy sauce brand do you use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Lina - we switch around to experience different soy sauce flavors but at the moment we are using Lee Kum Kee for light soy and Yuan's for dark soy. Hope to do an in depth on our favorite soy sauces soon so stay tuned! ~ellen

      Delete
  5. I realize this is an old post, so I hope I can get an answer! I see that someone asked about subbing brown sugar for the rock sugar, but AFAIK, rock sugar is less sweet and has a more neutral flavor than brown sugar. I do have some raw sugar (turbinado). Would that be a good substitute for the rock sugar? If so, how much should I use? Or, do you think brown sugar (which has molasses in it) is a better substitute?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dorothy - I think that raw sugar would probably substitute better than brown sugar, though brown sugar would be fine too, just more of a depth of flavor to it. You are right in thinking that raw sugar is closer in nature to rock sugar and by using raw sugar you can achieve the gloss to the sauce that rock sugar usually provides. Use 2-3 tbsp of raw sugar or to taste. Good luck on your wings! ~ellen

      Delete
  6. Thank you for the reply, Ellen. Will be making them tonight, with the turbinado sugar. I'm sure they'll be yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Can palm sugar be used? I have that as well as the raw sugar and brown sugar. Is one better to use?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi GKWay - palm sugar is a definite yes, it would give the wings a wonderful flavor. We use raw sugar and maple syrup also. ~ellen

      Delete
  8. Cooking it now.. looks yummy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Lulu - hope you enjoyed your wings! ~ellen

      Delete
  9. Hi, how much water should we add? The sentence "Add water to barely cover" isn't very clear. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Just add enough water so that all the chicken is submerged under water. ~ellen

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ahhh missing my moms cooking so bad. She taught me how to cook this before she passed but I forgot. So glad you wrote this recipe- can’t wait to try it! Thank you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No problem, only hope that they come out as yummy as your mom's! ~ellen

      Delete
  12. Hello, can I use other meat eg, duck wings?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Ms Dee-Dee - yes, absolutely! Duck wings are really delicious cooked like this. ~ellen

    ReplyDelete
  14. where can you get the better tasting scallions the store ones from shoprite, acme etc don't taste the same as the ones in chinese restaurants?

    ReplyDelete
  15. I would imagine that going to Chinatown or a local Asian grocer would get you fresher scallions that are closer to the type used in restaurants. ~ellen

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hi, can i use just white refined sugar for this recipe? Asking because thats all i have for sugar in my kitchen. haha. if not, ive to make a dash for the supermarket before dinner tonight :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Yes, just add to taste, no problem ~ellen

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Ellen. Thanks for this yummy recipe. It never fails to amaze my family every time I cooked this dish for them. Thank you so much.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Dear Lulu - thank you for making my day! 😄~ellen

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Ellen. For the leftover “master stock”, I keep mine in the freezer until I make it again. Can I just add water in the future or continue as the recipe and just add the master stock as extra flavour

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What I do is add in master stock, chicken wings, then add in enough water to cover wings. Cook about 10 mins, taste sauce, adjust by adding in light and dark soy and rock sugar to taste, then finish up the cooking. ~ellen

      Delete
  21. Ellen, I have a lifelong fascination with American-Chinese cooking (tracing its history and evolution), but my preoccupation with a chicken wing dish I loved as a child borders on obsession. When the restaurant closed, I lost my favorite food -- forever. The restaurant itself was pretty typical of a Northeastern US American-Chinese restaurant from the 1960s-70s, but these wings were not like anything I'd had before or since. They were called "Chinese Barbecue Wings," which is strange, but they resembled the picture above and tasted like a salty-umami supernova. It wasn't exactly salty-sweet, but there was certainly some sugar in it. Definitely soy sauce, but that's all I could decipher. There was no visual evidence of scallions, onions, garlic or ginger, though they could have been involved in the cooking process. The wings may have been deep-fried or wok-fried -- I couldn't tell. But I will say that the sauce was not sticky or viscous at all -- which is relatively uncommon for Am-Chinese wings. I've tried to replicate it, but I cannot. I've suspected many unknown ingredients over the years, including oyster sauce, vermouth, Shaoxing, specific brands of soy sauce, etc. Is soy sauce chicken wings Cantonese? Is it specific to Hong Kong? Are there variations? Is the sauce indeed on the thin side (as opposed to a glaze)? Based on what I know, most of the restaurant in my region of the US are Cantonese-derived, but I wonder why this particular dish appeared in one restaurant out of thousands?

    ReplyDelete
  22. A food mystery! I had a bit of a think and here's a possibility: There is a Cantonese style of roasted meat shops called siu mei 燒味 shop which is often translated in English as BBQ meat shop. A staple of these siu mei shops is 'cantonese soy sauce chicken' or '豉油雞'. This is chicken cooked in a bath of soy, ginger, garlic, sugar, wine and chenpi. The sauce is not sticky but more like a glaze and it's very delicious and super popular in HK. It could be that your restaurant applied the 豉油雞 method to chicken wings instead of the whole chicken. If you are near to any areas with Chinese grocery shops and restaurants it's a possibility that a siu mei 燒味 shop could exist, sometimes as part of a Cantonese restaurant. If so you could see if it's the same. Good luck with your hunt! ~ellen

    ReplyDelete
  23. I made it last night and it tastes so good. I remember my grandma used to make this dish for me when I lived with her. Thank you for such a great recipe. I am following your blog now.

    ReplyDelete
  24. That makes me happy and remember my grams making me food too! 😊❤️ ~ellen

    ReplyDelete