Spicy BBQ Chicken Wings (marinated in sake)

This marinade is one of the top requested recipes from family and friends. Its layers of flavors include garlic, coriander, ginger, honey, chili peppers and a slight hint of sake. If you’re out of chicken, you can substitute it with pork, beef ribs, chuck, flank, or ribeye steak. For best result, I would recommend marinading the chicken wings in the refrigerator overnight. The marinade will have time to penetrate the meat giving it more flavor. If time is of the essence, marinade for a minimum of 2-3 hours.

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Spicy BBQ Chicken Wings (marinated in sake)

serves 6-8 (2-3 wings per person)

20 chicken wings
10 large cloves of garlic – minced
1 large shallot – minced
4 Thai chili peppers – minced
2 Tbsp. lemongrass – cut into thin rounds, ground
1 Tbsp. fresh grated ginger
2 tsp. coriander seeds – roasted, ground
5 Tbsp. Thai chili paste (nam prik pao) – for recipe see my post for “Thai chili paste”
3 Tbsp. palm sugar (substitute with brown sugar or white sugar)
1 Tbsp. honey
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup sake (Japanese rice wine)

1. chicken wings
Wash chicken wings in cold water and dry thoroughly. Place wings in a one gallon freezer bag. This is the easiest way to marinade the wings in – trust me.

2. garlic, shallot, Thai chili peppers
Mince garlic, shallot and Thai chili peppers. Set aside in a medium size bowl (“marinade bowl”).

3. lemongrass
Peel 1-2 layers of the outer part of lemongrass. Use only the light green part of stalk, about 1/3 from bottom. Slice into thin rounds and grind/pound using stone mortar and pestle until it becomes a paste-like texture. You can also chop/puree in a food processor or coffee grinder. Add lemongrass to marinade bowl.

4. coriander seeds
Dry roast coriander seeds in pan on medium high heat until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes before grinding into a fine powder using mortar, food processor or coffee grinder. Add coriander powder to marinade bowl.

5. Thai chili sauce
Add 5 tablespoons of Thai chili paste to marinade bowl.

6. palm sugar, honey, soy sauce, sake
Add palm sugar, honey, soy sauce and sake to marinade bowl. Mix well, then add marinade to freezer bag with chicken wings. Squeeze as much air out of freezer bag before closing. Shake bag well to make sure marinade evenly covers all chicken wings. For best result, let marinade sit in refrigerator overnight before grilling.

7. final step
Grilling chicken wings – grill wings for 6-7 minutes on each side or until each side is slightly charred but not burnt. Serve with jasmine rice.

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