Kitchen Notes

Sambal Oelek Sticky Chicken Wings

by Thomas Kelly on Sep 21, 2015


Chicken wings and hot sauce are one of the most substantial pairings in the food universe. And with football season officially underway, we’ve been reacquainting ourselves with this power couple.

We’ll always have a soft spot for the classic buffalo wing (with a side of celery sticks and blue cheese, of course). But we’re also keen on experimentation: crispy wings are the perfect canvas for a sticky sweet Thai-inspired chili sauce, or a thick gojuchang glaze.

Since we’re currently on a sambal oelek kick, we mixed the Indonesian chili paste with sesame oil and honey for a sticky, spicy wing sauce. Rice flour and a double-fry technique ensure that the wings stay extra crunchy. Game on.

Sambal Oelek Sticky Chicken Wings

Makes about 18-20 wings

  • Canola oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ cup sambal oelek
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon hot mustard
  • 2 pounds chicken wings, tips removed, wings split at the joint
  • 2 scallions, ends removed, thinly sliced on the bias

Heat about 3 inches of oil in a heavy bottomed skillet to 350°. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and set it near the stove.

In a medium shallow dish, combine the flours, salt and pepper. In a second shallow dish, whisk together the sambal oelek, sesame oil, honey and hot mustard.

When the oil is hot, dredge the wings in the flour so that each is completely covered. Working in batches, gently lower the wings into the oil and fry for 6 minutes. Transfer to the paper towel lined baking sheet and repeat until all the wings are fried. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer for 15 minutes.

Raise the temperature of the oil to 375°. Working in batches, return the wings back to the oil and fry for an additional 90 seconds. Immediately transfer the wings to the sambal oelek and turn to coat. Place the wings on a tray or serving platter and garnish with the scallions.