One of my husband’s favorite Japanese meals that he always requests to eat when we are in Japan is Yakitori. Yakitori means “grill (yaki) chicken (tori)” in Japanese and Yakitori restaurants typically serves their delicacies on a wooden skewers.
With “chicken” in the name, you guessed right, the main ingredients are mostly from chickens. Typical chicken parts served on skewer include thighs, meatball, skin, hearts, wings, cartilage, and gizzards. Based on your preference and chicken parts, you pick seasonings – either shio (salt) or tare (yakitori sauce) – for each skewer. Other popular skewers besides chicken parts are bacon asparagus, shiitake mushrooms, fried tofu, bacon quail egg, and pork cheek meat.
When a Japanese Yakitori restaurant Kokko opened close to our home a few years ago, my husband requested to go on nearly every special occasion. One of our family’s favorite items on the menu is their Nagoya style chicken wings. These are sooooo good! One order is not really enough for our family.
These chicken wings are deep fried to perfection and then coated with sweet soy sauce. This style of deep fried chicken (we call it Karaage) with the sweet sauce is referred to as Nagoya style because they were originated from there (Nagoya is located in central part of Japan). Every time when these chicken wings are served, our family would need to divide the pieces into equal shares so our children wouldn’t fight over who had more or less pieces. Since my family loves this dish so much, I knew I had to come up with something similar, and finally I was able to come close to duplicating the flavor.
I hope you enjoy these finger-licking chicken wings. Have a great weekend!
- 2 lb Chicken wings (we only used 5 wings/1 lb today)
- Corn starch/potato starch
- Oil for deep frying
- White sesame seeds
- 1 cup mirin
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. sake
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2-3 sliced ginger (I put a little bit more today)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
- In a small saucepan, heat all the ingredients for Sauce to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce thickens and reduced (the sauce will get thicker as the temperature cools down)
- Meanwhile, cut the wings at the joint. Rinse in cold water and pat dry with paper towel.
- Dredge the chicken wings in corn starch and remove the excess.
- Deep fry the wings at 320F (160C) until 80% cooked, about 10 minutes. Drain oil on wire rack or paper towel for 3-5 minutes.
- For the 2nd time, deep fry at 350F (180C) until the wings are crispy, about 5 minutes. The wings should be golden brown.
- Using a tong, coat the chicken wings in the sauce or serve the wings on a plate and pour the sauce over. Sprinkle white sesame seeds and serve immediately.