Crispy, juicy, golden. These Fried Chicken Wings featured in Netflix® “Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories” are a fantastic appetizer or snack to go with Japanese beer. Learn the simple tips to cook them right, and indulge in pure joy!
The Japanese have a deep-seated love for fried chicken. Whether it’s bento lunch or late-night bar snack, we devour them practically in almost every meal. That’s why you can find more than a handful of fried chicken recipes on the blog – which includes the most popular karaage, Nagoya-style fried chicken, chicken tempura, and chicken katsu. Today I am going to add to the delicious collection with this Fried Chicken Wings (手羽先の唐揚げ) recipe.
You can find these ultra crunchy fried chicken wings featured on the popular Netflix® show – Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories (Season 2, Episode 4). They are seriously good, and I know you’d be in love.
The Master in the show teaches us a few hot tips in cooking the perfect fried chicken, which I’ll cover in the recipe. So read on. The wings make the best companion to go with Japanese beer (read Mr. JOC’s Japanese Beer Guide) or sake. Ready to make some crispiest, juiciest Japanese fried chicken wings? Let’s get started!
Why You Should Make These Fried Chicken Wings
- The outside is coated with a layer of super-light, extra-crispy starch, while the inside is tenderly juicy. Impossible not to take another bite!
- A perfect snack, party appetizer, or main dish to go any time of the day.
- Happiness induced and satisfaction guaranteed.
How to Make Fried Chicken Wings
Despite the deep frying, this recipe is one of the easiest recipes on the blog. It involves 3 simple steps:
- Prepare the wings by making 2 slits and season the wings.
- Coat with potato starch.
- Deep fry till crispy and cooked through.
3 Important Tricks and Tips
1. Make 2 Slits
A small cooking tip does matter. And in this case, I’m referring to these 2 slits you make in the mid-joint – one above the bone and one below the bone. These two slits not only help to flavor the chicken but also ensure it is cooked through as the meat near bones takes time to cook.
2. Marinate for 15-30 Minutes
If you have been cooking a lot of Japanese recipes, you may notice that we do not over marinate food. Even with these chicken wings, we’ll only marinade for 15-30 minutes. The key is to use good ingredients and enjoy the true flavor. Seasonings are for enhancement.
3. Check Your Oil Temperature
The most important part about deep frying is the temperature. No matter how well you prepared your chicken wings, if you do not know how to deep fry them, your chicken wings will not turn out well.
The easy solution is to get a kitchen thermometer. Especially if you are not familiar or confident with deep frying.
Consider getting a thermometer if you wish to venture into deep frying and don’t own one yet. I have the following thermometers at home (different price points) and they are my favorite (affiliate links):
The oil for deep frying these wings is 340 ºF (170 ºC) and the internal chicken temperature should be 165 ºF (74 ºC) to consume safely.
About Deep Frying…
Many people prefer to avoid deep frying and I understand. You could end up with a greasy, messy, and smelly kitchen, and you have to figure out how to dispose of the oil. And deep frying can be scary for a beginner cook.
But once you taste the really good deep-fried chicken, you know how almost impossibly hard it is to replicate that in other cooking methods.
These wings are the winner’s prize! The winner as in the person who deep-fries, of course. Just don’t over-indulge yourself – a moderate amount once in a while to truly enjoy this special treat.
Can You Air Fry?
I’m sure I’ll get asked this question, so I’ll mention here first. I am certain that you can. The only issue is I don’t own an air-fryer so I can’t share any tips or cooking time for that matter. I have several foodie friends who own air fryers and they all tell me I shouldn’t bother buying one because deep-frying always tastes better. And I’m the kind of person who doesn’t mind deep frying for the perfect results. That’s just me. All in for good food!
Can You Use an Oven?
I’ve tried a few times to see if I can make it work, but I’m afraid I haven’t figured that out. You can “shallow-fry” in a deep pot, so the sides of the pot will minimize the oil splatter.
I hope I’ve convinced you to give the recipe a go! Imagine the pride, the contentment, and pure enjoyment at the table. A giant plate of homemade delicious fried chicken wings, it’s worth the effort and love!
Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.
Fried Chicken Wings
- 10 chicken wings (each wing includes wingette/flat and tip)
- ¼ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- ⅛ tsp white pepper powder
- 4 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sake
- ¼ cup potato starch/cornstarch (I recommend using potato starch for the best texture)
- 3 cups neutral-flavored oil (vegetable, rice bran, canola, etc) (for deep frying)
- 1 lemon (for squeezing and garnish)
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Place the chicken wings, skin side down. Make 2 slits on the mid-joint of the chicken wings, avoiding the bone. Sprinkle salt and white pepper.
- Evenly spread the salt and pepper on both sides of the wings.
- Add the soy sauce and sake in a medium bowl and add the chicken wings to the marinade.
- Coat the wings with the marinade really well and set aside for 15-30 minutes.
- Prepare a tray with potato starch. Coat each wing with the starch and dust off excess starch.
- Heat the oil to 340 ºF(170 ºC) in a deep pot over medium-high heat (later on, change to medium heat and keep it at the optimal temperature). Mix the oil and check the temperature using a cooking thermometer or cooking chopsticks.
- Put the chicken wings (My pot can take 4 max without overcrowding) and deep fry until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes, and the chicken's internal temperature is 165 ºF (74 ºC).
- When the chicken is crispy on the outside and cooked through, drain the oil on wire rack or a paper towel.