After having these wings at Chin Chin, in Melbourne, I knew I needed to track them down. Holy smokes.
800 ml master stock (see below)
10 chicken wings, jointed
Cracked black pepper, for sprinkle
Sea Salt, for sprinkle
Coriander, for garnish
1 stem lemongrass (white part), chopped
1 small knob ginger, chopped
1 small knob galangal, chopped
1 clove garlic, bruised
1 large red chilli, chopped (add more for more heat)
1 birds-eye chilli, chopped (add more for more heat)
200g palm sugar, grated (adjust to taste the level of sweetness)
1 cup lemon juice
1 kaffir lime leaf, chopped
fish sauce, to taste
1. Bring master stock to a boil in a large stock pot. Add chicken wings and return to boil again. Reduce heat and simmer to cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and drain from the stock. Set aside to cool and then refrigerate overnight. The refrigeration helps to seal in the flavours.
2. Now, let’s prepare the bandit sauce. Put the lemongrass, ginger, galangal, garlic and chillies in a blender and do a few pulse (short presses) so it’s all finely chopped but don’t turn them into paste. Then move the ingredients to a mortar and pestle and pound the ingredients into a paste. Move them to one side, then in the same mortar and pestle, start dissolving the grated palm sugar while pouring the lemon juice bit by bit. When it dissolves, mix them well into the chilli paste together with kaffir lime leaf and a splash of fish sauce. Taste and adjust the flavours.
3. Remove chicken wings from the fridge. Pour some fish sauce in a large bowl and tapioca flour on another plate. Dip the chicken wings in the fish sauce first and then the tapioca flour. Shake off excess flour and deep-fry in hot oil until crisp and golden all around for about 5-10 minutes. Place them on a rack to cool.
4. While waiting for the wings to cool a little before serving. Quickly dry fry the cracked black pepper and sea salt in a small pan just to get the flavours out. Arrange the wings on a plate and sprinkle with pepper salt mix and garnish.
5. Place 1/2 cup bandit sauce next to the plate. Keep the extra sauce in an air-tight container for about a week, refrigerated. It goes well with any meats.