- For The Wings
- 2 lbs. chicken wings, separated into wingettes and drumettes (see note)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ 1/2" piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced but not peeled
- 2 scallions, white and light green parts
- 1 cloves garlic
- Potato starch or all-purpose flour, for frying
- Peanut oil, or canola or another neutral oil, for frying
- For The Sauce
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced ginger
- ½ garlic clove, minced
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced scallions
- ½ cup yellow Dijon mustard (not whole grain)
- ¼ cup lager beer
- ¼ cup brown sugar, more to taste
- ⅙ cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard, more to taste
- ½ teaspoon cayenne, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
In Chinese-American restaurants, spicy yellow mustard often appears on the table as a dipping sauce — but you rarely taste it anywhere else in the meal. Jonathan Wu, the chef at the innovative Chinese-influenced restaurant Fung Tu in New York, decided to take that flavor and run with it. The two kinds of mustard (along with cayenne) makes these almost as spicy as Buffalo wings, but the heat is balanced by sweetness. To make a prettier plate, sprinkle with whole cilantro leaves and minced scallions.
1. Up to 1 day before cooking, bring about 1-1/2 quarts water (per 4 lbs wings) to a boil in a saucepan. Add salt, sugar, ginger, scallions and garlic. Stir to dissolve salt and sugar and set aside to cool to room temperature. Place wings in a container or a thick, sealable plastic bag. Add brine, seal and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or up to 24.
2. Make the sauce: In a saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. When it ripples, add ginger, garlic and scallions and cook until soft but not brown, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Add remaining sauce ingredients and simmer about 30 minutes, until thick but still a bit runny. Turn off heat and let cool slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more mustard powder, brown sugar and cayenne. Set aside or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
4. Pour off brine, rinse chicken in cold water and drain well on paper towels. Spread a cup or so of starch in a shallow bowl. Heat the oven to 250 degrees and place a sheet pan inside.
5. In a heavy, deep pot or wok, heat 3 to 4 inches oil to 350 degrees. Warm the sauce and transfer half to a large metal bowl.
6. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, dredge wings in starch and shake off any excess. Gently drop into hot oil and fry until golden, crispy and floating in the oil, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. The skin will blister and crisp but will not get very brown.
7. When done, lift out wings with a slotted spoon, shaking to remove excess oil, and drop into sauce. Toss and shake until wings are well coated. Lift out and transfer to sheet pan in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining wings and sauce, adding more starch to the bowl as needed. Serve immediately.