Tebasaki literally translates to “wing tips” and is the term used for both bone-in chicken wings and the fried chicken dish.
What makes tebasaki stand out among other fried chicken dishes? The crispiness despite the meagre amount of starch with which the chicken wings were dusted. And, of course, the incomparable flavors which all come from a special sauce in which the chicken wings are tossed after they are fried.
Tebasaki: Japanese Fried Chicken Wings
- 1 kilogram chicken wings
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup sake
- ¼ cup mirin
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon grated garlic
- 2 tablespoons black vinegar
- 2 tablespoons tapioca starch (corn starch or potato starch is okay, but flour is not okay)
- cooking oil for deep frying
- Rinse the chicken wings and wipe dry. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
- In an oil-free pan, toast two tablespoons of sesame seeds. Set aside.
- In a wok, heat the sugar, soy sauce, sake, mirin, ginger and garlic. Allow to boil gently over medium heat, uncovered, for a minute. Turn off the heat. Set the sauce aside to cool.
- In another wok or frying pan, pour in enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches. Set the heat to medium.
- Wipe the chicken wings once more. Add the starch to the chicken and toss to coat each piece with a thin layer of starch.
- Fry the chicken wings in batches just until lightly browned. Transfer to a strainer as they cook, go on to the next batch, and so on.
- Turn the heat to high. Fry the chicken wings again, this time, in smaller batches of four or five.
- Dump the cooked chicken wings into the pan with the sauce. Toss to coat each piece of chicken with sauce.
- Add the toasted sesame seeds. Toss a few more times. Scoop out and serve.