Chicken Wings, Momofuku Style

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I was lucky enough to share the green room with Chef David Chang of Momofuku while we were both cooking on View From The Bay television show in San Francisco. If you’ve never heard of David Chang, he’s the guy that Anthony Bourdain calls the one of the best chefs in the world.” And if you’re familiar with Bourdain, the bad-boy of food television, you can insert a couple of f-bombs in that sentence. In fact, you could probably throw in a few f-bombs for Chang as well.

Back in the green room, David was sprawled out on the couch in slouchy jeans, sleepy eyes, head in hands moaning, “Damn, I’m so hung over,” and his co-author Peter Meehan chimes in, “yeah, we drank about 100 shots last night.” And here I am sitting perkily on the other couch, amped up on an energy drink, in my perfectly pressed shirt, sparkly silver jewelry and 12-ounces of hairspray.

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Was I intimidated, being in the presence of the most talked about restaurant chefs in America? Not one bit. And it had nothing to do with my Red Bull wings. David Chang is so down to earth, warm and big-brother friendly (uh…wait. I think I’m older). We exchanged signed cookbooks, a big hug and even a smiley photographic moment.

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To get a glimpse of Chang’s brilliance, pick up his momofuku-cookbook Momofuku cookbook where he reveals recipes from three of his restaurants including his famous pork belly buns recipe. While most of the recipes aren’t really practical for the average home cook (anyone know where I can get a whole pig’s head?) the ones that are simple enough are worth the price of the book. We made the Octo Vinaigrette recipe and tossed them with baked chicken wings (instead of twice-fried, 10-step version that’s in the book) for one of the very best chicken wings I’ve ever laid lips on.

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Chicken Wings with Momofuku Octo Vinaigrette Recipe

Servings: serves 4 as appetizer or snack Prep Time: Cook Time:
NAC-005

recipe from Momofuku cookbook by David Chang

The recipe for the Octo Vinaigrette (all of the ingredients minus the wings) is straight from book. Really take the time to chop the garlic and ginger finely and evenly. Don't buy the jarred, paste or puree ginger and garlic, just go for the real stuff. Also make sure you use a good quality light soy sauce. I like using low-sodium version. If all you can find is regular soy sauce, I'd recommend cutting the soy sauce to 3 tablespoons and adding 1 tablespoon of water. If you love fresh cilantro, you can add 1 tablespoon of minced fresh cilantro to the vinaigrette as well. You can use any type of chili pepper you want (or omit) and I've used small, skinny bird's eye chili with the seeds discarded. Feel free to use jalapeno, serrano or even the big banana chili peppers for less heat.

Instead of frying the wings, I like baking them instead as it's easier and less messy. I dare not mention "baking is healthier too!" as wings are fattening no matter how you cook 'em. I buy the chicken wings whole, cut them apart and freeze the tips for stock.

Ingredients:

3 pounds chicken wings, tips saved for another use
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh chili pepper
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tablespoons canola, vegetable or grapeseed oil
1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper (or spray the pan with cooking spray). Place the chicken wings on the parchment paper in single layer. Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the chicken wings over halfway during cooking process.

2. While chicken is baking, make the vinaigrette. Combine together the remaining ingredients in a large bowl (large enough to fit all of the wings)

3. Toss the chicken wings in the vinaigrette to coat.

***

And more…

For dessert, why not try David Chang’s Crack Pie? Only Martha Stewart could wrangle the recipe.

Inuyaki makes the Momofuku Pork Belly Buns

Serious Eats has Momofuku Brussels Sprouts

Andrea of Vietworld Kitchen tries the Momofuku Slow Poached Eggs

Momofuku Ginger Scallion Noodles by The Amateur Gourmet

Comments 74

  1. Sriram

    Jaden
    Wow..just in time for the holidays and the Sunday football games. This recipe looks so simple but I know the taste would hit the right spot! I was thinking, squeezing some lemon right at the end, how would that work since you have already made this dish?

  2. Sriram

    ok, the rice wine vinegar takes care of it then. Is it 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar (doesn’t mention in recipe). I thought it might be spoons hence suggested the lemon.

    oops thanks for catching~j

  3. arnold | inuyaki

    Fun! That Octo Vin is one of my favorite dressings ever. I’ve used chicken wings with the Momofuku Fried Chicken recipe’s brining, steaming and frying method, and it works beautifully. But really, it’s all about the Octo Vin. It’s pure genius!

  4. Lyndsey

    I always bake my chicken wings too, I have a large stoneware bar pan that works perfect for it. This recipe sounds great! I love fresh ginger and garlic! Nice picture of you two:)

  5. Dan

    Not to knock Chang, as I love his food, but as I’m reading this I’m thinking, this looks awfully familiar – realized that, to the 1/4 teaspoon, it’s a recipe we used to make when I was in college (mid-70s) that we got from , I’m pretty sure, one of the Time-Life international cookbooks…. guess it brings credence to the saying that everything that a chef does in the kitchen has probably been done before.

  6. Shelisa

    These wings are simply OUTSTANDING! The vinaigrette alone can be used on vegetables or rice or on just a spoon. So good!

  7. Betty

    Hola Jaden,

    Christmas time in Mexico, and whole pig heads are everywhere at the butcher shops. Its used to make pozole, a favourite fiesta dish to share with friends and family on christmas eve. So, hope on a plane and come down for some!

  8. Peggasus

    Like Betty said, you can get pig heads (and feet) and chicken feet, as well as cow, sheep and lamb heads in many Mexican grocery stores and butcher shops this time of year. I saw them all over the place when I was in the Pilsen/Little Village neighborhood on the south side of Chicago recently. Hell yeah, I took pictures of them!

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  10. rita

    now, i know what to make for the weekend. looks mighty good! great pic of you and david c. but then, you always look good, dahlink!

  11. Dawn

    I should know better than to ready my favorite food blogs when I’m hungry. Especially when I’m sitting in an office and can’t cook ANYTHING for another 7 hours!

  12. Chris

    You know, I was pretty darn proud of the sriracha wings that I fire roasted on the Egg last night and you just HAD to go and “one up” me ;)

    They look great! (but I still am proud of mine, lol)

  13. Arjun

    I just made these. Do it now people. Insanely delish. Paired with Momofuku Brussels Sprouts and David Chang’s ramen noodles with ginger scallion sauce (and some pickled cucumber on the side). Great, great meal. Thanks, Jaden for inspiring me!

  14. Lilly

    I’m so going to make these on Christmas day. Thanks for the recipe and it’s great to hear so many people are enjoying these wings.

  15. Murasaki Shikibu

    “David Chang is so down to earth, warm and big-brother friendly (uh…wait. I think I’m older).”

    But you look younger! I’m going to see if I can make this without the vinegar and replace it with lemon juice mixed with white wine.

  16. Alta

    These sound so awesome. Yum. And if you happen to have a real Latino grocery anywhere near you – you might be able to actually find a whole pig’s head! There’s a grocery near me that sells them – along with any other part of a pig or cow that you might want. I generally have to use my best Spanglish to communicate with the butchers though!

  17. Barry

    These look awesome and Chang is pretty brilliant. If you haven’t seen the “No Reservations” episode where Bourdain visits Chang, do so.

    That said, they’ve said some things that seem a little off. Sure, Alice Waters as poster child for local, organic is long-running, but Bourdain called her “Pol Pot in a mumu”. Really? She’s on par with a brutal dictator? I only mention it here because it was part of a panel discussion wherein Bourdain and Chang basically called the SF Bay area worthless with regards to food. Mind-blowingly generalizing and a bit off (though not off with the regards to Silicon Valley, Manresa excepted).

  18. Tokyo Terrace

    I just got the Momofuku cookbook for Christmas this year and I am anxious to give it a try. Actually, it is sitting on my shelf of cookbooks right next to yours at this very moment in my Tokyo apartment :)

  19. katiek@ kitchensidecar

    Holy balls. I AM SO JEALOUS. I would be so excited to meet that man. LORD.

    I have been eyeing the cookbook at the bookstore for so long. The layout, chapters, everything is great. Can’t wait to cook these chicken wings.

  20. Scott

    Made these last week using the oven roasting method you outlined. Couldn’t be easier and the vinagrette delivered good flavor. They didn’t last long.

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  23. Noro

    I just made this recipe for lunch today and nothing ‘s left, all gone, all eaten. Thanks for sharing.

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  25. wokwithray

    This recipe is so good! Ok, I’m guilty I deep fried the wings instead of baking ( ok, I’ll accept the booo) then used the sauce. Next time I will bake it. Thank you for this delicious recipe.

  26. Tina

    So…we don’t have to put anything on the chicken before baking it? All the flavor comes from the sauce that we will put on the baked chicken afterwards?

  27. Barb H

    Outstanding. I made these last night. I believe they are one of the best things I’ve ever put into my mouth.

    I love your site for good food!!

  28. kat

    Do you think this would work with grilled chicken wings? I have a cook out to go to this weekend and I love the octo vin so much I want to use it again but don’t know if it’s going to work. Please advice! Thank you in advance :)

  29. kat

    Sorry! Just one more question…

    Should I grill it first then toss it in octo vin or should I marinate it in octo vin then grill it?

    Thanks so much! I love love love your blog!

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  32. Lina

    I love this recipe!!! I have made it a few times for parties. I omit the chilli for the kids. Everyone loves it and they ask me for the recipe and I proudly tell them where I got it from. Your website is inspiring for food lovers and cooks all over the world. Thank you.

    1. SteamyKitchen

      I just made these last night again too! My wings do brown but just a bit. Not too much. You can turn on the broiler for the last 3-4 minutes of cooking if you want them to brown.

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