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Spicy Miso Chicken Wings

Frances Janisch

Yield: Yields 1-1/2 cups sauce

Servings: 4 to 6

Crispy fried chicken wings seem to please any crowd. This recipe adds a ginger- and paprika-spiked spicy miso sauce to an American-friendly dish that will be both familiar and delightful to your guests. A strongly flavored lager beer makes an excellent accompaniment for these wings. You’ll have additional sauce leftover, but it freezes well.

This recipe is excerpted from Hiroko’s American Kitchen: Cooking with Japanese Flavors. Read our review.


For the spicy miso sauce

  • 1 cup aged brown miso
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 3/4 cup mirin (sweet cooking wine)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs. sake (rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tsp. red pepper flakes

For the chicken wings

  • 1-1/2  lb. chicken wings
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbs. sake (rice wine) or water
  • 6 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbs. ginger juice from freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 2 to 3 tsp. hot paprika
  • 1 scallion (green part only)
  • Canola oil or vegetable oil, for frying


Make the miso sauce

  • Place the miso, sugar, mirin, and sake in a medium pot and whisk until smooth. Place the pot over medium heat and bring it to a simmer.
  • Cook the mixture, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn off the heat, add the red pepper flakes, and stir.

Make the chicken wings

  • Separate the chicken wings at the joints and dispose of the outer sections. Combine the onion powder, salt, egg, sake, cornstarch, flour, and 1 Tbs. of the ginger juice in a large bowl. Add the wings, coat with the mixture, and let stand for 20 minutes.
  • In another large bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the spicy miso sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, paprika, and the remaining 1 Tbs. ginger juice. Cut the scallion into very thin slices diagonally and set aside.
  • Heat 3 inches of the canola oil in a wok or deep skillet to 330°F. Add the wings in 2 batches and cook them for 6 minutes, turning them from time to time. Transfer the wings to a wire rack set over a baking sheet. Increase the heat of the oil to 350°F. Return the wings in 3 batches to the hot oil and cook them for 1 minute, or until the outside is crisp. Remove the wings from the oil and drain on the wire rack.
  • While the wings are hot, toss all of the cooked wings in the spicy miso sauce mixture until well coated. Transfer the chicken wings to a large platter. Garnish with the scallion and serve.

    hiroko's american kitchen

Transfer the leftover spicy miso sauce to a clean freezer container. Cover the jar with a lid and store it in the freezer.


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