August 19, 2012

International Bento (China): Chicken wings bento

My last post reminded me that I've really fallen down on posting my bentos, so here's another one: Chinese-inspired chicken wings ("Beijing Wings" from Cook This, Not That!), pork fried rice, and baby bok choy with spicy vinaigrette.

The pork fried rice is much like pork fried rice anywhere - a bit of egg, a bit of bbq pork from a Chinese butcher, some onion, leftover plain long grain rice. There's an art to a great fried rice, but this one was just a quick, cobble-together: tasty, but not truly a classic of its kind.

The bok choy in vinaigrette did not enjoy waiting in the fridge until morning, and it looks as though I may have over-steamed it, too, as it's usually a bit brighter green. The vinaigrette is a mixture of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, sambal oeklek, minced ginger, and minced garlic. I don't use measurements when I make this up, but I don't use much oil. It's more like a dipping sauce than a real vinaigrette, but it goes beautifully on steamed or stir-fried bok choy, gai lan, or other strong greens.

The wings are fairly simple to make, and are baked instead of fried, so, theoretically a bit healthier for you, even though the skin's still on.

Beijing Wings
Adapted from Cook This, Not That!

Serves 3 - 4

1 kilo chicken wings, jointed (freeze the tips for making stock)
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar (or honey)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Sriracha
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (half a lime)
toasted sesame seeds
1 green onion, sliced

Combine the soy sauce, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a large glass or ceramic bowl. Add the wing sections (you can also buy just paddles or drumettes) and stir them around until they are well coated. Cover the container with its lid or plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least an hour, four or eight hours being better (ideally, do this after breakfast to be ready for dinner).

Preheat the oven to 450F, and line a baking sheet with foil. Spray the baking sheet with a thin layer of canola spray (or brush lightly with peanut oil). Drain the wings from the marinade (discard the marinade). Lay out the wings in a single layer on the foil, and bake for about 15 minutes. The skin should start to get crispy. Turn the wings over and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.

In a large skillet, melt the butter and Sriracha, stirring to combine. Remove the wings from the oven, and quickly add them to the skillet. Toss the chicken around in the hot sauce, and saute for a couple of minutes. Remove the chicken to a platter, and garnish with sesame seeds and thinly sliced green onion.

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