These are just about the best barbecue snack you can get — a large bowl of these will get demolished in no time! This is my interpretation of a recipe by the Vietnamese wife of a guy we met at Rainbow Beach, Queensland.
- 2 kg chicken wings
- 2–3 lemongrass stems, white part only
- 6 coriander roots, washed
- 5 red Asian shallots
- 3 cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp Chinese five-spice
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- fish sauce, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Marinating time Overnight
Cut the tips off the chicken wings, then cut each wing into two pieces between the elbow.
Place all the marinade ingredients, except the fish sauce, in a food processor. Blend to a fine paste.
Remove the marinade to a large bowl and taste. Add fish sauce until you get a balanced saltiness.
Add the trimmed chicken wings and coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight for maximum flavour penetration.
Prepare your barbecue for cooking over low-medium heat.
Line the hotplate with baking paper or foil, then lay your chicken wings out. It’s best to cook them slowly, for about 15–20 minutes, so they caramelise slowly and cook evenly — there’s nothing worse than black yet undercooked chicken wings! Once well cooked, transfer the wings to a platter and dig in.
Recipe and image from Ben’s BBQ Bible, Ben O’Donoghue (Hardie Grant Books, $39.95, pbk).