I've been riffing off many of Momofuku's recipes, including their ramen, shredded pork, pork buns, ginger scallion noodles, tare, and octo vin sauce -- and that's just in the last week. I haven't made them exactly the way he does, but since the foundation concepts are so solid, the results are terrific and very adaptable to any number of dishes.
In the book is a fried chicken recipe which the restaurant serves with what they call Octo-vin, a vinaigrette of garlic, ginger, soy sauce, oil, and sugar that was originally made for an octopus dish (thus the name). Since I had made Momofuku's ginger scallion sauce, I used some of that for the Octo-vin sauce. Instead of frying chicken, I brined and baked chicken wings until they were nice and crispy and then tossed them in the sauce.
I don't know what I was expecting when I bit into a wing, but it was an OMG moment. Who knew that such a simple mix of ingredients could elevate the humble chicken wing to celebrity status? Salty, sweet, spicy ... mind-blowingly good.
This is a must try recipe...invite your friends!
OMG Chicken Wings with Momofuku Octo Vin Sauce
Chicken wingettes, as many as you want (we made 2 packs of chicken wingettes)
Brine (8 cups water, 2/3 cup kosher salt, 2/3 cup sugar)
Octo-vin sauce (below)
If you don't buy the wingettes but full chicken wings, cut off the wingtip and separate the drumstick and the wing , or the "two-bone" as my daughter calls it. If you're not really sure how to cut up wings, watch this handy dandy video.
[Note: If you have the wingtips, don't throw them away but keep them to make Momofuku tare or soup stock. Freeze them if you don't want to use them now.]
Make the brine in a large bowl or pot, letting the sugar and salt dissolve. Add the wings and let brine in the fridge for 1-3 hours.
When you're ready to cook the wings, preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Take out bowl/pot of chicken from the fridge and rinse chicken well (I mean really well -- I dump them out into a clean sink and rinse them with the faucet sprayer. Dry on paper towels and then place on a baking sheet or baking sheets if you have a lot of wings. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and put on the middle rack of the oven.
Cook for 20 minutes and then flip over. The wings will start to brown in the second half of their cooking time. You can flip them occasionally, so they brown on both sides. If your oven doesn't heat evenly and you notice some wings are browning faster than others, you can rotate the baking sheet(s) as well.
When they are crispy to your liking (you could cook them anywhere from 45 minutes, where they'll be browned and on the plump side to 1 hour and half if you like them super crispy and on their way to dessicated), take them out and toss with the Octo-vin. Serve.
Momofuku Octo-Vin Sauce
Note: If you have ginger scallion sauce on hand, you can substitute that for the ginger below. Also, if you don't have fresh chili pepper, you can use a little red crushed pepper, hot sesame oil, cayenne, and/or ichimi togarashi to taste.
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thai-bird chili pepper or pepper of your choice
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup light soy sauce
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other oil)
1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Mix ingredients together. I use a mini-food processor to finely chop the garlic and ginger, add the rest of the ingredients, and give a final whir.