This evergreen dish has its origins in China. There are many various recipes and the popularity of the dish has been adopted by just about every country in SE Asia with their own local variations and sub, sub, sub variations. It's a particularly convenient dish for picnics and outside barbecues for a couple of reasons: the wings can be par-cooked by an initial steaming thus making the pieces quite robust for transport. The part cooking extends the safety period outside of refrigeration. The wings themselves are conveniently managed as a finger food and this is even enhanced by inverting the de-boned wing inside-out thus allowing the use of the bone to be used as a convenient handle. Kids and big kids love them.




Ingredients:
  • 250 gm (~½ lb) minced pork.
  • 1 bundle vermicelli  (mung bean noodles).
  • Add the vermicelli to the pork.
  • ¼ cup diced water chestnuts.
  • 1 scallion (green onion), finely sliced.
  • 6 Thai garlic cloves, or equivalent, crushed.
  • ½ tsp salt.
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch (cornflour).
  • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce.
  • egg, beaten with a dash of milk to make it more liquid.
  • breadcrumbs (Panko).
Method:
  1. Place the bundle of vermicelli in warm water and allow to soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from the water and with scissors cut them into 2.5 cm (1 in) lengths and put these in a bowl with the minced pork meat.
  3. Add ¼ cup of cubed water chestnuts, about 5 mm (¼ in) cubes plus the diced scallion, crushed garlic, salt, cornstarch and light soy sauce to the bowl.
  4. Mix all the ingredients until well combined. Set aside refrigerated.
  5. Prepare the chicken wings:
  6. There are a number of ways to this but an easy way is to remove the larger section from the wing and use these for another dish, retain the middle section containing the two bones with the tip joined.
  7. With a cleaver chop off the head of the two bones. Push the bones up forcing the separation from the meat. When you get to the joint then you can either cut through the joint or by twisting, break the sinews holding the two
  8. bones to the lower joint.
    1. (A variation on this is to remove the thin bone by twisting, then invert the wing so that the skin is on the inside. The advantage of this is that you now have a convenient handle for diners to hold the wing as they eat it.)
  9. Take  teaspoon amounts of the pork mixture and stuff it into the pocket of the wing that you've created. The mixture recipe will make approximately between 10 and 12 stuffed wings.
  10. Place the wings on a plate and place in a steamer. You may have to do this in a couple of batches depending on the capacity of your steamer. Steaming the wings solidifies the content allowing for easy deep frying without losing the stuffing as you would by direct deep frying.
  11. Steam for 15 minutes.
  12. Remove and cool to a comfortable handling temperature.
  13. Coat the wing in flour, then dredge in a beaten egg and finally in breadcrumbs or panko.
  14. When all the wings are coated similarly the deep fry them.
  15. Heat the oil to 185ºC (365 F) using an oil or confection thermometer.(Accurate oil temperature has been shown to reduce the risk of bad fats being formed in over heated oils and minimal fats compared to under-heated oils. This information is relatively new.)
  16. Deep fry the wings until golden brown. Drain and place briefly on kitchen tissue to absorb excess oil.
Serve with accompanying sauce(s) such as Sweet Chillie Sauce , Sweet & Sour Sauce, Nuoc Cham (also called Egg Roll Sauce).


Notes:

The stuffed wings can be barbecued without the addition of the crumbed coating. This makes a fresh hot food for the outdoor banquet.

Larger wings can be effected by including the top section of the wing, that part that joins to the chest of the bird. Here you need to do a double de-boning. begin by cleaving the head of the top bone and force the meat and skin down to the next joint. Break the released bone off the with a few careful cuts of the encompassing sinew and tendons, continue the de-boning similarly to the first part. Here you will have the doublet of bones, just push the meat down along with the skin to the next joint. Cut through the connection tendons of the joint and your large wing will be successfully de-boned. The pocket size is more than twice that of the small wing so you need to accomodate this when making the filling. I suggest going for a 2½ to 3 times the basic recipe quantities listed, for the same number of wings. Suggest to steam the wings for 5 minutes extra and the deep frying may take a little longer because of the increased mass of each stuffed wing. The end product is the same in flavour and texture , just bigger and ideal for a more formal dining room style meal as an entree.

As mentioned there are many variations on this recipe which really is a variation in the filling. Other fillings include combinations of pork and shrimp meat, shrimp and corn, pork and calamari. It is quite legitimate in Thai cuisine to be experimental with food preparation and the use of "non-traditional Thai" ingredients is part of the new Thai cuisine. Many of these new dishes are exactly that, familiar traditional recipes with the addition of global ingredients but always with the most important aspect of a balance of the four tastes {sweet, sour, salt and spicey(hot)} and most importantly the use of the freshest ingredients. Some of the drive for this is to create traditional style foods within the Thai genres that pair with greater selection of wines, something quite limited with Asian cuisines other than Chinese and Vietnamese, because of the strength of flavours and their overwhelming effect on the subtlety of most grape wines.