Delectable Black Bean Chicken Wings

I could never understand my American classmates when they turned their noses up at chicken wings. For me, they were the choicest and tastiest morsels of the chicken. We used to feast on them at home because they were cheap, although I didn’t know that at the time. In our household, my mother would cook them in the morning and I would take them to school with me. I loved the curiosity my lunch would arouse as I unwrapped my chicken wings with their pungent black bean odour. I felt superior and contented in the knowledge that my lunch was better than others.

Ingredients

  • 675 g ( lb) chicken wings
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour
  • tablespoons groundnut oil
  • tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger
  • tablespoons finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fermented black beans
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 120 ml (4 fl oz) Chinese Chicken Stock, store-bought fresh stock or water

Method

Mix the chicken wings with the soy sauce, tablespoons of rice wine, ½ teaspoon of salt, the sugar, sesame oil and cornflour. Let the chicken marinate for about 1 hour, then drain any excess marinade from the chicken and discard.

Heat a wok or large frying pan over a high heat until it is hot. Swirl in the groundnut oil and, when it is very hot and slightly smoking, dump in the chicken wings. Stir-fry for 5 minutes, or until the chicken begins to brown. Then toss in the ginger, garlic, shallots, 2 tablespoons of spring onions and the black beans and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Now pour in the soy sauce, remaining rice wine and salt, pepper and stock. Bring the mixture to the boil and then reduce the heat. Cover the wok or pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Uncover, bring the heat up to high and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a large platter and serve at once. This dish can be made ahead of time and reheated, and it is also delicious cold. Garnish with the spring onions.

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