Deep-fried chicken wings with chilli, salt and finger lime

Steamed and deep-fried chicken wings.
Steamed and deep-fried chicken wings. Photo: William Meppem

Steaming the chicken wings cooks them through, but deep-frying them to finish adds texture and crunch. For non-chilli eaters you could substitute cumin, turmeric or fennel powder. If you don't wish to deep-fry the chicken, you could marinate the steamed wings in honey, soy and five-spice powder and finish in a hot oven until they're roasted and caramelised.

Ingredients

12 large chicken wings (about 1.5kg)

⅓ cup plain flour

1½ tbsp chilli powder

2 tsp salt flakes 

vegetable oil for deep-frying

4 large red chillies, cut in half lengthways, seeds removed

¼ cup spring onion, julienned

6 finger limes, cut in half on the diagonal (or use 2 lemons, halved)

Method

1. Arrange chicken wings on a heatproof plate that will fit inside a steamer basket. Place plate inside steamer and position over deep saucepan or wok of boiling water and steam, covered, for four minutes.

2. Carefully remove plate from steamer basket, drain away excess liquid and set aside for 15 minutes to cool slightly.

3. Meanwhile, combine flour, chilli powder and salt in a large bowl. Add chicken wings in two batches and toss to coat well, shaking off any excess flour.

4. Heat oil in a hot wok until surface seems to shimmer slightly. Add half the chicken wings and deep-fry for about seven minutes or until just cooked through and lightly browned. Using tongs, turn wings occasionally to ensure even cooking. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well on kitchen paper. Repeat process with remaining wings.

5. Add chillies to the same hot oil and fry for about one minute for until they are deep red. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain well.

6. Arrange chicken wings on a platter and garnish with fried chillies and spring onions. Serve immediately with finger limes, which should be squeezed on top of the wings, at the table.