Home SPORTS Upgrade Your Chicken Wings With A Briny Dash Of Fish Sauce

Upgrade Your Chicken Wings With A Briny Dash Of Fish Sauce

Spicy Buffalo chicken wings – Joecicak/Getty Images

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Americans absolutely love chicken wings. We love them so much that there’s even a Chicken Wing Report released by the National Chicken Council (NCC) just before the Super Bowl every year, and the numbers are strong. During last year’s big game, the NCC estimated we ate 1.42 billion wings, and that’s only on that one day. It’s was even estimated by OnePoll, via the New York Post, that the average American will eat 18,000 wings in their lifetime, and if you use a tasty little culinary trick of adding fish sauce to the mix, you could easily add another couple hundred wings to the tally.

A well-made chicken wing is the perfect vehicle for classic Buffalo sauce and blue cheese, but there’s always room for an upgrade. Fish sauce, a briny condiment that’s often used in East Asian and Southeast Asian dishes, is right at home with deep-fried or baked chicken wings. If you’re not sold on the combo don’t worry, fish sauce won’t make your chicken taste like fish. Instead, it will add an extra layer of deep, rich, umami flavor that will make a pile of wings even more irresistible.

Read more: 15 Tricks For Making The Most Crispy Chicken Thighs Ever

Adding Fish Sauce To Chicken Wings

Fish sauce in a bowl with dried fishFish sauce in a bowl with dried fish

Fish sauce in a bowl with dried fish – Bigc Studio/Shutterstock

If you’ve never had fish sauce, it’s a thin, watery condiment that’s made from the actual fermented juices of flavorful fish like anchovies. Even if you don’t think you’ve had it, you’ve probably had some if you’ve ever eaten pad Thai. It’s got a strong, earthy, umami flavor that brings depth and complexity to things like marinade, salad dressing, stir fry, and soups.

When it comes to chicken wings, you can add fish sauce in one of two ways — or both. Since fish sauce works well in marinade and brines, if your favorite recipe calls for soaking the meat in some sort of solution you can easily add a few dashes to the mix. Later, when the wings are cooked and ready to toss in the sauce, pop another couple of dashes of the funky stuff into the bowl and mix everything around.

Before you start shaking the bottle around your wings, however, keep in mind that fish sauce is a little intense. All you want to do is get a dose of the savory flavors in the sauce, not transform your wings into umami bombs, so use a light hand and be sure to taste any marinade, brine, or sauce before you combine it with your chicken wings. Think of it like adding salt; you only need enough to season to taste.

Try Fish Sauce With All Types Of Wings

Friends eating chicken wingsFriends eating chicken wings

Friends eating chicken wings – Martinns/Getty Images

Fish sauce will work well with classic buffalo sauce, which is really just a cayenne-based sauce, plus melted butter. When you shake a little fish sauce into the mix it will create more depth of flavor so you’re not just tasting the heat of the cayenne; you’ll also get earthy, fermented notes like mushroom and roasted meat.

Chicken wings are a blank slate, however, and there’s no rule that says you have to only eat Buffalo sauce. Pretty much any iteration of wing sauce is going to get a boost with a little bit of fish sauce, including barbecue sauce, ginger garlic wings, five-spice wings, or anything that combines sweet, salty, and spicy flavors. If you’re skeptical, try out the fish sauce flavor on just one wing before you scale up the batch. Pour dab a drop of fish sauce on a single wing with the other sauce on it and see how it tastes. If you like it, go ahead and add about one dash for every three chicken wings.

This is one of those times, by the way, to make sure that your bottle of fish sauce is equipped with the plastic shaker top so that you don’t accidentally overdo it. Once you’ve got your wing sauce all fished up and ready to go, toss your wings and start snacking!

Read the original article on Daily Meal.

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