Who: Chef Oliver Lange
Chef Lange’s Guest-Worthy Recipe: Zuma NYC Sake Glazed Wings
Why?: Sake glazed chicken wings have been a Zuma classic since the opening of Zuma London more than 15 years ago. The moment Chef Rainer Becker tasted this dish, it became his all-time favorite. Still, to this day, when explaining this dish to Zuma customers around the world, they are immediately blown away by the simplicity of the dish. Sake, salt, grill, mirin, done!
In order to enjoy it the Zuma way, you need to grill using Japanese charcoal called bincho-tan, which can be found online. The balance of the sweet mirin, tart lime juice, and the slight crunch of sea salt will blow your taste buds away. The secret to this dish is the balance of flavors.
Medium sized chicken wings (flats only)
Bamboo skewers (soaked in water for five minutes)
Cut off a quarter-inch of wing ends, slightly revealing bone. (This step is optional, but it reduces cooking time, and makes eating a lot easier.)
Start skewering the chicken. Each portion will contain two wings and two skewers. Keep each piece of chicken about an inch and a half away from each other on the skewer. Skewers should pierce between the bone and skin.
Spray or rub a generous amount of sake onto the skewered wings. Season both sides of the wings with a generous amount of salt.
Place the wings skin-side down on an elevated rack, above the grill, on medium-high heat. Cook skin-side down until crispy and slightly blistered, about six to seven minutes.
Flip wings meat-side down. Cook for an additional four to five minutes.
Before serving, spray mirin on both sides of chicken wings. Cook both sides for about a minute more. Be sure to keep skin crispy, blistered, and golden brown. Honestly, a little char won’t hurt.
Be sure to instruct your guest to squeeze some lime and sprinkle some additional sea salt to taste before consuming.