Recipes for Yakitori-Style Wings, Chile-Maple “Tebasaki,” Matti’s Homemade Hot Sauce, and Cucumber and Green Herb Salad

Sprague-10

Yakitori-Style Wings, Cucumber and Green Herb Salad, and Matti’s Homemade Hot Sauce // Photo by Wing Ta

Yakitori-Style Wings

Makes 12 skewers

Ingredients

  • 24 wings
  • 24 skewers
  • Matti’s tebasaki (see below)
  • Salt

Method

Soak the skewers in cold water for 30 to 40 minutes prior to using and get a grill nice and hot.

Remove the bones the chicken wings by carving them out of the drums and paddles with a sharp knife. Save the bones for stock.

Arrange two wings next to each other, skin side down, and run one skewer the long way through the wings just above the skin. You want to keep the skin intact and spread out as far as possible here, try not to pierce it. Do the same with the other skewer so that you have two wings being held together by two skewers.

Wipe your grill grates down with a little grapeseed oil and gently season the chicken wings with salt. Lay the skewers skin side down on the grill and cook until the skin is crisp and the wing is cooked all the way through. Flip the wings and brush them with tebasaki sauce. Flip them back over, brush the meat side with tebasaki and let the skin side lightly caramelize for about 45 seconds. Remove all the wings from the grill and serve.

Chile-Maple “Tebasaki”

Yields roughly 2/3 cup

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sake
  • ½ cup mirin
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons red chili hot sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, very finely minced
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon water

Method

In a small saucepan, combine sake, mirin, soy, maple, garlic, ginger, and hot sauce. Cook over medium heat and reduce by half.

In a separate container, combine the cornstarch and water to make a slurry. Whisk into the reduced sauce and return to the heat. Bring back to a boil to allow the cornstarch to activate and thicken the sauce just enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Matti’s Homemade Hot Sauce

Yields: Roughly 2 quarts

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds ripe red chiles (preferably fresh cayenne peppers; however, any ripe red hot pepper will work)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 10 cups Distilled White Vinegar
  • 2 months worth of time and patience

Equipment

  • One-quart sized, wide mouth mason jars
  • Airlock Outfit (optional, see below) -OR-
  • Mason Jar rings and heavy duty plastic food storage bags
  • Food Processor
  • Blender

Airlock Outfit for Mason Jar

  • BPA free plastic lid for mason jar
  • ½-inch rubber grommets
  • “S” shape airlocks
  • Vodka or other neutral grain spirit

Airlock Installation Method

  • Using a ½” drill bit, drill a hole in the center of the plastic mason jar lid
  • Insert grommet into jar lid
  • Insert airlock into fitted grommet

Hot Sauce Method

Wash chiles thoroughly and trim stems. Cut chiles into 1″ size pieces.

Using a food processor, pulse the chiles in batches until a chunky consistency has been achieved. Stir in salt until dissolved.

Transfer pepper “mash” into cleaned and sanitized fermentation vessel (mason jars, see above). If using airlock, simply screw on the lid, insert airlock, and add enough vodka to the “fill” lines displayed on the airlock.

If not using the airlock, prepare a simple brine (1 qt water : ¼ cup kosher salt). Fill plastic food storage bags with the brine and use the bag to weigh down the chile mash. This will keep the chiles submerged, decreasing overall exposure to oxygen and mold growth. Secure the top of the brine filled bag to the top of the jar using the screw top ring.

Allow chile mash to ferment for 1 month in at room temperature and away from sunlight. Check mash every few days to check for mold growth. White mold growth is common with any fermentation project. Small amounts of white mold can be simply skimmed off and discarded. However, beware of green and black mold growth. If you find any signs of green or black mold growth, discard the entire project and start over!

After 1 month at room temperature, the chiles should have given up much of their liquid and the mash should be a bright, vibrant red with a slightly sweet and sour aroma. Working in batches, puree the mash in a blender with the distilled vinegar. Transfer the vinegar/pepper mixture back into a cleaned/sanitized fermentation vessel. Store for an additional month at room temperature and away from sunlight. After this step, you shouldn’t have to worry about any further mold due to the introduction of the vinegar.

Finally, after eight weeks of waiting, the hot sauce is ready! Working in batches, puree the vinegar/pepper mixture in a blender again and strain through a fine mesh strainer. The resulting liquid can be bottled and stored at room temperature for several months or even longer in the refrigerator.

Cucumber and Green Herb Salad

Serves 3-4 as a small side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 Cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced on a steep bias
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • ¼ cup mint leaves
  • ¼ cup peanuts, toasted and crushed
  • 2 TBSP sesame seeds, toasted
  • 1 TBSP sugar
  • 2 TBSP fish sauce
  • 2 TBSP lime juice
  • 2 TBSP ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • Kosher or sea salt

Method

Toss sliced cucumbers and carrots with a few big pinches of salt and the sugar. Be liberal here. The goal is to draw out excess moisture from the vegetables. Transfer salted vegetables into a colander and allow to drain for at least 20 minutes (up to 1 hour).

After vegetables have drained, briefly rinse the cucumbers and carrots in cold water. Drain well and toss with the remaining ingredients.