Ginger + boozy wings + a chinese sauna = finger licking goodness!
My ma’s deviled ginger wings
Ma, or Ma Waung (pronounced wong), is what my husband calls my mum so that his mum, my mum and I know who he’s referring to, but my mum’s real name is actually Mary…
She was born in Shanghai and grew up in Hong Kong (where she married and had four kids, including me :)) before moving all of us to Singapore when I was just a baby.
My mother always tells people that she’s not a very good cook. It is true that she never liked cooking (still doesn’t really!) but she is actually a great cook. She just doesn’t like spending time on cooking.
As a child, I used to think that was because she was lazy but when you’re a mum who does a 9 to 5, and has four hungry children and a husband waiting at home, what my mum became was a highly efficient cook. Chinese mums, including mine, are the only women I know who can pull off a full 5 course Chinese dinner (a fish dish, a meat dish, a soup, rice and a vegetable dish) within an hour.
But more impressive than the (short) time it takes to cook like my mum is the distinctive taste of my mum’s cooking that stays with me. When she moved from Shanghai to Hong Kong (and married a Cantonese husband), I think her food became a mixture of two very different types of Chinese cuisine, which was then injected with the introduction of Southeast Asian spices thrown into the mix.
Her recipe for chicken wings is, I believe, part of her unconscious fusion of all those styles and I think it’s one of the best ways to eat them.
Most people tend to eat chicken wings fried, barbecued or braised but what sets my mum’s dish apart is that she steams the chicken wings. The result is super moist, fall off the bone meat that comes complete with a ready made sauce created in the dish by the steam and marinade itself. The ginger provides ‘heat’ but not of the chilli variety and a touch of curry powder (which is totally optional) adds a unique twist.
Steaming food is also SO easy. I mean, there’s no cooking involved! So if you’re struggling to find enough time in the day (and I think most of us are), this way of cooking means you can multi-task to your heart’s delight and use that extra time to do whatever you want (in my case, catch up on Neighbours re-runs and playing games online… simultaneously…)
Like most simple Chinese dishes, it’s best served with a bowl of plain boiled/steamed rice and a side of stir fried vegetables in garlic and ginger (or just briskly boiled for a couple of minutes).
So, if you’d like to try making my mum’s way of cooking chicken wings, click here for the recipe.
And if like me, you love ginger, try making a pot of my ginger tea to keep the ginger vibe going. Here’s how.