Tebasaki Chicken from Nagoya (手羽先).

In Japan, each region of the country has what is termed in Japanese ‘meibutsu’ which are regional delicacies and culinary specialities. 名物 or ‘meibutsu’ literally means a thing with a name, or something well-known. Here on this blog I am going to share various meibutsu, as well as corresponding recipes, that I know and love as well as those that I may try for the first time just for this blog. In addition, I hope to feature articles on the best Japanese snack foods and where to purchase those (whether online or in a metro market). The first item I am featuring hails from Nagoya prefecture and is a delight near and dear to Americans of all stripes: fried chicken. Particularly, Tebasaki friend chicken, which are chicken wings glazed in a sauce that is comprised of honey, soy sauce and sesame seeds. The wings can be served hot or cold and the sauce really kicks up the flavor a notch without making it overwhelmingly sweet or salty. Americans tend to love overpowering flavors, and this is not that kind of recipe although I’m sure it could be ‘Americanized’ and spiced up a bit, since many people enjoy hot and spicy wings as opposed to mildly sweet and tangy. This recipe comes straight from the website for Nagoya prefecture, thus attesting to its authenticity and orthodoxy.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
■ Potato starch片栗粉 かたくりこ  – (flour 小麦粉 can be used instead)
■ 2 tablespoon of soy sauce 醤油 しょうゆ
■ 1 tablespoons of sugar 砂糖
■ 1 teaspoon of sake 酒
■ 2 tablespoons of mirin みりん
■ 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder ニンニクパウダー or shichimi-togarashi七味唐辛
■ salt and pepper to season
■ 1 tablespoon of white sesame seeds白すりごま

1. Make a cut along the bone of each chicken wing.
2. Lightly coat the chicken wings with the potato starch.
3. Shallow fry (150°C) the chicken wings in about 1cm of vegetable oil over a low heat for 8 minutes or until they are light brown.
4. Remove the wings and turn up the heat on the pan (190°C). Add the wings and fry for a further 2 minutes until crisply. Remove and place on a paper towel.
5. Mix the sake, mirin, soy sauce, sugar, and garlic powder (optional) in a bowl and heat in a microwave.
6. Dip each wing in the bowl to cover it with sauce
7. Season with salt and pepper, and coat with the white sesame seeds.