Sesame Shiso Wings

September 22, 2010
2 Ratings
  • Serves 1 really hungry husband or 2-3 as a starter (easily doubled or tripled)
Author Notes

Growing up, my mom was the Queen of wings. She had three finger-lickin' recipes (Paprika Picnic Wings, Garlic-Lemon Wings and Wings with a Soy Garlic Dipping sauce) that she would rotate through, bringing to potlucks and picnics to rave reviews. These wings are my interpretation that combines aspects of each recipe. Salty, with nutty notes from the sesame and an underlying brightness from the lemon and shiso, all these need is a cold beer and you are ready for the game. NOTE: I use gluten free tamari because my husband is allergic to gluten, however I have also come to appreciate the robust, dark flavor tamari imparts. To my palate, it is slightly saltier than regular soy sauce, so if you substitute soy sauce, add to taste accordingly. - gingerroot —gingerroot

Test Kitchen Notes

Gingerroot’s Sesame Shiso Wings are really tasty. They’re flavorful, more salty than sweet, with an earthiness from the sesame seeds and oil. The lemon in the marinade brings out the tangy green shiso, which shiso lovers could also sprinkle on top along with the sesame seeds. The cornstarch crust fries up in a nice, crispy way, but make sure that your oil temperature isn’t too hot or you’ll risk having it brown up too quickly. Though the wings are delicious on their own, if you have extra sauce, it makes a nice dipping sauce, thinned with some mirin, and with added slices of ginger and garlic. - SallyCan —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 12 chicken wings
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 4-5 green shiso leaves, cut into chiffonade and then chopped crosswise
  • 1 large green onion, finely sliced
  • 5 tablespoons gluten free tamari (can substitute soy sauce, see headnote)
  • 1 tablespoon honey of choice
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mirin
  • drizzle of sesame oil
  • black and white sesame seeds, for sprinkling
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  1. Separate wings at joints to get a wing, a drumette and a tip. Save tips for stock. You should have 24 pieces. In a gallon sized ziploc bag, combine wings, drumettes, lemon juice, salt, ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder and fresh black pepper. Seal bag, pushing out as much air as possible, and massage chicken pieces to thoroughly and evenly coat with lemon juice and spices. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, occasionally turning bag.
  2. In a fryer or Dutch oven, begin to heat enough vegetable oil to measure at least an inch deep. If using a fryer, heat to 365 degrees. If using a Dutch oven, turn stove to medium-high heat (5 on my stove) and keep covered (although you may need to turn down once oil gets hot). Set up a baking sheet topped with a cooling rack near your frying station. Cover the rack with a few paper towels.
  3. Meanwhile, make your sauce. In a medium bowl, combine tamari, honey, sugar, mirin, shiso and green onion. Add drizzle of sesame oil. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a clean ziploc, add cornstarch. Transfer chicken pieces from marinating ziploc to the one with the cornstarch (you don't want all the liquid from the marinating bag). Remove air from cornstarch ziploc, seal, and shake to coat chicken pieces. Your oil should be ready and hot.
  5. Using tongs to shake off excess cornstarch, start frying chicken pieces, being careful not to crowd the fryer or Dutch oven. I could fit about 7 pieces at a time. Fry chicken until cooked and golden brown, about 6 minutes. As you remove the cooked chicken with tongs, squeeze out excess oil (over fryer or Dutch oven). Place on paper towel covered rack. Continue until all the chicken is cooked.
  6. Gently toss cooked chicken in sauce, a few pieces at a time, making sure to get shiso and green onion on the chicken. The straight sauce is pretty salty so you do not want to leave the pieces in for an extended amount of time. Just enough to coat each side.
  7. Sprinkle coated pieces with sesame seeds and serve immediately with your favorite beer. These are best piping hot, although are also good cold (just not crispy).
  8. Note: You can also roast the marinated wings and drumettes (omit cornstarch) on a lined baking sheet in the top third of a 450 degree oven for 10 minutes, turning after 5 minutes. Finish under the broiler for about 2-3 minutes. Coat in sauce as in step 6. These are lovely, although I personally prefer the crispier skin from frying.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • lorigoldsby
  • savorthis
  • gingerroot
  • wholegraingourmet

Recipe by: gingerroot

My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love. Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.

8 Reviews

lorigoldsby August 7, 2012
I remember these! They were worth the trip to the asian market to find the shiso leaves!
gingerroot August 8, 2012
Thanks so much, Lori!!
savorthis August 7, 2012
Yum! These look amazing. My dad used to come home saying he brought home dinner which would be nothing more than a pile of wings. And this recipe is exactly my style of wings. There you go with shiso again. Now I want chicken wings AND tempura shrimp with shiso. I will have to plant it next year. I wonder if it will grown in Denver?
gingerroot August 8, 2012
Thank you, savorthis! Now that you mention it, I do put shiso in everything! I've always loved its unique savory, citrusy flavor. As a kid I only had it along with ume (that I ate like candy) that my grandparents brought back from Japan. The GOOD ume - jawbreaker sized, plump and on the sweet side of salty. I digress. Now I keep a green shiso plant in one of my raised beds and try to use it before it bolts!
wholegraingourmet August 6, 2012
This looks so yummy, gingerroot!
gingerroot August 6, 2012
Thanks Michelle! Hope you are all doing well. xo
gingerroot September 23, 2010
NOTE: Sesame oil drizzle belongs in Step 3, when making the sauce. Apologies for the omission.
gingerroot September 23, 2010
whoops! For some reason I thought I had missed the deadline for editing...I have added my note back in to step 3.