To achieve a crispy crust on his fried chicken, Sylvan Brackett, chef-owner of Izakaya Rintaro in San Francisco, uses potato starch. Sansho, the Japanese equivalent of Sichuan pepper, adds kick to the wings.
Japanese-Style Chicken Wings (Teba No Karaage)
The secret to Sylvan Brackett's Japanese fried chicken wings: Potato starch and sansho.
4 lb. chicken wings, separated at the joint, wing tips removed
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. mirin
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. sake
2 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 tbsp. kosher salt
10 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6") piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup soy sauce
1⁄2 cup turbinado sugar
Canola oil, for frying
3⁄4 cup potato starch
Ground sansho, for garnish
Lemon wedges, for serving
Toss wings, 2 tbsp. each mirin and sake, the sesame oil, granulated sugar, salt, garlic, and ginger in a bowl; cover and chill 4 hours.
Combine remaining mirin and sake, the soy sauce, and turbinado sugar in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium heat; cook until reduced by half, about 1 hour. Transfer sauce to a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap; keep warm. Heat 2" canola oil in a 6-qt. saucepan over medium until a deep-fry thermometer reads 320°. Toss wings with potato starch, shaking off excess; working in batches, fry wings until crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer wings to paper towels to drain. Toss wings with reserved sauce; transfer to a platter and sprinkle with sansho. Serve with lemon wedges.