Ginger and miso chicken wings

Savoury and sweet wings, marinaded with ginger beer. 


I first came across the idea of cooking with ginger beer in Korean food, where it’s quite common to find it used as a flavouring ingredient. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given the general love of ginger, in all its forms, in Korean cuisine.

So I started fiddling around with a marinade for chicken wings (you could use any chicken pieces you like, of course) that was built around ginger beer as an ingredient. I tried many different brands of ginger beer and found that the more sharply gingery they were, the better the finished result. You can always amp it up, anyhow, adding some fresh ginger or even some minced ginger from a jar.

Ginger beer containing alcohol makes for a better marinade. If using non-alcoholic ginger beer, simply add a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar or sake to help it penetrate the meat.

Heading down a Korean path, I found a lovely, savoury match for the sweetness and floral bite of ginger in a fantastically savoury fermented soybean paste, doenjang. But it’s not the easiest ingredient to find outside of Korean specialist groceries (if you have one near you, though, do try it), so I’ve substituted a close, much more accessible match in white miso paste.

And that’s about all you need besides a little splosh of oil to get everything roasting up nicely. The result is gorgeously golden wings, desirably sticky and full of flavour.

Ginger and miso chicken wings

12 chicken wings
3 tablespoons white miso paste
125ml (½ cup) ginger beer
6 coin-sized pieces fresh ginger
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ teaspoon black sesame seeds

Load the chicken wings into a large, resealable plastic bag which will contain them snuggly.

In a bowl, whisk the miso and oil together to break the paste down, then add the ginger beer, stirring to combine. Pour over the wings and seal up the bag, smooshing and squishing to get them all covered nicely. Park in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, and up to 24.

When you’re ready to cook, set your oven to 220°C (425°F).

Transfer the wings to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or shallow roasting tin, using a wire rack to lift them up if you have one. Reserve the marinade.

Roast for 40 minutes, turning and basting with some of the marinade halfway through. Baste again 5 minutes before they're finished, continuing to roast until glazed and sticky.

Sprinkle with black sesame seeds and serve them up straight away.