Subject: Old style Chinese chicken wings
Date: 3/16/2023, 1:18 PM
On 3/16/2023 11:56 AM, Kelly wrote:
I just saw your post on this from Brett(5-18-2020). I could have written that
request he made word for word. Iíve been trying to find these chicken wings
since the restaurant Hong Kong closed. I went to most of the restaurants he
mentioned, though the Hu Ke Lau was a branch located in Rocky Hill, CT not
the original chicopee one. If it helps at all, the location/address for
Hong Kong Restaurant is below. They closed and a storage place moved in.
To my knowledge the second Hong Kong that is still open wasnít related to
the first. Sweet lord I wish you could have found that recipe.
Thanks for your efforts.
Your email prompted me to do another search today, but I still had no success. I don't see much of any way to find this without a unique name for wings cooked this way (even a Chinese name might help.) or a unique list of ingredients used to make them. Sorry.
Subject: Old style Chinese chicken wings
Date: 3/16/2023, 2:28 PM
Thanks for the reply Phaed, my brother and I have gone over this for
literally decades. Forgive the extremely long email but if this helps
at all, iíll be thorough.
†The only ingredients I know for sure are soy sauce and msg. Hong Kong
never did anything without msg. And I suspect with high certainty that
sesame oil was an important ingredient, whether in the marinade or
somehow in the cooking. My searches based on how they looked all come
up with ďsoy sauce chicken wingsĒ recipes, which look right but seem
a little too sticky. Brett was right, they were only very slightly
sticky to the touch.
There was also a now closed restaurant called Kowloonís in Southington, CT.
that had Hong Kong menus in their restaurant (and similar wings) so the
owner must have been related or who knows what. That made me look up
Kowloon's and I came up with the following recipe which is pretty close
to where I landed with my own efforts:
Kowloon's Chinese Chicken Wings
In my own experiments, i tried 1 cup of soy, 1 cup water, quarter cup
sesame oil and tsp of msg. Its close but not quite there, also close
to the Kowloon recipe above (they dont use sesame oil). Problem is
when you deep fry it, it wants to burn quickly from the sugars and soy,
so the results were off. My air fried versions were closer. That said
Iíve read in my own searching that gin was a secret to old school
Chinese chicken wings, not sure if itís true, but itís an avenue I
havent gone hard down.
The other major problem is time. Nobody cooks like they used to back
when we got these. It would have been a heavy oil, maybe peanut they
were fried in, that was also used for everything else they fried which
would have added more flavor, plus msg and wherever else to the taste,
simply from the dirty delicious oil. You cant replicate that.
Maybe Brett had some luck with the politician or old owner of Hu Ke Lau.
How wonderful that would be. From pics of Hu Ke Laus (MA location) pupu
platter, you can see the wings under their beef teriyaki sticks and the
wings looked spot on.
Thanks again for looking,
It's been almost three years since I had any correspondence with Brett, so I just sent him an email asking if he had any success in finding the recipe.
Maybe I'll hear back from him.
On Mar 16, 2023, at 5:36 PM, Phaedrus wrote:
Did you ever have any success finding this recipe? Were you able to contact William Tong? I've had another request for this recipe, so if you were able to get it, please send it to me.
Subject: New England Old School Cantonese chicken wings
Date: 3/16/2023, 7:55 PM
I reached out to Tong. His spokesperson responded with this:
>>>Yes! Itís not an exact science. Sorry for the delay. See the rough
>>>In a big bowl throw in: dark soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, salt
and pepper, white wine and mix. NO MEASUREMENTS eyeball it! Throw in
your chicken and best if grilled but great baked too!
Honestly, †I donít think this is correct. There were never any scorch marks
that would indicate carmelization you would see if grilling or baking.
I disagree with Brett slightly, baking wouldn't get you scorch marks
and my own efforts showed air frying got me closer than actual frying.
But, I still agree they were fried. Mostly likely double fried like a
lot of Chinese restaurants do to get them done quickly and crispy.
Chinese Restaurant Fried Chicken Wings
What they sent is in line with my own attempts, so I think thatís pretty
correct, only add in the MSG and some dirty cooking oil. Also, I hadnít
used dark soy before either, only a half soy/water mix because it would
soak overnight. What they sent would be a much faster marinade, which
makes sense if you have a quick turnover time.
Iíll give this a shot and let you know.
Again, many thanks!