We made a trip to Noodlecat, the casual ramen restaurant owned by Jonathon Sawyer of Cleveland’s Greenhouse Tavern. The ramen was great, of course, and I’ll be working on my tonsoku broth recipe for a future post. The kids loved the art – there were huge paintings of cats, manga style, hanging on the wall. But what really grabbed me were the miso BBQ chicken wings.
There are no hints on Noodlecat’s menu about what ingredients go into the miso BBQ sauce, and I forgot to ask the server. I need to visit Noodlecat again – exclusively for research, of course. But the weather was so nice this week, and I had some miso in the fridge. I decided to wing it.
*Get it? Wing it? I amuse myself.
And yes, I use ketchup in the recipe. The glaze needed a red color, some vinegar, and some sweet flavors; ketchup provides all three. And ketchup is the base of all my barbecue sauces, so it just seemed right as part of a miso BBQ sauce.
*I sound defensive. Ketchup feels like cheating. But that’s OK – it works perfectly in the recipe.
Grilled Miso BBQ Chicken Wings
Inspired by: Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat, The Japanese Grill
Cooking time: 45 minutes
- Grill (I use my monster Weber Summit. It helps to have extra space to fit all the chicken wings. Here is the current version of my grill.)
- 3 pounds chicken wings
- 1/4 cup miso paste(preferably red miso, but white miso also works)
- 1/4 cup mirin
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon sake (or substitute rice vinegar)
- 1/4 cup of the marinade
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Asian chili paste (optional)
1. Marinate the chicken:
Whisk the marinade ingredients until the miso is completely dissolved. Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for the glaze. Put the chicken wings in a gallon zip-top bag, pour the marinade over them, squeeze all the air out of the bag, and seal. Flip and turn the bag to completely coat the chicken wings with the marinade, then let rest at room temperature for one hour, turning the bag ever fifteen minutes.
2. Make the glaze:
Whisk the reserved marinade with the rest of the glaze ingredients.
3. Prepare the grill:
Set the grill up for cooking with indirect high heat, 450°F or higher. For my Weber Summit, I preheat the grill with all the burners set to high for fifteen minutes, brush the grate clean with my grill brush, and turn off the middle burners. (To get 450°F I have to leave three burners on. I turned off burners 3, 4 and 5, leaving burners 1, 2 and 6 lit).
4. Grill the wings:
Put the chicken wings on the grill grate over the unlit section so they are cooking with indirect heat. Close the lid and cook for twenty minutes, then flip the wings and cook until the wings are browned and crispy, about twenty more minutes. Brush the wings with glaze, cook for five more minutes, then brush with another layer of glaze.
5. Serve the wings:
Remove the wings from the grill and serve.
- Miso is found in the refrigerator section. If you have an Asian market, make a trip – it will be cheaper, and you can pick up the other special ingredients, like mirin and sake, while you’re there.
- While red miso is more traditional for grilling chicken, this recipe works with white miso. How do I know? I thought I had red miso…until I saw “white miso” in small print on the side of the container. This was after the wings were marinating, of course.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Grill Roasted Chicken Wings – The basic technique
Grilled Chicken Wings with Spicy Asian Glaze – if you like to live dangerously and grill wings directly over the fire
Grilled Buffalo Chicken Wings
Click here for my other grilling recipes.
Tadashi Ono and Harris Salat, The Japanese Grill
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