These amazing wings are now on the menu at a new Chinese dumpling spot in San Francisco’s multiethnic Mission District.
Eight years ago, when Nick Balla was working as the chef at a Japanese pub in San Francisco, he hit on the secret to incredible chicken wings: toasted ground rice, which created a crispy crust that could hold up to sauce without becoming soggy. His cross-cultural wings, buttermilk-brined in the Southern-American style and bathed in Southeast Asian garlicky chile-lime sauce, became a huge hit. Now that Balla is busy exploring Eastern European flavors at Bar Tartine, he no longer has those wings on his menu—but San Francisco hasn’t forgotten about them. When the people at a new dumpling spot, Chino, asked for the recipe, Balla was happy to share. “I hate secrecy,” he says. “The era of guarding your recipes is over.” 3198 16th St.; chinosf.com.
Related: 17 Wing Sauce Recipes
What makes Balla's wings so incredible? Here, the anatomy of his recipe:
1. Toasted-rice crust
2. Buttermilk-brined meat
3. Chile-lime sauce
4. Fresno chiles
5. Serrano chiles