These Spicy-Sticky Wings Are a San Francisco Classic

Chicken Wings at Chino Photo © Eva Kolenko
By Chelsea Morse Posted March 23, 2015

These amazing wings are now on the menu at a new Chinese dumpling spot in San Francisco’s multiethnic Mission District.

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

Related:
San Francisco Travel Guide
Chicken Wing Recipes
Chefs' Favorite Chinese Restaurants in the U.S.

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