Sam Fore is a chef based in Lexington, Kentucky, whose pop-up, Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites, treks around the country to share her Sri Lankan-Southern fusion bites. From humble beginnings cooking in a pop-up tent, Fore was nominated as a finalist for Best Chef in the Southeast (2023) by the James Beard Foundation. As her acclaim has widened, she plans to open her first brick-and-mortar shop, Tuk Tuk Snack Shop, in Lexington in fall of 2023. Here, Sam shares her approachable method for crispy fried party wings.
The key is layering flavor and infusing Spicewalla spices at each step. Beginning with the chicken marinade, Fore evenly distributes “everything she would put in a chicken curry” into the buttermilk mixture. This saturates the chicken with flavor. Additionally, she adds infuses the oil with a curry leaf as it heats and then rubs curry leaves and lime zest to release their natural oils into the finishing salt. Lime serves as the unsung hero in this recipe. By incorporating its zest into the marinade, finishing salt, and ending with a squeeze of fresh juice over the completed wings, Fore simultaneously adds brightness and acid while elevating the spices.
Fore suggests cooking the wings for a total fry time of 8 to 9 minutes, depending on desired crispness.
⅓ cup Spicewalla Cyprus Flake Salt
3-4 curry leaves
Zest of ½ lime
1 pound thawed chicken wings
2 tablespoons Spicewalla Tuk Tuk Fried Chicken Spice
½ cup full-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (can be found at most international markets)
3 cups canola oil (or safflower oil), for frying
Zest of ½ lime
Lime wedges, for serving
For the Curry Leaf Salt
For the party wings
For the Curry Leaf Salt:
- Rip curry leaves, then mash them together with the cyprus flake salt between your fingers to release natural oils into the salt.
For the fried party wings:
- Dust thawed party wings with Fried Chicken Spice, transfer to a gallon-sized re-sealable bag and let sit for 1 hour. After 30 minutes, add the buttermilk and ginger garlic paste, seal bag and massage to fully cover wings. After 1 hour, transfer wings from bag to cutting board and pat dry.
- In a pan or fryer, add oil and heat to 325 degrees. Fry wings for 8 to 9 minutes or until golden-brown and crispy. Transfer to cooling rack or plate lined with paper towels. Season wings with Curry Leaf Salt and generous squeeze of lime.