Newly opened in Yaletown across the street from Rodney’s Oyster Bar is House Special, a friendly Vietnamese restaurant with a contemporary angle. Run by siblings Victoria and Patrick Do, who come from a family of restaurant owners responsible for the likes of Green Lemongrass and Broken Rice, House Special combines Vietnamese heritage with fine dining techniques and ingredients. It is the very essence of Vancouver: the mashing together of cultures.
The menu is full of delights, but a must-order is Uncle Hing’s Chicken Wings. Here’s how to make them at home.
Uncle Hing’s Chicken Wings
Serves four to six
2 lbs of Wings
8 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 cups of cold water
¾ cups of fish sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1-2 tsp sambal crushed red chili
Uncle Hing’s Sauce
4 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of dried chili flake
200g of palm sugar
1 tbsp of brown sugar
2 tbsp of fish sauce
1 cup of hot sauce (store brand is fine)
1-2 tbsp of unsalted butter (to taste)
1 cup rice flour
½ cup of corn starch
Chop garlic finely. Add fish sauce and sugar to bowl and mix until dissolved. Combine fish sauce and garlic with water and add two pounds of chicken wings to a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for six to 18 hours.
Mince the garlic and shallots in separate bowls. In a sauce pan, sweat shallots for two or three minutes at medium heat before adding minced garlic, then lightly brown. Add hot sauce and fish sauce to pan and simmer. Break palm sugar into small pieces and add to sauce. Allow sauce to simmer until sugar dissolves. Turn off heat and add butter and dried chili to taste.
Combine ingredients into mixing bowl. Take wings from marinade and toss in dry batter. Deep-fry at 375 degrees Celsius for eight minutes. In a small sauce pan, heat enough sauce to coat wings and reduce until sugar begins to caramelize, add chicken wings to sauce, and quickly toss to coat.
Plate wings and add chopped cilantro and Vietnamese pickles for brightness. Call it your personal house special.
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