Fried chicken wings aren't particularly Asian; in fact, the technique Charles uses here was borrowed from Matt and Ted Lee, the South Carolina-born brothers and cookbook writers. But the lime-chile sauce is a traditional Vietnamese condiment. "Nothing pairs better with these wings than a cold beer," Charles adds.
9 chicken wings, separated at joints, tips trimmed or saved for stock
Put wings in a shallow bowl, sprinkle evenly with 1/2 tbsp. salt, cover, and chill overnight. Drain wings, then dry with paper towels. Bring to room temperature.
Pour oil to a depth of 2 in. into a wok or high-sided pot and heat over high heat to 375° on a deep-fry thermometer.
Put cornstarch in a bowl and season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add wings and toss to coat, shaking off excess.
Add wings to hot oil and fry 6 to 10 minutes, until deep golden brown and cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer wings to paper towels to drain briefly. Transfer to a bowl and toss with toasted garlic and more salt and pepper. Serve with Spicy Lime Dipping Sauce.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving, without dipping sauce.
Adapted from Vietnamese Home Cooking, copyright 2012 by Charles Phan