It’s hard to imagine that chicken wings were throwaway cuts just a few decades ago. But in the 1980s, some enterprising folks began looking at them as potential snacks. Hawkers in Bugis Street started grilling them in refashioned oil drums, and thus igniting the city’s love for chicken wings. And oh how do we love them? Let us count the ways!
IKEA alone moves a staggering 25 tonnes of fried chicken wings (above) every month. It outsells their signature Swedish meatballs.
Teddy Bear BBQ Chicken Wing (Stall no.44, East Coast Lagoon Food Centre) does a roaring business of BBQ chicken wings even though there’s a competitive cluster at that food centre. It’s the perfect beach snack.
We love chicken wings with our economy noodle or beehoon breakfasts. But it doesn’t always have to be for breakfast. Eng Kee (Block 117 Commonwealth Crescent #01-711) is so popular for its wings, that people will wait for them when they open from 4pm onwards til supper at 11pm.
Singaporeans also love all things spicy, so buffalo wings are a natural hit. Jerry’s BBQ and Grill (92 Club Street) lets you choose between three levels of spicy heat.
Korean-inspired 4 Fingers BonChon Crispy Chicken (2 Orchard Turn, #B4-06A ION Orchard) employs a special technique for its twice-fried wings. Most of the fat rendered out, so it’s extra thin, crispy and almost as light as air. They wings are gently painted with either soy garlic or hot and spicy sauce. One piece is never enough.
Korean-inspired 4 Fingers BonChon Crispy Chicken (2 Orchard Turn, #B4-06A ION Orchard) employs a special technique for its twice-fried wings. Most of the fat rendered out, so it’s extra thin, crispy and almost as light as air. They wings are gently painted with either soy garlic or hot and spicy sauce. One piece is never enough. Har cheong kai, or prawn paste chicken, is a staple at zi char stalls. Sheng Ji (Block 2 Jalan Bukit Merah #01-5134) does a really good version, but surprisingly, one of the best har cheong kai can be found in a touristy bar, No.5 Emerald Hill.
And chicken wings too have become one of the most popular accompaniments to nasi lemak. What goes really well with steamed rice are Indonesian-style fried chicken wings doused with sweet and sticky dark sauce. Bali Nasi Lemak (2 Lorong 15 Geylang) may serve this style of chicken with breast or thigh parts as well, but the chicken wings are one of the most requested parts. They also serve regular battered fried chicken wings. These are just some of the more popular ways. Chicken wings are also added to curry, soups, and stir-fries. I’m sure chickens would love to raise their hands in protest at this mania, but with any luck, most of their arms would already be on someone’s dinner plate.