The name of the dish might give you the impression that “sweet soy sauce” merely refers to soy sauce sweetened with either sugar or honey. The sauce is much more nuanced than that.
The sweet components of the sauce are hoisin sauce and rice wine. The savory components are soy sauce and oyster sauce. And, for a little kick, there’s chili oil.
Because of the inclusion of an alcoholic ingredient, it is important to boil the sauce to allow the alcohol to evaporate. Not that ALL of the alcohol will be totally eliminated from the sauce after boiling. A trace will remain. But, in terms of flavor and aroma, it becomes hardly discernible.
Chili sweet soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce I used Kikkoman
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 1 tablespoon sweet rice wine
- 1 tablespoon chili oil
- Pat the chicken wings dry with paper towels then cut to separate the drumettes from the wings (no need to discard the wing tips).
- Toss with one teaspoon salt and a quarter teaspoon of pepper and place in a resealable bag.
- Whisk together the flour, starch and remaining salt and pepper.
- Peel and thinly slice the onion.
- Peel and mince the garlic
- Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce.
- In a wok or frying pan, heat enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least two inches.
- Dump the seasoned flour mixture into the resealable bag. Seal then shake thoroughly to coat all chicken pieces.
- Fry the chicken wings, in batches if necessary, until crispy and lightly browned. Depending on the size of the wings, this will take anywhere from eight to ten minutes.
- Scoop out the wings and keep hot.
- Pour off the cooking oil, leaving only a tablespoonful.
- Reheat the oil and stir fry the garlic and onion for about half a minute. Pour in the sauce. Stir and allow to boil gently for a minute. Turn off the heat.
- Add the chicken to the sauce and toss to coat each piece well.
- Serve the sweet soy sauce fried chicken at once.