Nina’s Tips & Techniques: Snacks for the Big Game


I am so bored with buffalo wings, chips and sour cream dip. WHAT ELSE can I make for the big game?

I totally get it. I’m bored with them, too! I’ll start by admitting that I love chicken wings. Therefore, I have been collecting ideas and recipes for other exciting wing dishes over the years. Sometimes instead of trying to force myself so far out of a box I just ask myself, how do I make this thing everyone already loves just a little different or a little more exciting? By changing the sauce on a classic like chicken wings, they become new and enticing again, but still somehow what everyone at the party is expecting. Same with dips…there are a million fabulous recipes for dips out there that still go with bread, crackers, and cut veggies. For example, try a Middle Eastern spread of dips – a tzatziki yogurt sauce, a muhamara (red pepper and walnut), and baba ganoush. Toast pita bread sprinkled with za’atar spice to serve on the side. You’ve still got the essence of chips and dips, but with a creative spin!

My homemade wings are always soggy. How do I make them crunchy and saucy like the ones I get at a restaurant?

When you order wings in a restaurant they are most likely deep fried, and the super crispy ones are most likely dredged in flour or corn starch before they are fried. If you have a deep fryer at home I would use it for wings. You can also make a fryer using a heavy bottomed pot filled no more than ½ way with high heat oil (canola, vegetable, peanut, corn). Make sure your oil is hot enough, about 425 F, as oil that’s not hot enough will leave your finished product soggy and greasy. Also, make sure you’re not frying too many wings at a time. When you add cold wings to your hot oil it brings the temperature of the oil down. If you bring it down too far, it will take a long time to regain the temp and that will result in subpar wings. Adding only a few at a time helps the oil stay up to temperature, resulting in a crispy texture. If you are oven roasting your wings, dry them thoroughly, toss with oil, and roast them at a high temp, 475 F. Toss the baked wings with the sauce when they come out of the oven, not before they go in—this is a very common mistake!

Recipe – Korean BBQ Chicken Wings

2 packages Chicken Wings
1 Head Garlic, minced
1 Bunch Scallion, sliced
2 Tbsp Ginger, minced
3 Tbsp Canola Oil
3 Tbsp Gochujang
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1-3 Tbsp Siracha (adjust for spiciness)
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
3 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
3 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tbsp Black and white sesame seeds, mixed, for garnish
Chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

In a small metal bowl combine the garlic, ginger and scallion. In a small pot heat the canola oil to almost smoking, then pour it over the garlic, scallion, and ginger. They should become very fragrant and lightly cooked, but not browned at all. Add the remaining ingredients except the sesame oil, sesame seeds, and cilantro. Once mixture is combined whisk the toasted sesame oil in slowly to emulsify.
Deep fry or roast wings to your liking, then toss them in a bowl with the sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and whole cilantro leaves.