I live alone in Melbourne so I actually do think about my family a lot, especially when I'm cooking for some reason. I often think, "Oooh, I think Mum & Dad would enjoy this" or "Oh man, what's that dish that Mum used to make and how do I make it again?"
Most people would already know that I would choose ANY homecooked meal (even if it's as simple as having a simple onion omelette with rice) over eating at a restaurant any day. I do honestly think my love for homecooked meals is stemmed from how I was raised. Almost every single day (even up until the time I finished high school), we would wake up to a nice, hot, cooked breakfast waiting for us in the kitchen. Our breakfast would often be accompanied by freshly made juices or soya bean milk every morning. Yes, soya bean milk from scratch.
Then, we would have a small container of food to bring to eat at recess in the morning. After that, we also had freshly cooked food from home delivered to us during lunchtime. And finally, we would also come home to another great homecooked dinner at the end of the day. Dinner every night was always deliciously well balanced. There would always be at least one meat, one fish, one veg, one carb (rice, duh) and also a soup.
To cope with all of this, we had helpers growing up. Mum has always been a great cook but she also had a very busy career so only cooked on special occasions and relied on the helpers we had to run the daily chores. She normally teaches our helpers how to cook the food and then leaves it up to them to do it.
I have always felt very fortunate about my childhood. But I definitely am not spoilt. I don't take for granted any of their hard work and appreciate it very much. It is also because of this that I too have been so inspired to have well balanced homecooked meals as much as I can (often even after a long day). And I too, want my kids to have the same upbringing as I did. Also, I really do enjoy cooking for others as well because I want to bless others with the same blessing I received growing up.
Whenever we're in Malaysia, Mum definitely looks after the cooking. On the other hand, Dad takes charge when he's in Melbourne. Mum and Dad absolutely loves going to the market every single morning to buy fresh food to cook for dinner that night. Dad gets so excited by all the sights (and prices) of the food at the market and cannot help but feel so inspired to cook. He never plans what he's making and it's different almost every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We only eat out on weekends whenever Mum and Dad are in town. Dad really does love cooking so much when he's in here that he can be in there for hours and I've caught him humming to himself while he does it. It's really cute.
Now you see why I really do take after my parents in many ways including their love for food (and nutrition) and also their enthusiasm towards homecooking.
Okay, enough about my life story. Dad created this dish one evening when he was in Melbourne when he was just being adventurous with things he could find in my pantry. It was so delicious that I requested for him to make it for me and my friends several times after that.
After my parents left Melbourne, I still couldn't help but crave these chicky wings that Dad made. It was such an interesting mix of flavours, like nothing I've ever tasted before but it was SO delicious. The key ingredient is the Chinese Rose Wine (玫瑰露酒), which I bought when I made Char Siu or Chinese BBQ Roast Pork from scratch for the Chinese New Year Dinner I prepared earlier this year (see the blog post: here!).
I love Dad's recipe so much that I've started making it a lot whenever I have friends over for dinner.
This Chinese Rose Wine can be found at a well stocked Asian Grocery and is mainly used in Pork and Chicken dishes -- delicious!!
This was taken when Bryan, Jo, Luke and I would have our occasional simple potluck catchup dinners. This was taken when it was my turn to host our potluck =)
2 months ago, I also decided to cook for my neighbours who all had exams every night for a week. This was one of the dinners I prepared.
We had Dad's chicky wings, Chinese beetroot soup, steamed egg custard topped with pork mince, steamed pomfret, fried iceberg lettuce.
Just over the weekend, I had a #chickenpotluck with my dear friends I-Hua and Aaron (who were the generous hosts!), Shellie, Bryan and Jo. It was a very fun night of food and laughs
As you can see, I really do love cooking Dad's chicky wings. It's very different, which makes it fun to share but still utterly delicious. I remember my Dad every time I make this and often can't help but share a little story about Dad to the people I'm making this for.
Besides that, it's seriously easy to make. Quick to cook and close to no effort required. I often make this as part of the meal when I am busy preparing other dishes when having people over for dinner.
Hope you give this a go too!
Dad's Grilled Chicken Wings (with Chinese Rose Wine and Five Spice Powder)
1kg chicken wings
1/2 tbsp five spice powder
2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp Chinese rose wine *
1/2 tsp salt
* May be substituted with Chinese rice wine
1. Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl or tray. Cover with cling wrap and leave it to marinate in the fridge overnight.
2. Take it out from the fridge a few hours before cooking to turn the chicken wings before placing it back into the fridge until ready to use.
3. Preheat oven to 200°C. Remove the chicken wings from the fridge and place on a wire rack on a tray.
4. Bake skin side up for 12 minutes. Turn the chicken wings. Bake for another 10 minutes. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.