Starry Kitchen’s double-fried tamarind chicken wings

Written by

It’s summertime here in Los Angeles and that means picnics at outdoor movies, backyard barbecues and…fried chicken. At Button Mash in Echo Park, Nguyen and Thi Tran are serving up their fried chicken three different ways. I’m partial to the wings tossed in a sticky tamarind glaze. The chicken is fried twice, then gets its kick from a healthy dose of ginger, chili garlic paste, black pepper and, of course, tamarind paste in the sauce. When topped with pomegranate seeds, the wings are extremely pretty on the plate.

Prior to popping up at Button Mash, Nguyen and Thi’s Starry Kitchen restaurant occupied various spaces around town. If you don’t live in LA, you’ll soon be able to try their food in the comfort of your own home, thanks to a new cookbook to be published next spring by Harper One. The working title of the book — and I hope it doesn’t change — is “The Adventures of Starry Kitchen: Going Balls Out.” So named after everyone’s favorite crazy green vegan tofu balls. Yes, please.