Ever wish egg rolls were more than appetizers? The Hmong people, originally of China, certainly did. It’s time to forget the deep-fried shells you’ve seen in countless takeout boxes—next-level egg rolls use an entire chicken wing.
This may sound less involved than properly folding a traditional egg roll, but it isn’t. Though Hmong and Southeast Asian women make the art of deboning a chicken wing look easy, it’s the kind of muscle memory that comes from years of preparing this homestyle favorite for a whole family. While keeping the drumette attached, without puncturing the skin, they stuff each pocket with the contents of a Hmong, Vietnamese, or Thai egg roll.
Inside, variations of ground pork, diced vegetables, bean thread noodles, cilantro, fish sauce, and egg meld together. On the side, a dipping sauce called nuoc cham, made from fish sauce, lime juice, chile, and sugar, provides a savory, tangy pop of flavor. Hmong immigrants all over the world—particularly in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and parts of Minnesota and Wisconsin—make these gastropub-worthy wings.
Wait, stuffing pork inside chicken? Yes, that’s exactly what’s happening. Think of Hmong stuffed chicken wings as a modern introduction to the ancient practice boodog, also known as authentic Mongolian barbecue. Steppe-dwelling horse nomads have already proven that cooking meat inside meat is a great idea, but if you’re not ready to blowtorch an entire carcass, deboning and stuffing a chicken wing is a good place to start.
Where to Try It
A casual eatery known for its Hmong stuffed chicken wings.