Salt-and-pepper chicken wings are the most well-known specialty at Golden Chopsticks, a 25-year-old Chinese eatery in National City. I crave them at any occasion, but I associate the dish most with celebration.
Customers file into the restaurant throughout the day, picking up trays piled high with crispy wings designed to feed a crowd, whether it be a birthday party or a potluck gathering. Owner Thomas Chen says the kitchen goes through thousands of wings on a busy holiday.
The golden fried chicken wings are wok-tossed with scallions and red pepper flakes, then showered in a flavor-packed mix of toasted garlic, salt, and pepper. The seasoning combination is quite addictive thanks to the addition of MSG, an ingredient I rarely use at home. The next time I buy a tray, I hope to be celebrating the simple joy of being able to share a meal again with friends and family.