For the sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups rice or cider vinegar
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup ketchup
- 6 tablespoons Chinese plum sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons (or to taste) finely chopped fresh red, jalapeño or serrano chili, with seeds
- 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
- 30 chicken wings (tips removed), rinsed and patted dry
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. Prepare the sauce: Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Puree in a food processor until nearly smooth. (Makes 3 cups.) Store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
3. Using a sharp knife, separate the chicken wings at the joint. Set aside.
4. Place the chicken wings in a large bowl and toss well with 1 1/2 cups of the sauce. Lay the chicken wings in a single layer on 2 or 3 baking sheets (do not overcrowd them). Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, basting once or twice with additional sauce. Place the wings on a platter, sprinkle