Love Letter: Vientiane’s Stuffed Chicken Wings

angel wings

Many Thai or Lao places offer these wings, but Vientiane’s are the best (although Asian Café’s are a close second). These wings are deboned (except for the wing tip “handle”) and hollowed out. The skin retains the fat and the occasional chunk of chicken meat. The filling is a concoction of seasoned minced pork and jelly or mung bean noodles. After being stuffed, the wings are fried. The reason Vientiane’s wings stand out is that the skin is crispy and that they trim out some of the fat under the skin – some wings at other places will yield an unpleasant mouthful of fat. Some versions are deep fried, which is unnecessary. You’ll see that mine are in a takeout container because Vientiane is one of my favorite places to hit on my way home from Davis to Sac. My go-to is chicken laap, these, and pad thai or papaya salad.

I have a fondness for the old Vientiane, which was a grungier version elsewhere in West Sac, because a friend took me there around a decade ago.  It was my introduction to Lao cuisine, which now ranks as one of my favorites. When the owners retired back to Laos they passed it on to a family member, and they carry on the recipes in a newer space adjacent to the Jefferson Blvd. exit. Thank Jah the wings are just as good as they ever were.

1001 Jefferson Blvd.
open 11-3, 5-9
closed Mondays

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