Now You Can Order Korean Fried Chicken Wings Inside Kalihi’s Pālama Supermarket
This Korean-style fried chicken is supposedly healthier than the Southern-style buttermilk version.
a half order of the crispy fried chicken wings.
Photos: Diane Lee
Ever tried Korean-style fried chicken wings? If not, it’s worth it to try the thin, transparent and less greasy version of typical buttermilk fried chicken wings from Popeyes or KFC.
Hawai‘i’s first Vons Chicken counter opened inside Pālama Supermarket two months ago, next to the snack corner. You can find this mini-chain café in Seoul, Guam, Los Angeles, San Francisco and now Kalihi.
Vons Chicken offers four flavors of oven-roasted chicken: Vons special sauce, roast oven, garlic, and wine and green onion. Even though Vons Chicken advertises oven-baked chicken as a healthy option, the crispy fried chicken wings are the No. 1 seller here. We understand why: You don’t feel as guilty when you’re munching on wings that won’t leave your fingers coated with grease. If you’re expecting flavorful herbs and spices, you’ll be disappointed to discover the mild wings are just plain ol’ fried chicken wings.
We also ordered the oven-baked Vons special sauce, left, and garlic chicken wings, right. Both look nearly identical but are distinct in flavor. The special-sauce chicken wings are smothered with a Korean hot pepper paste called gochujang, which tastes more like a tangy sweet-and-sour sauce. We expected a pungent flavor from the garlic sauce wings, but don’t believe the menu photo advertising the wings with pieces of garlic cloves. No stinky breath from these garlic chicken wings.
We wish we could order our wings as a combo with fries, mashed potatoes or coleslaw. If you want a drink and a side dish with your wings though, you’ll need to pick up a bottled drink and Korean sides at Pālama Supermarket. Vons sells only chicken wings. You must choose either a half order (10 pieces for $11.99) or a full order (20 pieces for $20.99). That’s pricey, especially if you’re eating alone. Sometimes, we just want a few wings. The good news: The wings come in an adorable paper takeout container that makes it easy to take home any leftovers.
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