Every culture has its own signature drinking snacks, crafted specifically to get the thirst glands going and help soak up the alcohol. But no one does crunchy, salty nibbles quite as well as Thailand. NYC’s Uncle Boons, a kitschy-cool homestyle Thai restaurant, dedicated a small but mighty section of their menu to traditional drinking snacks. While we love their porky peanut mix, we’re partial to the downright addictive Heavenly Pig Ears. The ears are marinated overnight in fish sauce and whiskey, then simmered, breaded and fried to crispy perfection. Dip them in a sweet chili sauce and say hello to your new favorite nibble.
Uncle Boons’ Heavenly Pig Ears
2 lbs pig ears
2 cups fish sauce
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 tsp white pepper
2 oz whiskey
1 tbsp spice mix
scallion, cilantro, sweet chili sauce
- Mix fish sauce, sugar, pepper, salt and whiskey together in a bowl. Add pig ears and stir to coat. Cover and let marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
- The next day, pour the ears and marinade into a pot. Add water to cover if necessary and simmer until tender—roughly four hours. Once tender, remove the ears from the pot and let cool.
- Using kitchen shears, cut the ears into strips and toss lightly in cornstarch. Fry at 350 degrees. Toss with spice mix and salt as soon as they come out of the fryer.
- Garnish with scallions and cilantro and serve with sweet chili sauce for dipping.