Kwanzaa Culinarians

Recipes and Food Stories from the African Diaspora

Kujichagulia or Self-Determination: To Define Ourselves, Name Ourselves, Create for Ourselves and Speak for Ourselves

Korean Fried Chicken
To create for ourselves is one of the most important concepts that I take away from Kwanzaa. I strongly believe that we as a people should be growing, producing and cooking our own food. It is better for our health, better for our pocketbooks, and cooking is a skill that we can use to create jobs and businesses for ourselves. How often do we go to the drive-thrus of KFC, Church’s and Popeyes for chicken on our way home from work? While there is nothing wrong with the above, during Kwanzaa, I would like to suggest we practice the principle of Kujichagulia (self-determination) and make the chicken yourself. You control the ingredients, you know how well your chicken was treated, and quite frankly your chicken will taste better if you make it yourself. To help you succeed in making your own chicken, I am going to share one of my chicken wing recipes inspired by my trip to Korea.

My basic coating is ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, per 10 wing segments. 4 Tablespoons of potato starch is enough to cover up to 30 wing segments. Add the potato starch (or cornstarch in a pinch), salt and pepper and chicken wings to a large bowl. Mix until the wings are lightly coated.

Frying Technique
For all of my wings I use a double fry method for wings: Fry for 7 mins at 335 degrees, rest for 5 minutes and fry for an additional 5-7 mins at 355 degrees. This method makes the crispiest wings that won’t get soggy when you add the sauce.

Ingredients for the Sauce
6 Tablespoons Brown sugar
6 Tablespoons Soju (or sake)
6 Tablespoons Mirin
4 Tablespoons Fish sauce
3 cloves microplaned garlic
1 inch fresh microplaned ginger
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Add the first six ingredients to a medium sized saucepan and stir over medium heat until brown sugar is fully dissolved. Turn off heat, add balsamic vinegar and let cool. Add the wings to a large bowl. Pour just enough sauce to the wings to coat them mix and serve.

My name is Edward Sargent and I am a Seattle based photographer and food explorer. Sargent Eats is the place I share my food adventures through stories, photos and video. My goal is to inspire you to cook more, travel more, and enjoy different cultures through food. If you like my photography and/or stories, I am available for magazine and newspaper articles and cookbooks.
My contact information is sargenteats at gmail [dot] com
My twitter name is @sargenteats
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About Sanura

Art Director/Senior Graphic Designer at Food Writer at

One comment on “Kujichagulia or Self-Determination: To Define Ourselves, Name Ourselves, Create for Ourselves and Speak for Ourselves

  1. meccasimone
    December 14, 2012

    Salivating here at 8 in the morning!! sounds delicious!


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This entry was posted on December 14, 2012 by in 2012, Kujichagulia and tagged , , , , .

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Learn more about Kwanzaa

The word "Kwanzaa" comes from the phrase, "matunda ya kwanza" which means "first-fruits." Kwanzaa's extra "a" evolved as a result of a particular history of the Organization Us. It was clone as an expression of African values in order to inspire the creativity of our children. In the early days of Us, there were seven children who each wanted to represent a letter of Kwanzaa. Since kwanza (first) has only six letters, we added an extra "a" to make it seven, thus creating "Kwanzaa." To learn more about Kwanzaa, visit the Official Kwanzaa Website.

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