Wings, at their best, are a crispy carrier for sauce. Why then do so many recipes start with a liquid marinade? Rather than soaking for flavor, wings should be lightly dehydrated for texture while also increasing surface area for sauce to cling.

Like my kobujime salmon recipe, drying fish or chicken skin overnight is a good starting point, but let’s go a step further with a dry rub of powdered rice kōji — the “national mold” of Japan scientifically known as Aspergillus oryzae (credit for starting my kōji journey to Jeremy Umansky and Rich Shih’s “Koji Alchemy,” which has a Japanese translation releasing this year).

While this recipe would be perfect for an air-fryer or fried the good old-fashioned way, these wings are actually baked. The addition of baking powder makes the skin more alkaline so they brown perfectly in a conventional oven without added oil. For our sauce, a traditional soy and shikuwasa citrus ponzu doesn’t need extra sugar with the addition of mirin. We add a little to make it a glaze along with butter.