I’ll Have What He’s Having: When Pigs Fly

Pigs can’t fly, but they have wings.

In a twist of marketing genius, pork producers have turned the otherwise forgettable pork shank—technically, the fibula bone of a pig’s hind leg—into something familiar and memorable.

With roughly 2 ounces of meat, “pig wings” resemble a rib or a chicken drumette and often are treated the same way, so they’ve found favor with those who like meaty finger foods.

You’ll find them appearing now on menus across the country, including at Gram & Dun on the Country Club Plaza, where they arrive four to an order, lacquered with a sticky sake-soy glaze. Eaten alone, they’re slightly sweet, the lean meat surprisingly tender and juicy, pulling clean off the bone. Add a little spicy sambal chili sauce, which is served on the side, and they’re addictive.

These “Asian Pig Wings” ($11) are grouped with the appetizers on Gram & Dun’s menu, but coupled with a salad or a side dish, I don’t see why they couldn’t be ordered as a main course.


Bonjwing Lee is a food writer and photographer based in Kansas City, Missouri. Most recently, he photographed and co-authored “bluestem, the cookbook,” with Colby Garrelts, a Food & Wine Best New Chef and six-time James Beard Award nominee, and his wife, Megan. Bonjwing’s photographs also have appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Food & Wine Magazine and Scanorama Portfolio. He is a regular writer and photographer for KC Magazine and author of the blog “the ulterior epicure.”