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Soy Sauce Chicken is a Hong Kong style Cantonese cuisine that belongs to one of the many “lou mei” dishes made by braising in soy sauce with seasoning and spices called “lou” sauce or master stock. The most common types of “lou mei” are pork, duck, chicken and beef, often served at Cantonese restaurants or food stalls, displaying all the “lou mei” meat in a glass panel. Other types of “lou mei” include white cut chicken, orange cuttlefish and poached duck in master stock. “Lou mei” are often sold together with “siu mei”, Cantonese barbecue roasted meat like char siu, roasted pork and roasted duck. All these Cantonese style cooked meats, comprising of “siu mei” and “lou mei” and preserved meats like beef brisket, chicken giblets, duck gizzard, pig’s tongue and beef entrails, are all classified as “siu laap”.
Amongst all these “siu laap” dishes, soy sauce chicken is the easiest to replicate and cook at home with minimum fuss. This braised soy sauce chicken is an example of red cooking, a slow braising Chinese cooking technique used, also called red stewing. Chicken cooked with this method is very tasty and juicy and falls off the bones easily. For my gluten free recipe, I marinated the chicken with ginger and spring onion paste and cooked in a gluten free soy sauce braising sauce made up of extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, gluten free dark soy sauce, medium dry sherry, honey, salt and spices like star anise, cinnamon sticks and cloves. Served with blanched bok choy and steamed basmati rice.
Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken
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- 1.8kg (4Ib) whole free range chicken, fat trimmed
- 3 bunches bok choy, washed and cut into halves
- Steamed basmati rice to serve
For the Braising Sauce:
- ¼ extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup pure sesame oil
- 1⅔ cup gluten free dark soy sauce (Refer relevant recipe)
- 3 whole large star anise
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 5 cloves
- 1 cup medium dry sherry
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 5 cups water
For the Ginger and Spring Onion Paste:
- 300g (10.6oz) fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into 1 inch pieces
- 6 spring onions (shallots) sliced into 1 inch lengthwise
For the Garnish:
- 3 sprigs of coriander including stems, roughly tear into 1 to 2 cm lengthwise
For the ginger and spring onion paste:
- Combine ginger and spring onion (shallots) into the food processor until you get a rough paste. Set aside 3 tablespoons for marinating the chicken. Reserve the rest of the paste for braising the chicken.
For braising the chicken:
- Clean and wash the chicken, fat trimmed from under skin near the top and bottom of cavity. Then rub the chicken skin and cavity with 3 tablespoons of the ginger and spring onion (shallots) paste set aside in step 1 above.
- Mix all the ingredients for the braising sauce together in a small bowl except the water.
- Using a pot that will just fit a whole chicken, add in the braising sauce and the rest of the ginger and spring onion (shallots) paste and bring to a boil.
- Then submerge the whole chicken with breast side down into the pot followed by adding 5 cups of water and bring to a boil again. Once its boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover with lid and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken over once or twice and ensure that it cooks for the same amount of time on both sides. Turn off the heat.
- Let the chicken sit in the pot for another 10 minutes.
- Cautiously remove the chicken and place on a plate to rest and cool.
- Reserve 1½ cup of the braising sauce by pouring the sauce through a fine sieve into a measuring cup.
For cooking the bok choy:
- Heat up a pot half filled with water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and briefly blanch the bok choy together with the extra virgin olive oil for 1 minute or until the bok choy turns bright green in colour.
- Place the cooked bok choy on a serving plate.
For serving the chicken:
- Cut the chicken into quarters and remove the chicken meat from the bones carefully. Next, cut the boneless chicken quarters into bite size pieces.
- Place the boneless chicken pieces on top of the bok choy on the serving plate. Drizzle some of the reserved braising sauce onto the chicken pieces and garnish with coriander.
- Serve the chicken with steamed basmati rice.
Allergens: Soy and sesame.
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