Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe: A Simple and Delicious Dish – Seaco Online
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Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken Recipe: A Simple and Delicious Dish

If you're looking for a new recipe to try, Chinese soy sauce chicken might be the perfect option for you. This dish is a staple of Cantonese cuisine and is commonly found in Chinese BBQ restaurants. With its succulent and flavourful meat, it's no wonder that it has become so popular.

A pot simmering with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Chicken pieces cooking in the savory liquid, infusing with rich, deep flavors

To make Chinese soy sauce chicken, you'll need a few key ingredients, including soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, and dark brown sugar. You'll also need a whole chicken, which you'll marinate in the sauce before cooking. While the preparation process can take some time, the end result is definitely worth it.

If you're looking to switch things up, you can also try adding seafood to your recipe. For example, you could add some shrimp or crab to the marinade to give it a unique twist. With so many variations, Chinese soy sauce chicken is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese soy sauce chicken is a popular dish in Cantonese cuisine that can be found in many Chinese BBQ restaurants.
  • The dish requires a few key ingredients, including soy sauce, Shaoxing rice wine, and dark brown sugar.
  • To add a unique twist, consider adding seafood to your recipe such as shrimp or crab.

Ingredients Overview

A bottle of Chinese soy sauce, a raw chicken, garlic cloves, ginger, and green onions laid out on a wooden cutting board

When it comes to Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken, the ingredients play a crucial role in determining the taste of the dish. In this section, we will discuss the main ingredients, spices and aromatics, and additional flavourings that are commonly used in this recipe.

Main Ingredients

The main ingredient in Soy Sauce Chicken is, of course, chicken. You can use a whole chicken or cut it into pieces, depending on your preference. It is recommended to use free-range chicken for a more flavourful and tender meat. If you want to add more variety to your dish, you can also use seafood such as prawns or scallops.

Spices and Aromatics

The spices and aromatics used in Soy Sauce Chicken are what give the dish its unique flavour. Some of the commonly used spices include star anise, cinnamon, and bay leaves. Aromatics such as ginger, scallion, and garlic are also added to enhance the flavour. These ingredients are usually chopped or sliced and added to the marinade or the cooking liquid.

Additional Flavourings

Apart from the main ingredients and spices, additional flavourings are also added to Soy Sauce Chicken. Dark soy sauce is a must-have ingredient as it gives the dish its signature dark colour and rich flavour. Shaoxing wine is also commonly used to add depth to the dish. Brown sugar or rock sugar can be used to balance the saltiness of the soy sauce. Sesame oil is added at the end of cooking to give the dish a nutty aroma.

Overall, the combination of these ingredients creates a delicious and complex flavour profile that is both savoury and sweet. Don't be afraid to experiment with different seafood or spices to find your perfect Soy Sauce Chicken recipe.

Preparation Guide

A pot of simmering soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Chicken pieces marinating in the sauce. A plate of green onions and cilantro on the side

Before you start cooking your Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken, you need to prepare it well. Here is a guide on how to prepare your chicken.

Cleaning and Marinating

Firstly, clean the chicken thoroughly by removing the giblets and rinsing it inside and out. You can marinate the chicken for a few hours or overnight for extra flavour. However, marinating is optional, and you can still achieve a delicious taste without it.

Sauce Preparation

The sauce is a crucial part of the recipe. Combine light and dark soy sauce, rice wine, sugar, and water in a pot. Fry the aromatics, such as scallions and ginger, in oil until they release their fragrance, then add the sauce to the pot. If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use oyster sauce or fish sauce to enhance the flavour.

Chicken Cutting Techniques

You can use a cleaver to cut the chicken into pieces, including wings, thighs, leg quarters, and breasts. Alternatively, you can use a whole chicken and cut it into smaller pieces. Cutting the chicken into smaller pieces will help it cook faster and absorb more flavour from the sauce.

In summary, preparing your chicken well is essential to achieve a delicious Chinese Soy Sauce Chicken. Clean the chicken, marinate it if you want, prepare the sauce, and cut the chicken into smaller pieces. If you want to add seafood to the recipe, you can use oyster sauce or fish sauce.

Cooking Process

A pot simmering on the stove with chicken pieces, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and star anise. Steam rises, filling the kitchen with savory aroma

Braising the Chicken

To start cooking your Chinese soy sauce chicken, you need to braise your chicken. This cooking method involves cooking the chicken in a liquid, which is a combination of soy sauce, water, and other spices. You can use a pot or a wok to braise your chicken. Make sure you submerge the chicken completely in the liquid and bring it to a boil. Then, lower the heat and let it simmer until the chicken is tender. The cooking time can vary depending on the size of your chicken, but it usually takes around 30 minutes.

Simmering and Steaming

After braising your chicken, you need to simmer and steam it to give it a silky texture and a shiny glaze. To do this, you need to remove the chicken from the braising liquid and place it on a steaming rack. Then, you need to brush the chicken with a glaze made of soy sauce, sugar, and other spices. Finally, you need to steam the chicken for another 10-15 minutes until it is fully cooked and has a shiny glaze.

Finishing Touches

Once your chicken is fully cooked, you can remove it from the steaming rack and place it on a serving plate. You can garnish it with some chopped scallions and serve it with some steamed rice. If you want to add some seafood to your soy sauce chicken recipe, you can use some prawns or scallops. Simply add them to the braising liquid and let them cook with the chicken. This will give your soy sauce chicken a delicious seafood flavour that will make it even more special.

Overall, cooking Chinese soy sauce chicken is a simple process that requires a few basic ingredients and some patience. By following these steps, you can make a delicious and tender chicken dish that will impress your family and friends.

Serving and Storage

A platter of Chinese soy sauce chicken with garnishes, alongside a glass jar of soy sauce, on a wooden table


Chinese soy sauce chicken is a versatile dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. Steamed rice is a classic pairing that complements the rich and savoury flavours of the dish. You can also serve it with stir-fried vegetables or noodles for a more substantial meal. If you want to add some seafood to your meal, you can serve it with steamed prawns or scallops.

Presentation Tips

When serving Chinese soy sauce chicken, it's important to present it in an appealing way. You can garnish the dish with sliced spring onions or coriander for a pop of colour and freshness. You can also serve it on a bed of steamed rice or noodles to make it look more appetising. To make the dish look more impressive, you can carve the chicken into smaller pieces and arrange them on a platter.

Storing Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat the chicken, you can microwave it or steam it until it's heated through. If you want to freeze the chicken, you can do so for up to 3 months. However, keep in mind that the texture of the chicken may change when it's frozen and thawed.

Remember to always store your leftovers in the fridge or freezer as soon as possible to prevent bacteria from growing. If you're serving the chicken at a party or event, make sure to keep it at room temperature for no longer than 2 hours to avoid food poisoning.

Overall, Chinese soy sauce chicken is a delicious and easy-to-make dish that can be served with a variety of accompaniments. Whether you're cooking for yourself or for a crowd, this dish is sure to impress.

Nutrition and Variations

A pot of simmering soy sauce chicken surrounded by ginger, garlic, and green onions. Steam rises as the rich aroma fills the kitchen

Dietary Considerations

Chinese soy sauce chicken is a great protein-packed dish that can be enjoyed by everyone. However, it is important to consider certain dietary restrictions before preparing this dish.

For vegetarians and vegans, tofu or fried tofu can be used as a substitute for chicken. It is important to note that the nutritional value of tofu is different from chicken, so adjustments to the recipe may be necessary.

For those with gluten intolerance, ensure that the soy sauce used is gluten-free. Additionally, for those watching their sodium intake, low-sodium soy sauce can be used instead of regular soy sauce.

Recipe Variations

There are many variations to the Chinese soy sauce chicken recipe. One popular variation is Cantonese-style soy sauce chicken, also known as "see yao gai". This variation uses a combination of light and dark soy sauce, along with rock sugar, ginger, and other spices.

Another variation is char siu, which is a Chinese-style barbecue pork. The marinade used for char siu is similar to that used for soy sauce chicken, but with the addition of honey, hoisin sauce, and five spice powder.

For those looking for a crispy texture, crispy duck is a great alternative. The duck is first marinated in a similar sauce as soy sauce chicken, then air-dried before being deep-fried until crispy.

Hainanese chicken is another variation that is popular in Singapore and Malaysia. The chicken is poached in a ginger and scallion broth, then served with a soy sauce-based dipping sauce.

As a suggestion, seafood can also be used in this recipe. Shrimp, scallops, or squid can be marinated in the same sauce as the chicken, then grilled or stir-fried for a seafood twist on this classic dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

A pot simmering on a stove with Chinese soy sauce chicken cooking inside, surrounded by various cooking ingredients and utensils

What's the secret to a super tender soy sauce chicken?

The secret to a super tender soy sauce chicken is to use a young cage-free chicken that weighs less than 2 pounds. The smaller the chicken, the more the seasonings penetrate, and the tenderer it will taste after simmering. You can also add a bit of baking soda to the marinade to help tenderize the chicken.

Can I make soy sauce chicken using chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken?

Yes, you can use chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken, but the result may not be as flavourful or tender. If you choose to use chicken breasts, make sure to marinate them for at least 2 hours and cook them for a shorter amount of time to avoid drying them out.

How do I get that authentic Hong Kong flavour in my soy sauce chicken at home?

To get that authentic Hong Kong flavour in your soy sauce chicken, use Chinese rose wine (Mei Gui Lu Jiu), rock sugar, and dark soy sauce in your marinade. You can also add ginger, garlic, and green onions to enhance the flavour.

What are the best side dishes to serve with soy sauce chicken?

Some of the best side dishes to serve with soy sauce chicken include steamed rice, stir-fried vegetables, and Chinese-style pickles. You can also serve it with a side of soup or a salad.

How long should I marinate the chicken for optimal flavour?

For optimal flavour, marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight. This will allow the seasonings to penetrate the meat and infuse it with flavour.

Is there a quick and easy method to prepare soy sauce chicken on a busy weeknight?

Yes, you can prepare soy sauce chicken on a busy weeknight by using a pressure cooker or slow cooker. Simply marinate the chicken as usual, place it in the cooker with the marinade, and cook it for the recommended amount of time. You can also use chicken wings or drumettes for a quicker cooking time. Additionally, you can use seafood, such as prawns or squid, to add a unique twist to the recipe.