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Steam Chicken Recipe Chinese Style: How to Make It at Home

Want to prepare a tasty and nutritious chicken dish? Look no further than the Chinese style of steaming. This technique is simple yet produces succulent and tasty chicken that will please your palate. With just a few key ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you can make a meal that your whole family will love. 

A whole chicken steaming in a bamboo steamer with ginger, garlic, and green onions, surrounded by a cloud of aromatic steam

To start, you'll need some bone-in chicken, which is the preferred cut for Chinese-style steaming. However, you can use boneless chicken if you prefer. Chicken breast or thigh meat both work well, and you can even add seafood to the recipe for an extra burst of flavor. For example, you can add prawns or scallops to the dish to create a surf-and-turf combination that is sure to impress.

Once you have your ingredients, you'll need to prepare the chicken by cleaning it and marinating it in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and other seasonings. Then, it's time to steam the chicken using a bamboo steamer or other steaming apparatus. With a little practice, you'll soon be able to create perfect, succulent chicken every time.

Essential Ingredients

Sliced chicken sizzling in a wok with ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Steam rising from the bubbling mixture, filling the kitchen with savory aromas

When it comes to making Chinese-style steamed chicken, there are a few essential ingredients that you'll need to have on hand. These ingredients are what give the chicken its signature flavour and aroma, and they're what make this dish so delicious.

Choosing the Right Chicken

The first ingredient you'll need is, of course, chicken. It's important to choose a good-quality chicken for this recipe, as the flavour of the dish will depend on it. Look for a chicken that is fresh and free-range if possible. You can use either a whole chicken or just the chicken pieces, such as thighs or breasts.

Key Seasonings and Sauces

The next set of ingredients you'll need are the key seasonings and sauces. These include ginger, green onion, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and Shaoxing wine. Ginger and green onion are used to add flavour and aroma to the chicken, while soy sauce and oyster sauce provide the savoury, umami taste. Sesame oil adds a nutty flavour, and Shaoxing wine provides a subtle sweetness.

Additional Aromatics and Garnishes

To take your steamed chicken to the next level, you can also add some additional aromatics and garnishes. Scallions, goji berries, shiitake mushrooms, and dried lily flowers are all great options. These ingredients add texture, flavour, and nutrition to the dish.

If you're feeling adventurous, you could also try adding some seafood to the recipe. Shrimp or scallops would be a great addition, and they would pair well with the other ingredients. Just make sure to cook the seafood separately and add it to the dish at the end, as it cooks much faster than the chicken.

Overall, these ingredients are all you need to make a delicious Chinese-style steamed chicken. With a little bit of preparation and the right ingredients, you can create a dish that is both healthy and flavourful.

Preparing the Chicken

Chicken being steamed in a traditional Chinese bamboo steamer, surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices

Before you start cooking, it is essential to prepare the chicken correctly. Here are the steps to follow:

Cleaning and Marinating

First, clean the chicken thoroughly, removing any feathers, skin, and other unwanted parts. Rinse the chicken with cold water and pat it dry with a paper towel.

Next, marinate the chicken with salt, sugar, and ground white pepper. You can also add some soy sauce or oyster sauce for extra flavor. Leave the chicken to marinate for at least one hour. If you have more time, you can marinate the chicken overnight for a richer taste.

Stuffing and Trussing

If you want to stuff the chicken, you can add a mixture of seafood, such as shrimp, scallops, or crab meat, to the cavity. Be sure to remove any shells or bones from the seafood before using it.

After stuffing the chicken, you can truss it to keep the stuffing inside. Use kitchen twine to tie the legs and wings tightly to the body. This will help the chicken cook evenly and retain its shape.

Whether you use boneless chicken thighs or bone-in chicken, these steps will help you prepare the perfect Chinese-style steamed chicken.

Steaming Techniques

A pot of boiling water with chunks of chicken and Chinese herbs, emitting steam

Setting Up Your Steamer

Before you start steaming your chicken, you need to make sure that your steamer is set up correctly. Fill the bottom of your steamer with water, making sure that the water level is not too high that it will touch the chicken. Place the steamer basket on top of the water and bring the water to a boil.

Achieving the Perfect Steam

When steaming chicken, it is important to achieve the perfect steam. This means that the steam should be hot enough to cook the chicken thoroughly, but not too hot that it dries out the chicken. To achieve the perfect steam, you should start with high heat for the first 10 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low for the remaining cooking time. This will ensure that the chicken is cooked through and retains its tender texture.

To achieve the best texture, it is important to arrange the chicken in a single layer on the plate before steaming. This allows the steam to circulate around the chicken evenly, ensuring that it is cooked through. Adding cooking wine to the marinade can also help to tenderize the chicken and add flavour.

If you want to add some seafood to your steamed chicken recipe, you can try adding shrimp or scallops. Simply place the seafood on top of the chicken before steaming, making sure that it is arranged in a single layer. This will add a delicious seafood flavour to your steamed chicken dish.

Serving Suggestions

A steaming plate of Chinese-style chicken with vegetables, garnished with sesame seeds and green onions, served on a traditional patterned dish

When it comes to serving Chinese-style steamed chicken, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some serving suggestions to help you make the most of this delicious dish.

Accompanying Side Dishes

One of the best things about steamed chicken is that it goes well with a variety of side dishes. For a classic pairing, serve your chicken with a side of fluffy white rice. The fragrant, juicy chicken pairs perfectly with the mild, nutty flavour of the rice.

If you're looking to add some extra flavour to your meal, consider serving your chicken with a dipping sauce. A simple mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic can add a savoury kick to your dish. Or, for a sweeter flavour, try a dipping sauce made with honey, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.

For a more substantial meal, you can also serve your chicken with some stir-fried vegetables or a side of noodles. Seafood can also be a great addition to your meal. If you're looking to incorporate seafood into your dish, consider adding some fresh prawns or scallops to your steaming basket.

Presentation Tips

When it comes to presenting your steamed chicken, there are a few simple tips to keep in mind. First, be sure to garnish your dish with some fresh herbs or vegetables. A sprinkle of chopped coriander or some sliced scallions can add a pop of colour and flavour to your meal.

To make your dish more Instagram-worthy, try arranging your chicken and side dishes in an appealing way. Use a colourful plate or bowl to make your meal look more visually appealing. You can also experiment with different plating techniques, such as stacking your chicken on top of your rice for a more dramatic effect.

Finally, remember that steamed chicken is a great option for weeknight dinners. It's easy to prepare and can be ready in just a few simple steps. So why not give this delicious dish a try tonight?

Nutritional Information

A steaming plate of Chinese-style chicken with nutritional information displayed beside it

If you are looking for a healthy and delicious main course, Chinese-style steamed chicken is an excellent option. This dish is low in calories and high in protein, making it a great choice for those who are watching their weight or looking to build muscle.

A skinless chicken breast is a great source of lean protein, with around 31 grams of protein per 100 grams of chicken. This makes it an excellent choice for those who are looking to increase their protein intake without consuming too many calories.

When cooking Chinese-style steamed chicken, it is important to use vegetable oil instead of other types of oil, such as coconut oil or palm oil. Vegetable oil is a healthier option as it contains less saturated fat than other types of oil.

If you are looking to add some variety to your steamed chicken recipe, you could try adding some seafood to the dish. Seafood such as prawns or scallops would be a great addition to the dish, adding extra protein and flavour.

Overall, Chinese-style steamed chicken is a healthy and delicious main course option that is easy to prepare and packed with nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions

A whole chicken steaming in a bamboo steamer, surrounded by traditional Chinese ingredients like ginger, garlic, and scallions

What's the simplest way to prepare a Chinese-style steamed chicken?

The simplest way to prepare a Chinese-style steamed chicken is to marinate the chicken with some soy sauce, salt, ginger, and garlic. Then, place it on a steaming rack and steam for about 30 minutes. You can also add some vegetables like bok choy or Chinese broccoli to the steamer for a more nutritious meal.

How can I make a Cantonese steamed chicken at home?

To make a Cantonese-style steamed chicken at home, you will need a whole chicken, ginger, green onion, salt, and Shaoxing wine. Rub the chicken with salt and Shaoxing wine, then stuff it with ginger and green onion. Place the chicken on a steaming rack and steam for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the chicken.

Can I steam chicken breasts to make a Chinese-style dish?

Yes, you can steam chicken breasts to make a Chinese-style dish. However, it's important to note that chicken breasts tend to dry out quickly, so it's important to marinate them beforehand and monitor the steaming time carefully. Alternatively, you can use chicken thighs or drumsticks for a juicier and more flavourful dish.

What's the best method to steam a whole chicken?

The best method to steam a whole chicken is to stuff it with ginger and green onion, then place it on a steaming rack and steam for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the chicken. You can also add some Shaoxing wine to the steaming water for added flavour.

How can I create a Chinese steamed chicken with a ginger sauce?

To create a Chinese steamed chicken with a ginger sauce, you will need some ginger, garlic, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Mix the ingredients together to create the sauce, then pour it over the steamed chicken before serving.

What are some tips for steaming chicken in a pan?

When steaming chicken in a pan, it's important to use a pan with a tight-fitting lid to trap the steam. You can also add some aromatics like ginger and garlic to the steaming water for added flavour. If you want to add some seafood to the dish, you can try adding some prawns or scallops to the steaming water for a delicious seafood twist.